Family-Friendly & Fun Things to do in Boston

Here you will find information on some family-friendly activities for exploring Boston on your own (some favorites of the Organizing Committee!).  While Boston has so much to do, here we have highlighted activities that engage with the environment and/or are easily accessible from Northeastern’s campus.  All information here was accurate as of the day of posting, but you are encouraged to visit the websites of the different vendors/organizations for more information.

Boston Harbor Islands

The Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is within easy distance of downtown – explore the numerous islands, including a fort you can tour and informational walks commemorating the impressive recovery and rebuilding of this natural resource after the opening of Deer Island Treatment Plant in 1995.  The Islands are easily accessible via ferry service from Long Wharf (at the New England Aquarium stop of the MBTA Blue Line).

WebsiteBoston Harbor Islands

Cost: Round trip ferry ticket is $24.95 (adults) / $17.95 (children over 3) – see the Harbor Islands website for more details on ferry schedules and how to purchase tickets

Arnold Arboretum

The Arnold Arboretum, managed by Harvard University, is “a museum of trees teaching the world about plants.”  This 281-acre park/preserve is open every day and entry is free!  The Arboretum is located about 3.5 miles southwest of Northeastern’s campus – accessible by bus, a 10-minute taxi/rideshare ride, or if you enjoy parks and walking, take the Green E Line from Northeastern University station to Heath Street Station and enjoy a 2-mile walk along the famous Emerald Necklace through Olmsted Park and around Jamaica Pond on your way.

WebsiteArnold Arboretum

Cost: Free!

Museum of Science, Boston

The Museum of Science is a must-visit for families with children, with both fixed and temporary exhibits on all aspects of science and engineering.  The Museum also has an IMAX theater, a planetarium, and a fantastic 3-story tall Van de Graaff generator!  The Museum of Science MBTA station is accessible on the Green Line from Northeastern University Station directly.

WebsiteMuseum of Science

Cost: $29 (adults) / $24 (children over 3) – see the Museum website for more information

Boston Duck Tours

The Boston Duck Tours will take you on a unique land-and-water historical tour of Boston and the Charles River – see it all!  The Duck Tours have 3 departure locations – the Prudential Center pickup is an easy 5-10 minute walk east of Northeastern’s campus, but leaving from the Museum of Science might be nice as an add-on to that visit!

WebsiteBoston Duck Tours

Cost: $49.99 (adults) / $35.99 (children) / $10.99 (children under 3) – see vendor website for most up-to-date and complete information

Museum of Fine Arts

Located mere blocks from Northeastern’s Campus, the Museum of Fine Arts houses a large and diverse collection of art from around the world.  Visiting exhibits provide opportunity to engage with new art on a rotation basis – the exhibit “Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence” will be at the MFA through July 15, 2023.

WebsiteMuseum of Fine Arts

Cost: General admission $27 (adults) / $10 (children age 7-17) – special exhibits have additional cost (see Museum website for details)

Boston Children's Museum

The Children’s Museum has several stories of hands-on activities for kids of all ages to explore, play, and be creative with a focus on STEAM and education.  The Museum has two “windows” for entry each day (9am-noon and 1:30-4:30pm), and advance reservation of tickets is strongly recommended.  The Children’s Museum is an easy walk from the MBTA Red Line South Station, a direct connection from Ruggles Station on Northeastern Campus using the MBTA Commuter Rail.

WebsiteChildren’s Museum

Cost: $20 (adults and all children age 1+) – see Museum website to purchase tickets