walking Boston tour with kids standing on the Boston Harborwalk

Walking Boston Tour With Kids

Embarking on a walking Boston tour with kids? You’re in for a treat! Boston is not only steeped in history but is also family-friendly and offers a variety of engaging and fun experiences that will keep both the little ones and adults entertained.

Embark on this self-guided walking Boston tour with kids to create memories that last a lifetime. From the lively streets of Chinatown to the playgrounds by the sea, you’ll discover a city where the old meets the new in spectacular style. Let’s dive in!

And, as always, if you have any comments/questions about all of this, feel free to leave them below.

General Information – Walking Boston Tour With Kids

Boston is a blend of modernity and history. Whether it’s the revolutionary stories echoing from its cobblestone streets or the charming modern marvels, a walking Boston tour with kids promises unique experiences and educational takeaways. Remember, choosing the right season is essential – spring and fall are ideal for their pleasant weather.

Recommended Gear

  1. Comfortable shoes: Boston’s streets can be uneven; choose sneakers or walking shoes.
  2. Light backpack: To keep water bottles, snacks, and a first-aid kit.
  3. Weather-appropriate clothing: Layer up in colder months and wear breathable fabrics in summer.
  4. Boston map: While there are plenty of apps, having a physical map can be a fun way for kids to trace their journey.

City Walking Safety Tips

  • Always stay on sidewalks.
  • Crossroads at designated pedestrian crossings.
  • Keep children close, preferably holding hands in crowded areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; avoid distractions like excessive phone use.

Parking Recommendations

Start your walking Boston tour with kids hassle-free. Consider parking at the Theater District Garage near Chinatown or the South Station Parking Garage. Both offer reasonable rates and are a convenient starting point for our route.

As our route starts in Chinatown, if you arrive early in the morning (before 9 AM or so), Hudson Street and Tyler Street usually have a few metered spots open. And at US$2/hour at the time of writing for downtown parking, you won’t find a better deal!

Route Information – Fast Facts

  • Route Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 0.9 miles (1.4 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 0 feet
  • Duration: 3-4 hours depending on how individual pace and stops

Our Route And Points Of Interest

Beginning at Boston’s Chinatown and ending at Martin’s Park, this tour is a seamless blend of cultural, historical, and fun destinations. The stops on our walking Boston tour are listed below.

We recommend you start at number one and end at number seven, but you can also do it in reverse or even craft your own adventure!

  1. Boston’s Chinatown
  2. South Station
  3. Federal Reserve Bank Of Boston
  4. Boston Tea Party Ship
  5. Boston Harborwalk
  6. Boston’s Children’s Museum
  7. Martin’s Park

Boston’s Chinatown – Family-Friendly Cultural Experience

walking Boston tour with kids standing near the paifang gate in Chinatown
Boston Chinatown’s iconic paifang gate

Our walking Boston tour starts with a dive into the vibrant heart of Chinese culture in Boston. The bustling streets, often decorated with lanterns, offer a sensory feast. Kids will enjoy the energetic atmosphere, authentic cuisine, and colorful shops.

Boston’s Chinatown is the third largest in the U.S., and it offers a rich blend of history, culture, and modern attractions. Nestled in the heart of Boston, it’s a bustling neighborhood where vibrant street scenes meet authentic culinary delights. Families will find a wealth of experiences to enjoy here.

The iconic paifang gate, with its intricate designs, marks the entrance to this cultural hub. It’s also the starting point of our walking Boston tour with kids. Wandering its streets, children can marvel at colorful storefronts displaying traditional crafts, toys, and trinkets, making for great souvenir shopping.

Food is a major highlight. From delicious dumplings to bubble teas, families can enjoy an array of authentic dishes that cater to even the most discerning young palates. Various restaurants offer menus suitable for kids, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all. If you’d like to try the food pictured below, head over to Ding Ho located at 88 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111.

walking Boston tour with kids eating Chinese food near the Tiananmen memorial
We enjoyed the playground near the paifang gate as well as some traditional Hong Kong street foods that we bought at Ding Ho located at 88 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02111.

Additionally, various festivals, such as the Lunar New Year, provide families with a chance to experience traditional performances, lion dances, and other celebratory events.

Beyond the festivities and food, Chinatown has parks like the Mary Soo Hoo Park, offering a respite for families to relax and let children play.

boys playing on playground near Chinatown

In essence, Boston’s Chinatown is not just a place to visit; it’s an immersive, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains, making it a must-see destination in the city.

Historic South Station – Family-Friendly Transit Hub

standing near South Station on a walking Boston tour

The next stop on our walking Boston tour is one of the largest transportation hubs in the northeastern U.S., its architecture and historical significance are mesmerizing. Let the kids marvel at the high ceilings and the grandeur while you soak in the history.

Boston’s South Station, a historic transportation hub, is more than just a train terminal. Its grand architecture and buzzing atmosphere make it an exciting stop for families on this walking Boston tour.

Inside, a variety of eateries cater to all tastes, ensuring kids and adults find something delicious. The station is spacious, allowing children to marvel at the comings and goings of trains, a captivating sight for young explorers.

Conveniently located, it’s a stone’s throw from many of Boston’s attractions. With clean facilities and a well-organized layout, South Station ensures you’ll have a comfortable stop along your Boston adventure.

Federal Reserve Bank Of Boston – A Glimpse Into Economic Marvel

standing outside the Federal Reserver Bank of Boston on a walking Boston tour

This towering structure is not just about economics. The interactive exhibits inside offer valuable insights about the country’s financial system in a kid-friendly manner.

Nestled within Boston’s skyline, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston stands as a beacon of the city’s financial heritage. Families visiting will be intrigued by its towering architecture, built to symbolize the strength of the U.S. economy.

Unfortunately, the bank is no longer offering public access to their interactive exhibit that offers a unique chance for kids and adults alike to explore the history of currency, understand the mechanics of the financial system, and even see real-life vaults.

But…

Hopefully they will again someday, and at that time, you’ll be able to enjoy engaging displays and hands-on activities that make the complex world of economics accessible and fun for young minds.

So at this point, a visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will essentially be only standing outside marveling at the building itself, but in any case, it’s quite an impressive feat of engineering and construction!

Boston Tea Party – A Historical Adventure For Families

Relive a pivotal moment in American history. The museum’s reenactments and interactive displays ensure an engaging experience for the whole family.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is not just a museum – it’s a time machine that whisks families back to one of the most pivotal events in American history. Located on Congress Street Bridge in Boston, it offers an interactive experience that both educates and entertains.

Kids get the chance to step aboard authentically restored tea ships, throw “tea crates” into the harbor, and immerse themselves in a riveting multi-sensory film that brings December 16, 1773, to life. Live actors, high-tech exhibits, and hands-on activities ensure that the story of the Boston Tea Party is accessible and engaging for all ages.

The museum doesn’t just recount history; it lets families live it. Children can participate in spirited colonial town meetings, interact with passionate patriots, and truly grasp the essence of American resilience and revolution. The adjacent Abigail’s Tea Room offers a cozy space for families to regroup and enjoy colonial teas and treats.

In sum, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum offers a harmonious blend of education and entertainment, making history palpable and ensuring a memorable outing for families exploring Boston’s rich heritage.

Boston Harborwalk – A Coastal Delight For Families

enjoying the Boston Harborwalk on a walking Boston tour

Stretching for miles, this scenic path offers breathtaking views of the harbor. With plenty of spots to relax, it’s perfect for a leisurely stroll with kids, making it a highlight of your walking Boston tour with kids.

Stretching for approximately 43-miles miles along the city’s waterfront, the Boston Harborwalk is a scenic pathway that promises families an enchanting coastal adventure. This linear park weaves through neighborhoods, parks, piers, and public spaces, offering unparalleled views of the Boston Harbor and the city’s skyline.

Of course, we only walked a tiny bit of it, but if you really want to stretch your legs, you’ll have plenty of path to enjoy!

For families, the Harborwalk is a playground of exploration. Kids can watch sailboats drift by, spot diverse marine life, and delight in the gentle sounds of waves lapping the shores. Strategically placed interpretive signage educates visitors about Boston’s maritime history, environmental initiatives, and the various landmarks visible from the path.

enjoying the Boston Harborwalk

Several parks and open spaces along the Harborwalk, like the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, provide ample opportunities for picnics, play, and relaxation. Family-friendly attractions, such as the New England Aquarium, are easily accessible from the path, enhancing the overall experience. The Harborwalk also features numerous seating areas, ensuring families can rest, snack, and soak in the views.

In essence, the Boston Harborwalk is more than just a path—it’s a journey that blends nature, history, and urban marvels. It’s a must-visit for families seeking a blend of relaxation, recreation, and breathtaking sights in Boston.

Boston’s Children’s Museum – An Intersection Of Learning And Play

walking Boston tour going by the Boston Children's museum

No walking Boston tour with kids is complete without a visit here. Bursting with interactive exhibits, it’s designed to inspire creativity and curiosity among children.

One of the city’s most beloved attractions, the Boston Children’s Museum stands as a testament to the wonder of hands-on learning and imaginative play. Located along the Fort Point Channel, this iconic institution has been nurturing curiosity and creativity in children for over a century.

As families step inside, they’re greeted by a maze of vibrant exhibits designed to engage kids of all ages. Whether it’s climbing the famed three-story New Balance Foundation Climb, exploring the whimsical Kid Power area, or diving into the world of bubbles in the Bubble exhibit, there’s an endless array of activities to captivate young minds.

Beyond mere entertainment, the museum’s exhibits are thoughtfully crafted to foster essential developmental skills. From the ‘Japanese House’ that offers cultural immersion to ‘Investigate’ that sparks scientific curiosity, learning opportunities abound.

Accessibility is a cornerstone of the museum’s ethos. With sensory-friendly events and a commitment to inclusivity, children of all abilities find a welcoming space to learn and play. Add to this a plethora of workshops, performances, and special events, and it’s clear why the Boston Children’s Museum is a family-friendly haven, making every visit a memorable adventure of discovery.

Martin’s Park – A Joyful Escape

a boy playing on a play structure at Martin's Park in Boston

End your tour with some fun! This inclusive park, catering to kids of all abilities, is a delightful spot for relaxation and play after a day of exploration.

Martin’s Park in South Boston was built in memory of Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Martin was just eight years old when he tragically lost his life. The Richard family and the community came together to create this park as a way to remember and honor Martin’s spirit and legacy.

The park’s design reflects the family’s vision of inclusivity, ensuring that children of all abilities can play together. The theme “Choose Kindness” and “Peace” resonates throughout the park, echoing Martin’s own message of peace, which was captured in a well-known photo of him holding a handmade sign that read, “No more hurting people. Peace.” The park stands as a symbol of resilience, hope, and the enduring power of community.

Martin’s Park, situated in the heart of South Boston’s waterfront, is a haven of fun and recreation tailored for families. Designed with the modern child in mind, this park stands out with its innovative play structures, ensuring kids of various ages have a plethora of activities to dive into.

a boy climbing up a rubberized hill at Martin's Park in Boston

One of the park’s most commendable features is its inclusivity. With equipment adapted for children with disabilities, Martin’s Park ensures every child, regardless of ability, can join in the fun. The soft, rubberized surfaces provide safety, allowing parents to relax as their kids frolic and explore.

two boys climbing on the pirate ship at Martin's Park in Boston

Shaded seating areas offer parents and guardians a comfortable spot to oversee their young ones, and water-misters make this a great stop on a hot day. Additionally, its proximity to the Harborwalk and views of the Boston Harbor enhance the experience, giving families a picturesque backdrop for their playtime.

two boys enjoying the water-misters at Martin's Park in Boston

In summary, Martin’s Park is more than just swings and slides; it’s a community space that embodies the spirit of inclusive fun, making it a family-friendly must-visit in Boston.

Places To Eat Along Our Route

Feeding hungry tummies without burning a hole in your pocket is essential. Here are some affordable, kid-friendly options:

  • Gourmet Dumpling House in Chinatown: Known for its mouthwatering dumplings.
  • South Street Diner near South Station: Classic American meals in a retro setting.
  • Barking Crab near Boston Harborwalk: Delight in seafood in a lively atmosphere.
  • Au Bon Pain near Boston’s Children’s Museum: Quick sandwiches and pastries to fuel the rest of your tour.
  • Aside from the Boston classic, Dunkin Donuts, located on nearly every corner, consider trying some of the other best donuts in Boston

Route Map – Walking Boston Tour With Kids

The red line in the maps below is the route we described above. The various pins on the map are the spots we suggest you stop along the way.

We suggest you start in Chinatown and end at Martin’s Park, but again, you can certainly complete this in the reverse order or even in an order of your own.

Also, if you’d to download this map and then use it while you’re on your own walking Boston tour, just click on of the map-file links in the top right hand corner of the map. You can choose GPX, KML, or GeoJSON.

Once you’ve downloaded our map file, you’ll need an app that can open the file. We LOVE GuruMaps for offline navigation, so we recommend you download that app and then use it to open our map file. GuruMaps completely works offline, so even though you’ll likely have great service downtown, you’ll also be able to use it when you’re off in the wilderness!

If you prefer a Google Map of our walking Boston tour with kids, we’ve got you covered too!

Walking Boston Tour With Kids – Conclusion

Boston is teeming with experiences, and this walking Boston tour with kids is the perfect way to discover them. So tie up those laces, arm the kids with maps, and embark on an unforgettable journey!

FAQs

  1. How long does the tour take?
    Approximately 3-4 hours, depending on individual pace and stops.
  2. Is the route stroller-friendly?
    Most parts of the route are, but be prepared for some crowded areas, especially in Chinatown as well as some stairs on the Harborwalk.
  3. Are there public restrooms along the way?
    Yes, particularly near major attractions like the Boston Children’s Museum and the Harborwalk.

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