Boston is a great city to visit with small children, with activities, museums and attractions to entertain and teach youngsters while parents have a good time, too. Getting around is half the fun for kids, either on the T subway system or by the handy above-ground, hop-on hop-off trolleys. These stop at all major attractions and you can ride as often or as far as you like on one all-day ticket.
The first place parents with young children head is the outstanding Boston Children’s Museum, specifically designed for children up to age 10. Creative and original hands-on experiences engage children in art, science, technology, literature and the world, although they probably won’t even realize they are learning at the same time. There are costumes to try on and plays to perform, games and toys that explore the laws of motion, light, color and sound. Little builders can dig, climb, build, operate a jackhammer and balance on a girder in the Construction Zone. Budding paleontologists can examine fossils and measure a dinosaur footprint under the eyes of a life-sized animatronic Dilophosaurus. Kids can decorate a float for a traditional Afro Caribbean celebration and dance to a world of ethnic music styles. An entire Japanese house has been reassembled inside the museum for kids to explore and compare to their own. You’ll find yourself intrigued by the activities and want to play, too.
Hands-on explorations at the Museum of Science cover the whole range of science and technology, and for all ages. Many of the exhibits and activities will engage young children as they explore chemistry, biology, ecology, meteorology, physics, astronomy and computers in more than 700 exhibits. Live stage presentations are almost continuous, and kids will especially love the dramatic demonstrations in the Electricity Dome. In ComputerPlace they can operate a robot and discover how their computer stores information. Little kids are enchanted by the conservatory filled with exotic plants, where they can walk among a flutter of butterflies. They can meet live animals, and watch laser shows in the planetarium. There’s a full day’s worth of activities here.
Upwards of 20,000 fish and aquatic animals, representing more than 550 species, make their homes at the New England Aquarium on Boston’s waterfront. Bright-colored tropical fish swim amid the coral of a manmade Caribbean coral reef, where kids can also see sharks, turtles and moray eels. They can handle some of the sea creatures, including starfish, urchins and crabs, in the Edge of the Sea touch tank and watch harbor seals play and perform in their enclosure outside the aquarium. What captivates most little kids, however, is watching the colony of penguins. You can take whale-watching tours arranged by the aquarium, as well.
A Boston tradition no kid (or adult) should miss is the chance to ride the swan boats around the pond in the Public Garden. It’s a time-honored tradition that began in the 1870s and a winner for kids. Be sure to look for the bronze duck family near the miniature bridge; this was the setting for Robert McCloskey’s children’s classic Make Way for the Ducklings. In the summer, young kids can cool off in the wading pool known as the Frog Pond, and from November through mid-March it becomes a skating rink with skate rentals.
Although riding the trolley will give you a good tour of Boston’s major landmarks, kids will enjoy the Boston Duck Tour in a repurposed World War II amphibious vehicle that travels on both land and water. You’ll get a different view of the city from the Charles River, and kids will love the notion of driving right into the water.
If you are a lover of thrill rides and rollercoasters, you better start thinking about a future trip to test out some new ones in Orlando, Florida’s, theme parks. Throughout the next year, some theme parks are expecting a number of thrilling additions and experiences for willing guests. From two long-anticipated coasters slated to open next year in Walt Disney World to a yet-to-be-announced Jurassic Park roller coaster set to open in Universal Orlando, thrill-seekers and coaster fanatics will be in awe.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
In times of stress, boredom and even enjoyment, some of us find ourselves reaching for a treat or two — or a dozen. When you need the crunch or sweetness of a snack, but not all the guilt and remorse to follow, registered dietician Lisa Moskovitz, founder and CEO, New York Nutrition Group, recommends these not-so-bad snacks — they’re also great in kids’ lunches or as after-school snacks!
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
The first refreshing aspect of Morgan’s Wonderland is its inspiration; a real person instead of a cast of cartoon characters. The second, all the more innovative and meaningful, her parents channeled her resilience and zest for life into a destination of pure family fun, designed to be more inclusive than some of the most-visited theme parks on the planet.