Skip to Content

36 Fun Things To Do In Boston, MA & Best Places To Visit

Known for baseball, bars, and the backdrop for many movies and television shows, Boston also has a rich and vibrant history, along with a variety of activities that will please you, your family, and friends.

Boston is home to zoos, historical landmarks, unique and exceptional markets, and fun-filled outdoor activities, making it a fantastic city to visit and immerse yourself in, whether it be for a day or an extended stay.

With over 22 million visitors flocking to the city from all around the world each year, the city is known for its interesting locales and experiences.

Whether you are in the mood to visit the famous Fenway Park or would prefer to tour the historical side of the city, Boston offers something for everyone, young and old.

You will be charmed by the city’s mix of old and new architecture, its scenic water views, and lively nightlife that is anything but ordinary.

Below, you will find a list of the fun things to do in Boston, ensuring you not only have an entertaining visit but a fulfilling one as well.

Since 1631, Boston has been making history, influencing the course of the United States, and shaping its politics by creating key civic institutions and being home to many of the United States’ foremost leaders.

Things to do In Boston:

1. Walk the Freedom Trail – The Freedom Trail Foundation

Márcio Cabral de Moura | Flickr

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $16.00, Seniors and Students: $14.00, Children: $8.00, Ages 6 and Under: Free

Address: 204 Freedom Trail, Boston, MA 02113

  • Allow 90 minutes for tour
  • Approximately 1 mile
  • Family-friendly

One of Boston’s most popular and engaging attractions, the Freedom Trail is a beloved walk through Boston.

If you’d like to walk the trail yourself, of course, you’re welcome to do so, but taking a tour with the Freedom Trail Foundation is truly an opportunity that should not be missed.

The foundation will provide you with a guide, dressed in the style of the 18th century, who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about giving visitors the most educational and interesting tour possible.

As you make your way along the red-lined path through Boston, you will encounter and learn about historical sites, such as churches, meetinghouses, burial grounds, and museums, each one adding to the story of Boston.

Take the time to notice the details markers along the way, each one indicating where a significant site is located, be it a landmark, monument, or historical event.

As you explore each landmark and site, your guide will help you understand the importance of each place and the people who were a part of Boston’s history that helped shape the nation.

With 16 sites along the trail, you and your family will walk away with not only a better appreciation of Boston’s rich history but also an unforgettable memory.

2. Faneuil Hall – Boston National Historical Park

Jorge Salcedo | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: Freedom Trail, Boston, MA 02109

  • Open Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Maps available
  • Family-friendly

Often called “The Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall has been a meeting place in Boston for the past 275 years, hosting protests, debates, and vitally important meetings that influenced the ways in which the United States formed.

As you visit the hall, you will stand upon the same spots that abolitionists, women’s suffragists, and labor unionists did throughout history as you learn about their actions and words.

Still used for much the same reasons today, the Faneuil Hall is a revered and respected landmark in the city of Boston, with visitors coming to learn about the historical figures who once graced the hall, such as Samuel Adams and James Otis.

As a continuing center of Boston’s civic and social life, the hall is famous for playing a part in the Boston Tea Party, the Stamp Act of 1765, and many other historic events.

After visiting the small souvenir shop on the first floor of the hall, you will want to make your way to the upper levels, where guides give in-depth accounts of the historical happenings in the hall, allowing you to look around at your leisure.

As one of the most important landmarks in not only Boston but also the United States, you will not want to miss a visit to Faneuil Hall.

3. The Harvard Museum of Natural History

StudioGShock | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $15.00, Seniors: $13.00, Students and Children: $10.00, Ages 3 and Under: Free

Address: 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

  • Open daily, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 3 hours

If you are looking for a museum that not only educates but also holds the interest of you and your family, The Harvard Museum of Natural History is a perfect choice.

Located near Boston at Harvard University, the museum is housed in the impressive and grand University Museum Building.

As you make your way through the many exhibits displayed at the museum, there are a few on hand that are must-see.

The Glass Flowers exhibit is one of the most famous displays on offer at the museum, astounding visitors daily as they view the absolutely magnificent and life-like creations.

From 1886 to 1936, the glass flowers were created by a Czech father and his son, using a method that is still a secret today and producing 4,300 glass models that represent 780 plant species.

Another unique experience at the museum is The Rockefeller Beetles Collection, a personal collection of famous philanthropist David Rockefeller.

The collection contains hundreds of beetles and recounts the story of Rockefeller and his lifelong passion.

While at the museum, you also won’t want to miss out on the other exhibits that hale from all around the world, showcasing the wildlife of countries such as Asia and Africa.

With so much to offer, the museum is a great place to visit while in Boston.

4. USS Constitution Museum

2p2play | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry Ticket: Adults: $10.00, Children: $5.00

Address: Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 02129

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 2 hours

For visitors that are searching for a unique historical tour experience near and around Boston, the USS Constitution Museum is an experience that is not only popular but a great way to spend time with your family.

The museum creates a one-of-a-kind tour with its commitment to spark excitement in visitors about the heritage of the naval service and the American experience.

As you make your way through the museum, you will be able to enjoy viewing numerous collections that highlight the history of the commander of the USS Constitution, the ship itself. 

You will also have the opportunity to view soldiers’ weapons, displays that give information about life at sea, and the battles the ship engaged in along with many more exhibits.

You will also be able to board the spectacular warship itself, immersing yourself in not only its beauty but feeling as though you have stepped back in time as you tour both the lower and upper decks of the ship.

You and your kids will also be delighted by the interactive activities offered by the museum, ranging from activity books to games.

The USS Constitution Museum is a rare opportunity to visit a historical piece of Boston that will be sure to please everyone.

5. Boston Bike Tour – Urban AdvenTours

2p2play | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $100.00, Children: $60.00

Address: 103 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110

  • Book ahead of time
  • Family-friendly

Explore 6 Boston neighborhoods on this bike tour as you visit numerous historical and cultural landmarks throughout the city with the help of Urban AdvenTours.

For a fun outdoor activity, this tour will lead you from busy downtown Boston to the breathtaking views of the Charles River.

You will be able to view famous Boston sites, such as Boston Common, Fenway Park, and the Long Wharf, known for its spectacular views of the city.

If you are uncomfortable cycling through the bustling downtown area, Urban AdvenTours also offers a tour that runs exclusively on bike paths, allowing you to enjoy sights such as the historic Charlestown Navy Yard and the Museum of Science.

Either way, you will be able to immerse yourself in the culture, history and charming atmosphere of Boston, with ample opportunities to ask your guide questions, take pictures, and enjoy the scenery.

Enjoy the outdoors as you view the spectacular city of Boston, letting yourself relax and unwind with a Boston bike tour.

6. Salem Witch Museum

Wangkun Jia | Shutterstock

Rating: 3.9★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $16.50, Seniors: $15.00, Children: $13.50, Ages 3 and Under: Free

Address: 19 ½ North Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970

  • Open daily, 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Wednesdays, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 1 hour

Located approximately 35 minutes outside of Boston, The Salem Witch Museum is dedicated to educating visitors about the witch trials of Salem that occurred in 1692.

While the museum tour can be an emotional one, recounting the stories of many of the men and women accused of witchcraft, it is nevertheless fascinating and informative.

The museum offers numerous exhibits, including paintings, stories, illustrations, and stage recreations of the trials.

Sitting on the edge of Salem Square, the museum’s impressive building is worth seeing also.

Once housing the Second Unitarian Church of Salem in the mid-nineteenth century, the building’s architecture is both unique and beautiful.

For an educational and impressive museum tour that showcases a rarely discussed subject of American history, the Salem Witch Museum is an opportunity for a unique experience.

7. Franklin Park Zoo

Keith J Finks | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $22.95, Seniors: $20.95, Children: $15.95, Ages 2 and Under: Free

Address: 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA 02121

  • Open daily, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Kid-friendly

Among the many fun things to do in Boston with kids, the Franklin Park Zoo is one of the best.

Located in Boston’s historic Franklin Park on 72 acres, the zoo has numerous habitats with a variety of animals you and your kids will love to experience.

Visit the tropical forest area, where you will be able to see animals such as gorillas, lemurs, sloths, and anteaters.

You’ll also want to take your child on a tour of the children’s museum, a delightful experience, as they can get up close to adorable red pandas, spotted turtles, and geese.

While at the zoo, you also won’t want to miss out on the outback trail, where you can view kiwis, ostriches and the Australian aviary.

From butterflies to lions, visitors to the zoo are both educated and entertained as they discover some of the most beautiful animals in the world.

8. Quincy Market

Albert Pego | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 206 South Market Street, Boston, MA 02109

  • Open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sunday, noon – 6:00 pm
  • Family-friendly

Near Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market, a historic building that was erected in 1826 and named for Boston mayor Josiah Quincy.

You’ll love spending a morning or afternoon here exploring or looking for that perfect souvenir in one of the largest market complexes in the United States.

Now used as a place for shopping, restaurants, buskers, and even a comedy club, this market is the perfect example of how Boston merges the past with the present.

As you stroll through the market for shopping or food, you won’t be able to forget that you’re in a historic landmark, with the two-story building’s domed roof and architecture reminiscent of the Roman empire.

There are even free tours given of Quincy Market, allowing you to learn about the history of the site as you browse shops.

For an entertaining and lively place to visit in Boston, make your way to Quincy Market.

9. Spectacle Island

Lua Carlos Martins | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Ferry ticket: Adults: $25.00, Seniors: $23.00, Children: $18.00

Address: Located 4 miles offshore from downtown Boston

  • Open Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
  • Pet-friendly
  • Ferry ride from Boston Harbor

Begin your journey to Spectacle Island on a short but scenic ferry ride, followed by enjoying the views from the island and all the activities it has to offer.

The small island is a public park that you will love exploring, whether it be by hiking along provided trails, taking photographs of the Boston skyline, or going for a swim after touring the beach that is abundant with sea glass.

The island also offers food and drink at cafes and concession stands, making it easy to go for a picnic. 

You’ll want to stop by the Spectacle Island visitor center, where you can tour the exhibit area that showcases the history of the island, from the Native American habitation of the area to life there during the 19th century.

Along with the visitor center, you will learn numerous facts and trivia about the island along the trails that provide informational plaques.

Spectacle Island is a great outdoor activity for anyone visiting Boston.

10. Sunset Cruise – Classic Harbor Line Boston

@Classic Harbor Line-Boston

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $47.25/person

Address: 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

  • Reservation Required
  • Allow 2 hours

If you’re searching for the perfect date idea while in Boston, you won’t be disappointed with a sunset cruise provided by Classic Harbor Line Boston.

You will be able to relax and enjoy the spectacular views as the sun turns from blue to a mixture of orange and red, while sipping a cocktail provided by the yacht’s bar.

Not only will you be able to experience the romantic and breathtaking atmosphere, but the crew will also act as a casual tour guide, providing you will light commentary regarding the harbor’s sites.

Pass by historical ships, famous buildings, and monuments while music plays as the yacht passes such places as Castle Island, the Mystic Tobin Bridge, and the USS Constitution.

Enjoy the amenities and views aboard the beautiful 1920s-style yacht, complete with anything you could need, from food to a climate-controlled cabin.

An exceptional experience, a sunrise tour through Boston harbor is as unforgettable as it is beautiful.

11. Old State House

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $15.00, Seniors and Students: $14.00, Children: $8.00

Address: 206 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02109

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Kid-friendly

The Old State House is an invaluable piece of both Boston and U.S. history, having been home to many notable events, such as the Boston Massacre and the first public reading of The Declaration of Independence.

You will be able to explore the Old State House in a variety of entertaining ways that will hold the interest of both adults and children.

For children, the Old State House provides interactive exhibits where kids can practice stitching on John Hancock’s coat or smell the Great Molasses Flood of 1919.

While on your tour, you will be able to visit the council chamber, where you can sit and immerse yourself in the history of American independence, imagining the political leaders of the time discussing the country’s liberty.

Learn just how Massachusetts played a pivotal role in shaping America as you peruse artifacts and interactive maps that highlight events from the occupation of British soldiers to the Boston Massacre.

With many other exhibits and events available, the Old State House is one of the most fascinating tours of Boston.

12. Martha’s Vineyard

Joaquin Ossorio Castillo | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Ferry ticket: Starting at $16.00

Address: Martha’s Vineyard, MA

  • 3-hours travel from Boston, including 40-minute ferry ride
  • Family-friendly
  • One island, six towns

Although a 3-hour trip from Boston, the time it takes to get to Martha’s Vineyard is worth it, especially with a 40-minute ferry ride that has some of the best views New England has to offer.

Once you do arrive at Martha’s Vineyard, you will be able to do a number of fun and relaxing activities, from camping in a log cabin, renting a bicycle to explore the island, visiting the many charming lighthouses, and taking your children to see the oldest carousel in America.

Whether you are going to the island for a quick excursion or an extended visit, Martha’s Vineyard has some of the greatest activities and sights to be seen near Boston.

Stop by one of the many charming cafes or restaurants on the island and sample classic New England dishes while you relax and enjoy the classic views.

Known for its romantic and quaint atmosphere, Martha’s Vineyard is a must-see for many visitors who take advantage of the antebellum-style accommodations, pastoral hikes, and rich art culture.

For a memorable and special trip, make sure you take the time to visit Martha’s Vineyard.

13. Beacon Hill Tour – Boston By Foot

Boston By Foot, Boston | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $15.00, Children: $8.00, Ages 6 and Under: Free

87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108

  • Reservation Required
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 2 hours for tour

For a truly immersive history experience and one of the top things to do in Boston., you’ll want to take a tour of Beacon Hill offered by Boston By Foot

This tour will lead you through the streets of Beacon Hill as you not only enjoy the charming architecture but also learn about its connection to the politics of Boston.

Your guide will inform you about the general history of the area along with passing on stories about the fight for social justice in Boston communities, eccentric Boston natives who made their mark on American history, and the American architect responsible for much of Boston’s beautiful buildings.

After the tour, you will have the added treat of tasting fine New England cuisine at a charming local restaurant.

So, get to know one of Boston’s oldest and most important neighborhoods while relaxing and enjoying the culture of the city.

14. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Sneaky Buddy | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $18.00, Seniors and Students: $12.00, Children: $10.00, Veterans: $8.00 – $14.00, Ages 12 and Under: Free

Address: 100 William T Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125

  • Open Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 3 hours

Dedicated to the 35th president of the United States, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a vital part of not only American history but the history of Massachusetts and one of the most famous families in the United States.

To gain a better understanding of American presidential history, this library and museum is a great opportunity for visitors to Boston.

Tour the exhibits here, gaining a deeper understanding of American politics and President Kennedy as you learn about his early life, presidential career, relationship with the press, and his creation of the peace corps, perhaps his most lasting legacy.

You will also have the opportunity to view gifts given to President Kennedy and the First Lady during his service in office, such as a gold purse given by the King of Morrocco to Mrs. Kennedy and a bust of Buddha the King of Afghanistan gifted to the president.

With a wealth of knowledge and exhibits, a visit to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is something you won’t want to miss while in Boston.

15. Fenway Park Tour – Boston Red Sox MLB

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $15.00

Address: 4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA 02215

  • Tour Schedule daily, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 1 hour for tour
  • Open year-round

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, there is no denying that Fenway Park is more than just a ballpark.

First opened in 1912, it has been referred to by sports enthusiasts as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark,” with spectacular views and rich history.

While many choose to see the ballpark from the stands during a game, you can take a tour of the park with a guide who will ensure your visit is an amazing experience.

Take in the view from the Green Monster, the nickname given to the left-field wall that stands 37-feet high, and tour the park’s roof deck where the entire ballpark will be within your line of sight.

You’ll view exhibits and learn about some of the park’s most famous legends, such as Cy Young, Ted Williams, and Smokey Joe Wood.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at one of baseball’s iconic parks and gain a new perspective of the game. 

16. Public Garden

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 4 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02116

For a chance to unwind and enjoy nature, head to the Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in the United States.

Stroll meandering pathways through the garden, enjoying the Victorian design that includes colorful plants and exotic trees.

Along the way, you will be able to enjoy the lagoon, the monuments, fountains, and swan boats that have been in use for over a century.

Breathe in the fresh air and leave your troubles behind, letting the serene 24 acres of the garden carry your troubles away.

Take in the scenery from the bridge that crosses over the pond, with ducks and swans floating leisurely on its surface.

After a pleasant walk through the park, you may want to sit under one of the many shade trees, varying from weeping willows to ginkgo trees.

A truly remarkable botanical garden, it is even utilized in the winter months, when the pond freezes and ice skaters are welcome to come and play.

For a beautiful experience, the Public Garden is one of the free things to do in Boston in summer or winter.

17. Boston Children’s Museum

The museum is a children’s museum in Boston, Massachusetts, dedicated to the education of children. Jay Yuan | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: $18.00

Address: 308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

Founded in 1913, Boston’s Children’s Museum is the second oldest children’s museum in the world and is dedicated to instilling in children a better appreciation of the world.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Boston with the kids, this museum will delight both you and your children with its vast and diverse collections.

With interactive exhibits like the Japanese house, where you can immerse yourself in a recreated Japanese street scene, children and adults alike will gain a better understanding of the world around us.

A popular and exciting exhibit, Explore-a-saurus invites children and their families to become scientists for a day, exploring what makes dinosaurs so compelling.

Among these fun exhibits is the art lab, where children are free and encouraged to express themselves.

Also on hand is the Common Room, with various activities that will spark children’s creativity and excitement with shadow boxes, musical chairs, and design tables.

With so much to offer, this museum is a great place to visit with your kids while you are in Boston.

18. Boston Common

F11photo | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address:115 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

  • Family-friendly
  • Pet-friendly

While in Boston, a must-see for visitors is Boston Common, one of the most historically important sites in the United States.

Established in 1634, this now-green and beautiful area was once an eight-year-encampment for the British Redcoats, a celebration locale for George Washington, and a meeting place for both Civil War recruitment and abolitionists.

Even in modern times, the common has held great political influence, with civil rights rallies and Vietnam War protests.

Today, Boston Common includes ballfields and the Frog Pond, cool water in the summer, and an ice-skating area in the winter, giving you and your family numerous activities to choose from during your visit.

Enjoy the park and have a picnic or catch up on your reading before exploring and learning the rich American history of the city with a visit to Boston Common.

19. The Paul Revere House

Zack Frank | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $5.00, Seniors and Students: $4.50, Children: $1.00, Ages 5 and Under: Free

Address: 19 North Square, Boston, MA 02113

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 5:15 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 1 hour

For a great experience at one of Boston’s most famous historical sites, head to The Paul Revere House, a three-story wooden house that was once home to the famous patriot.

The building is the oldest house in Boston and holds exhibits displaying re-creations of life during Revere’s life, dioramas, and weapons.

Walking outside of the house, you’ll be able to view the Revere Bell, which was created in 1804.

You will feel like you’ve stepped back in time, exploring various displays pertaining to the life of Paul Revere, his important role in history, and the impact he had on Boston.

Peruse plaques and books that will give you not only facts but trivia about Paul Revere, and the city he called home.

Most school children have a general idea of who Paul Revere was but a visit to The Paul Revere house will give you a deeper and more meaningful understanding of this patriot.

20. Pub Crawl Tour – Boston Crawling, LLC

@Boston Crawling

Rating: 4.9★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $50.00

Address: 82 Lansdowne Street, Boston, MA 02215

  • Reservation required
  • Must be over the age of 21
  • Allow 2 ½ hours

One thing Boston is well known for is its bars and pubs.

Among the fun things to do in Boston at night, is a pub crawl tour with Boston Crawling, LLC, a company that shares its knowledge with guests, showing them not only a fun time but an experience that lets them soak in Boston culture.

As you make your way from bar to bar along the famous Freedom Trail, your guide will entertain you with stories of the secret history Boston holds.

Sip and relax as you learn about how beer has influenced famous American events, from the landing on Plymouth Rock to the Boston Massacre.

While on the tour, you’ll be able to sample beers you won’t find anywhere else and experience historic taverns.

Let yourself unwind during your visit with a pub crawl that has a twist of history.

21. Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour – Silverscreen Tours

@Parkway Community YMCA

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $36.00

Address: Boston, MA

  • Tours depart Thursday through Saturday at 10:00 am
  • Allow 1 ½ hours
  • Family-friendly

Boston is the famous backdrop to many iconic movies and television shows, so why not feel like you’ve stepped into the set of a film by taking the Boston Movie Mile Tour by Silverscreen Tours?

Explore the most filmed area of Boston while your tour guide gives you behind-the-scenes information about some of your favorite films and shows.

The tour begins in Boston Common and makes its way to over 30 film and TV locations, where you will be able to interact with some of the sites made famous by well-known scenes filmed in the city.

You can stop by Bull and Finch Club (Cheers) and have a drink, view the famous street from the movie Blown Away, or even sit on the park bench from Good Will Hunting.

Along the way, you will also view famous historical landmarks and the most photographed street in Boston.

So, take some time to step away from the real world and take a Boston Movie Mile Tour.

22. Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston

2p2play | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: $50.40

Address: 200 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110

  • Open year-round
  • Hop-on hop-off tour
  • Over 100 points of interest

For a charming way to sightsee in Boston, Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston is a great option for you and your family.

Sit back and enjoy the tour on the double-decker ride provided, along with a knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide that will provide you with facts and trivia about the historical sites you will see.

During your tour, you will be able to get out and explore 18 locations, such as the Seaport District, the historic North End, and the Paul Revere House.

You will learn about the American Revolution and the history of Boston’s political climate as you walk along the same steps as soldiers and notable Boston residents.

With an educational adventure awaiting, make sure to put Old Town Trolley Tours on your list of best things to do in Boston.

23. Boston Symphony Orchestra

Joseph Sohm | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $25.00

Address: 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

  • Rotating events and concerts
  • Book in advance

Whether you are a music aficionado, history buff, or interested in the local culture and architecture of Boston, a visit to Boston Symphony Orchestra is an enchanting experience.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s inaugural concert was in 1881 and has continued since then to delight visitors from everywhere with its world-renowned music and breathtaking concert hall.

You can attend a concert or take a tour of the hall, either experience sure to please as you immerse yourself in the history and beauty of the symphony and the building it calls home.

Visitors flock to the symphony’s concerts, which are known for having a variety of styles to suit everyone, from jazz to big band and even indie rock.

Built in 1900, the symphony hall was modeled after a symphony hall that was destroyed in World War II in Leipzig, Germany, making it as interesting as it is beautiful.

While in the hall, you will be able to admire the Greek and Roman statues throughout the structure, along with the coffered ceiling and the hall’s organ that was installed in 1949.

As you tour the hall, you will be able to find small points of interest as well, such as the fascinating story behind the plaque bearing Beethoven’s name and the “BMH” you will discover in the stairwell.

For a classic and one-of-a-kind Boston experience, take a trip to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

24. Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

GagliardiPhotography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110

  • Pet-friendly
  • Near Faneuil Hall

Located on the Boston Harbor, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is one of the oldest waterfront parks in the United States and includes a playground, performance area, and vibrant green lawns.

With climbing activities available, along with spectacular views of the waterfront and large areas for kids to run and play, the park is a great place to visit with your children or relax and unwind during your visit to Boston.

Take in the lovely rose garden that is dedicated to Rose Kennedy, have a peaceful picnic, or sit under a shade tree to read a book and enjoy the serene atmosphere.

Enjoy the beautiful hanging wisteria, or just sit and people watch as you sip a cup of coffee and appreciate the refreshing breeze coming off the water.

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is the perfect place to relax and let the kids play while in Boston.

25. Boston Ghosts

Zane Vergara | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $31.49

Address: 265 Franklin Street #1702, Boston, MA 02110

  • Book in advance
  • Pet-friendly
  • Paranormal equipment available
  • Allow 90 minutes

If you’re in search of the spookier side of Boston, look no further than a ghost tour provided by Boston Ghosts.

Boston Ghosts will take you through downtown Boston, revealing the most haunted spots the city has to offer.

Your guide will help you explore not only the history of Boston but also the paranormal world that lurks beneath the surface.

Known for finding the best haunted tour spots, Boston Ghosts is committed to giving its guests a one-of-a-kind, authentic, and chilling experience.

You will be visiting only spots that have been exhaustively researched, ensuring that your one-mile walking tour will be unforgettable.

Visit Boston Common and learn its grisly history, explore Old South Meeting House, and view the Omni Parker House as your guide regales you with haunting stories.

A fun and unique experience, Boston Ghosts is a fascinating way to spend some time in Boston.

26. Bunker Hill Self-guided Tour – Boston, National Park Service

The Bunker Hill Monument memorializes one of the most notable battles in the formative years of the republic. William Silver | Shutterstock

Rating: 5★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: Monument Square, Charlestown, MA 02129

  • Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Family-friendly

Almost everyone has heard of “The Battle of Bunker Hill,” but to learn more about this important piece of history, the National Park Service provides a variety of ways to explore and discover the well-known site.

The spot where New England soldiers first faced the British Army, Bunker Hill is now home to monuments and a museum dedicated to the brave actions of the American battalion.

Housed in a section of the Boston Public Library, you can visit the museum, where you will discover exhibits that showcase the Bunker Hill battlefield, the leaders and politicians involved in the event, and the art, monuments, and books dedicated to that historic moment.

Immerse yourself in history by visiting the monuments on the grounds of Bunker Hill and learn about the building of its obelisk.

The National Park Service offers a variety of ways to experience your time here, with a self-guided audio tour, views from webcams mounted atop the obelisk, or simply peruse the site as park staff is on-hand to answer any of your questions.

27. Stone Zoo

Simon Annable | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.3★

Entry Ticket: $21.00

Address: 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA 02180

  • Open weekdays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Kid-friendly
  • Open year-round

For a fun day with the kids, Stone Zoo is a wonderful place to visit near Boston that has a great deal to see and explore.

Only 18 minutes from downtown Boston, the zoo has numerous habitats to tour as your make your way through the grounds.

Stop by the Barnyard to pet some cute goats and check out a Guinea Hog, then make your way over to the Himalayan Highlands, where you will be able to see a beautiful snow leopard or a Black-Necked Crane.

At the Animal Discovery Center, your children will be thrilled with the up-close experience of turtles, frogs, and snakes.

Go on an excursion to the Stone Zoo, where you and your family will have a great time.

28. Castle Island

Darryl Brooks | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 2010 William J Day Boulevard, Boston, MA 02127

  • Open daily, 6:30 am – 7:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Pet-friendly

A great way to spend the day outdoors for the whole family, a visit to Castle Island will leave you feeling refreshed and fulfilled.

With numerous activities available on the island, everyone in your family will be able to find something entertaining and interesting to do.

Take a tour of Fort Independence and learn about its history, immersing yourself in the atmosphere as you tour the walls of the fort that was the harbor defense for Boston.

Afterward, take a leisurely stroll around the island, enjoying the views and wildlife, or take advantage of the many beaches Castle Island has to offer, going for or swim or relaxing in the sand.

Everyone will enjoy a visit to Castle Island, the perfect place to unwind and get some fresh air.

29. LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Sergey Kohl | Shutterstock

Rating: 4★

Entry Ticket:  $24.99

Address: 598 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145

  • Open daily, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Kid-friendly
  • Allow 3 hours

One of the best things to do in Boston with the kids, LEGOLAND Discovery Center is filled with rides, a play area, 4D cinema, and even a mini Lego model of Boston.

Take your kids to see a LEGO movie, where the theater comes to life, completely immersing you and your child in the world of the movie with weather effects and 3D visuals.

You and your child can also check out Merlin’s Apprentice Ride or zap skeletons in the Kingdom Quest attraction.

Also essential to your visit is the LEGO store, where you can find almost any and every LEGO set on the market.

Your kids will be delighted with a trip to this play center, ensuring they have a great time in Boston.

30. Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & Beyond

Kathy | Flickr

Rating: 4.4★

Entry Ticket: Starting at $12.99

Address: 206 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116

  • Reservation required
  • Allow 2 hours
  • Pet-friendly
  • 2.3 miles of walking

Tour Boston in a unique and exciting way with Boston Scavenger Hunt: Back Bay & Beyond, where you will explore the city while completing tasks.

Starting in the historical area of Clarendon Street, you will make your way through Boston as you take on photo challenges and search for clues.

During your scavenger hunt, you will walk through beautiful tree-line city squares, tour Trinity Church and explore Boston Public Library.

If you get stuck and don’t know where to go next, don’t worry, a guide is right there with you to help you along the way.

So, experience the city of Boston by trying a fun and unusual activity that will give you a fantastic adventure.

31. Old North Church

Diego Grandi | Shutterstock

Rating:4.6★

Entry Ticket: $5.00

Address: 193 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

  • Open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Sunday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Family-friendly

Old North Church is a wonderful piece of Boston history that you should take the opportunity to tour while in the city.

Famous for the 1775 event of two lanterns being held in the steeple to signal that the “British are coming,” the church site marked the beginning of the American Revolution.

During your guided tour, you will be able to view and hear the eight bells the church boasts, one with a memorable inscription from 1744.

The tour also provides the opportunity for visitors to view the resting place of many notable Boston residents, such as John Pitcairn and the captain of the USS Constitution, Samuel Nicholson.

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience one of the top things to do in Boston. 

32. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Interior of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. LnP images | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $20.00, Seniors: $18.00, Students: $13.00

Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115

  • Open Wednesday through Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Allow 2 hours

For a museum experience like no other, you will find no better than the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The museum was constructed under the direction of Isabella and her husband, the was building completed in 1901, at which time she moved into the living quarters of the museum and began personally arranging the galleries that would house her massive collection.

Among the numerous items on display are paintings, sculptures, furniture, and rare books, each painstakingly chosen by the museum’s namesake.

You will be able to view oil paintings of Isabella herself, religious statues, an Egyptian manuscript page from 1354, and Chinese artifacts dating back to 206 B.C., along with many other pieces from around the world.

Enter the world of Isabella Stewart Gardner at this museum and be transported to an enchanting time in history.

33. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

View of Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum over Fort Point Channel under blue sky in downtown Boston, USA. Mark Zhu | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $31.95, Children: $23.95, Ages 4 and Under: Free

Address: 306 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

  • Open Thursday through Monday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 1 hour for tour

Not only educational, the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is also an exciting experience, allowing visitors to step back in time through interactive exhibits.

You and your family will have a fun-filled time as you take part in a colonial town meeting, throw tea from an 18th-century sailing vessel, and meet the Sons and Daughters of Liberty as you learn about the Boston Tea Party of 1773.

During your visit, you will also be able to experience 3D reenactments, watch a documentary about Paul Revere’s infamous ride, and sip tea in Abigail’s Tea Room.

This museum is one of the best things to do in Boston, with an exciting experience waiting for you and your family.

34. New England Aquarium

CL-Medien | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5★

Entry Ticket: Adults: $32.00, Seniors: $30.00, Children: $23.00, Ages 3 and Under: Free

Address: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

  • Open daily, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Family-friendly
  • Allow 2 hours

Your entire family will enjoy a visit to this aquarium, where thousands of aquatic animals can be seen by visitors.

You’ll be delighted as you tour the New England Aquarium, viewing penguins, sea lions, and various species of ocean fish.

Be sure to experience the thrill of the largest touch tank on the East Coast that is host to sharks and rays.

The Giant Ocean Tank is a spectacular attraction, boasting a four-story coral reef home that shelters hundreds of Caribbean Sea creatures, including turtles.

You and your family will learn about marine life as you tour an exhibit that showcases the Olympus Coast National Marine Sanctuary, displaying beautiful eels, fish, and the Pacific Octopus, the largest species of its kind.

For a trip that will be sure to make everyone happy, plan a visit to this one-of-a-kind aquarium.

35. Judson B. Coit Observatory

@Boston University MET International

Rating: 3.9★

Entry Ticket: Free

Address: 800 Boylston Street #50, Boston, MA 02199

  • Public access every Wednesday night
  • Family-friendly
  • Reserve free tickets in advance

Go stargazing at the Judson B. Coit Observatory, a part of Boston University’s Department of Astronomy.

Not only does the university allow the public to have access to their telescopes and binoculars once a week, but best of all, it’s free.

Take your kids and family to this rooftop experience and be amazed as you look into the night sky, spotting planets, getting an up-close view of the moon, and discovering new and exciting things in the cosmos.

Visiting this observatory while you’re in Boston is a special and unique activity for everyone.

36. Gore Place

@Source | Myriam Michel Alexis

Rating: 4.6★

Entry Ticket: $16.00

Address: 52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA 02453

  • Family-friendly
  • Kid-friendly
  • Allow 1 hour for tour

Only 40 minutes outside of Boston, Gore Place will transport you from the bustling city to the more delicate and refined world of a country estate.

Located on 50 acres of land and boasting a beautiful grand mansion, Gore Place offers numerous activities year-round.

During your tour, you will be able to peruse the restored carriages of the estate, stroll through the many opulent and breathtaking rooms of the mansion, and admire the lovely paths that meander along the estate’s property.

You can also take a tour of the iconic trees that the estate is home to, a great activity for the kids also, as your guide will be educating visitors about the science, history, and difference between the many tree species on the grounds.

Another great activity for kids is the nature playscape provided by the estate, where children can explore and make discoveries under the guidance of on-site educators.

If you are in Boston during the snowy months, Gore Place is a great place to go, as they offer snowshoeing adventures that are one of the top things to do in Boston in the winter. 

Let yourself get away from it all with a visit to Gore Place, a charming and quaint spot near Boston.