15 Things to Do in Boston in the Winter

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Boston is an awesome family vacation destination any time of year, but especially for long weekend getaways. Rich in culture and full of historic sites, this bustling city offers an endless array of family fun. From ice skating through the country’s oldest public park to visiting world famous, interactive museums that engage kids with hands-on learning, read on for the best things to do and places to explore in Boston with kids during wintertime.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

A literal LEGO heaven designed for kids ages 3-10, your family can really stack up the fun at this indoor playground that boasts The Great LEGO® Race VR Experience, ten interactive LEGO build and play zones, Miniland model displays (you'll even find Boston landmarks in LEGO form), the Merlin's Apprentice and Kingdom Quest rides and a 4D cinema! Brick lovers big and small will be delighted by the LEGO activities at every turn at this colorful, engaging destination! Online: boston.legolanddiscoverycenter.com


Skywalk Observatory

The vantage point from the 50th floor of the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Building will grant you towering, unbeatable, 360-degree views of Boston including glimpses of the ocean, the New Hampshire mountains and Fenway Park. On clear days you can see up to 100 miles away while peering out of this glassed-in walkway in the highest observation deck in New England. Stop in the Observatory's Dreams of Freedom Museum and multimedia movie theater to learn about Boston's history and to see more views of the city. Online: skywalkboston.com

Book a Stay at a Marriott Hotel

Thanks to Marriott Hotels the ease, convenience and comfort of an amazing family vacation is possible any time of year (read: not just school vacations).Take advantage of lower winter time rates PLUS enjoy an additional 20% savings (and even more when you’re a Marriott Rewards Member) when you book your stay in advance. Perks of making Boston your long weekend destination with Marriott include booking a hotel suite at a more affordable price compared to the high season. With their spacious suites, this means your entire family can enjoy the togetherness you've been craving without stepping on each others toes. What more could you want? Check out this special deal by clicking here.


The Mapparium

You were just on top of the world and now you can go inside of it! Just under half a mile away from Skywalk Observatory (about a ten minute walk) you'll find the world's largest walk-in globe: The Mapparium located inside the Mary Baker Eddy Library. This epic three-story, stain-glassed model of the world in 1935 is built to scale and its sphere is 30 feet in diameter. You can walk across this marvel via a glass bridge. Online: marybakereddylibrary.org/project/mapparium

Boston Children's Museum

Founded in 1913, the Boston Children's Museum is the second oldest children's museum in the world! This hub for hands-on learning through play and engaging activities is designed to spark kids' imagination and curiosity. In addition to their collection of 50,000 items from all over the world, the Museum's exhibits include a kid-sized Construction Zone play space, an authentic Japanese House, a life-size animatronic Dilophosaurus and a seemingly endless amount to learn and explore. Burn off energy by letting kids scale the three-story, enclosed vertical maze climbing structure. Online: bostonchildrensmuseum.org

Boston Fire Museum

You'll find the Boston Fire Museum, which resides inside an old firehouse, just a block away from the Boston Children's Museum. Stop in to see firefighting artifacts and equipment and different types of fire engines and vehicles used by firefighters throughout America's history. Kids can get hands on with fire hoses and sit in an old fire truck––and a highlight will be meeting Sparky, a real-life fire house dog that's you guessed it, a Dalmatian. Bonus: admission is free! Online: bostonfiremuseum.com

Museum of Science

Indulge curious minds with a visit to the stellar Museum of Science. See a space science show in the amazing Charles Hayden Planetarium, behold a full-size Tyrannosaurus Rex model and marvel at 'Cliff,' a 65 million-year-old fossil––one of only four nearly complete Triceratops on public display anywhere in the world! Kids will love getting hands-on in the Discovery Center where they can touch real fossils and get a close view of live animals. There's something to explore and learn about at every turn. Online: mos.org

New England Aquarium

Dive into exploration at the Aquarium's Giant Ocean Tank, a four-story, 200,00-gallon tank that contains a coral reef and hundreds of Caribbean Reef animals, including sting rays and sea turtles (bonus: look out for Myrtle the Turtle, who has called the space home since 1970). Get your hands wet at the shark and ray touch tank, visit a colony of over 80 penguins and two families of harbor seals and watch northern fur seals put on a show. Kids will love taking the plunge into this adventure. Online: neaq.org

Frog Pond at Boston Common

Glide across the glorious outdoor ice rink at Frog Pond at Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country. USA Today voted it the 'Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rink in the U.S.' Rent ice skates, and even take skating lessons by coaches from The Skating Club of Boston Skating Academy. An adorable 'Bobby the Skating Seal' is available to rent for young skaters who need support on the ice. Online: bostonfrogpond.com

USS Constitution Museum

Climb aboard "Old Ironsides," the oldest commissioned warship in the world that's still afloat! It was built under George Washington's command to protect America's ports. Kids will learn how to fire a cannon, scrub the deck, furl a sail or haul a Billie goat onto the ship. This educational museum is sure to teach kids about what life was like at sea hundreds of years ago. Don't miss the Masters of Miniature: 39th Annual Model Ship Show, which you can explore via a scavenger hunt. Good to know: the Ship and Museum operate separately, so be sure to coordinate your visit to see both. Click here for additional sites to see nearby, including the Bunker Hill Monument. Online: ussconstitutionmuseum.org


Quincy Market

Families will love shopping and eating their way through the historic Quincy Market. This treasure trove of 18 restaurants and 35 colonnade eateries has everything from Boston Cream Pie and Bostonian baked beans to lobster rolls and Boston clam chowder. Be sure to pop into Quincy's Place ice cream parlor/candy shop for your sweet fix. Kids will also get a kick out of comparing their shoe size to Boston Celtics basketball legend Larry Bird's shoe plaque just outside the Market. Online: quincy-market.com


Boston Children's Theater

Boston Children's Theater is one of the oldest theatrical organizations for kids in America. With their upcoming production, they are bringing beloved children's book, The Runaway Bunny to life on the stage Feb. 9-23, 2019. The hour-long production is perfect for young kids who are sure to enjoy the show's original music, endearing characters and charming scenery. Online: bostonchildrenstheatre.org

Boston Celtics game

Cheer on the home team at a Boston Celtics basketball game. It's a slam dunk for family fun. Nothing compares to watching an exciting sporting event in real life. The music, the cheering, the Jumbotron, the fast-paced action––you'll all have a ball. Online: nba.com/celtics

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

You'll find over 450,000 works of art in the vast, global collections at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Appreciate one of the largest collections of Monet's work outside of France, study ancient coins, gems and jewelry, musical instruments and stunning Egyptian art. On weekends Sept.-Jun., the Museum hosts activities designed for kids age 4 and up to indulge in art and uncover new discoveries throughout the Museum. Pick up an Art Connections card at the Visitor's Center to encourage kids to find certain objects and images from dragons to dogs during their visit. Online: mfa.org

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Located on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, you'll find an impressive array of mounted specimens and taxidermied animals for an up close look at creatures big and small. David Rockefeller's collection of over 150,000 beetles is now on display as are rare rocks and gems for little rock collecting enthusiasts. The Great Mammal hall will be a standout, granting kids awe-inspiring looks at animals they may never see up close otherwise. Check the website for family programming which include taxidermy workshops and drawing birds. Online: hmnh.harvard.edu

Copy by Beth Shea

Featured photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism via Flickr