My Ultimate Guide to Boston with Toddlers

boston guide with toddler

After our three-day trip to NYC we hopped in a rental car with friends and took a quick-ish road trip to Boston. Husband and his best friend had tickets to PAX East  (the Penny Arcade Expo), so  the wives and Luna planned to have a girls’ weekend exploring Boston. While, I was a little sad that Husband missed out on our Boston adventures (he was NOT even the slightest bit sad), we still managed to have a blast! I’ve never been to Boston, so I was thrilled to explore any and everywhere, but I did want to make sure it was somewhat child-centered. Every trip with a toddler is fun IF said toddler is happy. Lucky for us, Luna is a great traveler and is happy in most new places.

We started off by walking a little of the Freedom Trail, starting at the train station and heading to Faneuil Hall Marketplace for some breakfast and shopping. After stuffing our faces, we followed the little brick path (the Freedom Trail, so easy to follow!) to the Old State House and site of the infamous Boston Massacre. Now, some of you will probably roll your eyes and think I’m an inconsiderate ass (and maybe I am), but for whatever reason, we thought it would be HYSTERICAL to have Luna lie down on the site of the massacre  and take a photo.

“Luna, go lie down and pretend to go night night!”

“okay, Mama!”

It was just too easy! We got a lot of laughs and a few weird looks from passerby, totally worth it.

boston massacre

After reenacting the massacre (which is kind of educational, right?), we were on the hunt for Mother Goose’s burial site. First stop was King’s Chapel Burying Ground. It’s Boston’s first proper cemetery, but no Mother Goose. Next was Granary Burying Ground   Here we found Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock AND Mary Goose (AKA Mother Goose), who is likely NOT the Mother Goose, but there’s a little chance so we’ll just go with it.  After the cemeteries, we headed to the beautiful parks…the Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden. These parks were in full bloom and gorgeous. Luna played on one of the playgrounds, we all had some frozen treats and took a relaxing and inexpensive ride on the swan boats.

public garden swan boats

Day 2 was Harvard Day!!!! My only goal this day was to walk around campus and pretend to be the Gilmore Girls. I did google a few “must-do’s” to check off our list…

#1 Walk through the Harvard gates. Namely, the one that says, “Enter to grow in wisdom” at the top as you enter, and “Depart To Serve better Thy Country and Mankind” as you exit.

Harvard gates

#2 Rub John Harvard’s left shoe. There is a mistaken belief  that Harvard students do this as tradition, but it’s really just tourists. John Harvard is just one of the founders of Harvard University and this statue isn’t even a replica of him because no one knows what he actually looked like!

john harvard's toe

#3 Visit the Coop, Harvard’s largest campus store. We just happened to get there right as children’s hour was starting. It was Passover weekend, so they read a couple of books about Passover and did an arts and crafts project. They even provided snacks and drinks! It was perfect for all of us. We bought books, perused the merchandise section and even had some coffee.

the coop harvard

#4 Check out the world’s only Curious George store! Luna’s latest obsession is Curious George, so how perfect is it that the only store IN THE WORLD is located right across the street from the Coop??? It was adorable and I clearly had to get Luna plush George, which she immediately used to jump in a muddy puddle and then lost the next day… And, because I’m a sucker, I ordered a new one immediately from Amazon Prime. #worthit

curious george

We had lunch together at Pinocchio’s Pizza and Subs because we heard it was old and famous. It was fine, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to experience it.

Pinocchio's pizza boston

We left Cambridge with enough time to get to and tour the Isabella Steward Gardener Museum back in Boston. This museum is somewhat toddler friendly. You can roam around and touch many things. It’s beautiful, interesting and has a really nice garden, but there’s also several things you are not allowed to touch. If you have a toddler, then you know they do not exactly understand “you can touch this, but NOT that”. Overall, it was still worth it to take Luna.

"Excuse me mam, but she is not actually allowed to climb on that."
“Excuse me mam, but she is not actually allowed to climb on that.”

That evening, after a long walk through the city, we found ourselves at the New England Aquarium. It was closing time, and we had no intention of going in, so we just visited the seals outside for FREE. They swam and flipped all of their tank for us and seemed especially attracted to Luna, but who isn’t?

boston aquarium seals

The final day, well half-day, was split between the Boston Children’s Museum and shopping (yay nap time!) The Children’s Museum is phenomenal! Luna loved the music show, the interactive exhibits, the bazillion objects to play with all over the museum, the indoor splash pad and best of all…the bubble room. They had an entire room dedicated to making bubbles. you could make bubbles of all shapes and sizes, which is basically heaven for toddlers. At least it is until they splash it all in their eyes and it turns out not to be “tear-free” soap. Yeah…guess who ended up having to shove their two-year old’s head under a faucet and force her to run water into her open eyes? Talk about making memories.

In all seriousness, we really did love the museum. I’d go back in a hear-beat…and skip the bubble room.

Boston

Boston turned out to be a fantastic getaway for me and Luna and our friend. Have you visited Boston with your kids? I’d love to hear what I’m missing from my list!

Cheers!

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