Toddlers experience the world differently; everything serves as a hands-on exploration fueled by a desire to discover and learn. It’s part of what makes being a toddler parent so incredible – and so exhausting!! That’s why finding things you and your toddler can enjoy together is important. It lets them play and explore the world head-on, and you get to experience it right alongside them! Boston is a fantastic place for these discoveries because there is so much to do. In fact, I’ve put together this list of things to do in Boston with toddlers for anyone looking for a bit of inspiration. Keep reading to discover more!
If you’re looking for a place that feels like it rolled out of the page of a fairy tale book, Beacon Hill Books & Café is a beautiful, cozy, and stylish new hangout that is self-described as a “love letter to Boston.” It carries a thoughtfully curated selection of books waiting for discovery, appealing to readers of all ages. Stop by the café for a spot of afternoon tea or a snack as you read, or curl up in the corner of the store with a glowing fireplace, warm lighting, and an overall aesthetic of calm and quiet.
As far as your toddler is concerned, Beacon Hill Books & Café has a charming children’s book section designed with little readers in mind. There are perfectly sized chairs for children who grab a book off the shelf and a miniature tea table where they can pretend to serve and enjoy afternoon tea just like in the café. A miniature train, conducted by store mascot Paige the Squirrel, runs along the top of the bookshelves that little ones love to watch and control with a big red button. Beacon Hill Books & Café also offers special events where you can bring your Boston toddler to enjoy a story read aloud by one of the store’s excellent storytellers.
Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest in the world, founded in 1913. Today, it is one of the most influential children’s museums. For 110 years, it has engaged children in joyful discovery experiences that help to spark a lifelong love of learning. It also encourages hands-on play and creativity, which is critical to healthy development socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
With three floors of exciting exhibits, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s unique curiosity at Boston Children’s Museum! While slightly older kids will get a kick out of playing with bubbles, exploring hands-on STEAM concepts and skills in the STEAM Lab, and building some grand forts, PlaySpace is a spot set aside just for little ones under the age of three, perfect for your toddler. It’s an area where you can play alongside your child, cooking pretend snacks, driving a toddler-size jeep, climbing hills and crossing a wobbly bridge, and so much more. It’s a safe and engaging space where young children can learn about the world around them and begin to explore alongside their favorite grown-ups!
It’s a pretty incredible thing to be able to see lions, gorillas, and giraffes right here in Boston! At Zoo New England, you and your family can get a close-up look at some of the planet’s most incredible creatures without ever having to hop a plane. Zoo New England comprises two zoos, Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham. Franklin Park Zoo is home to hundreds of exotic animals from around the world, all representing species that the zoo is working hard to preserve in the wild through extensive research and conservation efforts.
Saving the planet and the animals who call it home starts with building a relationship with them! Spend the day strolling through the zoo and finding new favorites, or book a little something extra special to make your day even more exciting. Their Mystery Animal Meet & Greet is fun for all ages. It lets you and your toddler get a close-up look at some of the zoo’s fantastic ambassador animals! There are also plenty of Nature Play play structures at Franklin Park Zoo that encourage your little one to explore and climb, just like some animals they’ve visited!
Puppet Showplace Theatre is a cultural institution here in Boston, and they are proud to be considered New England’s center for puppetry arts. Every year they present over 300 performances by professional puppet companies that reach audiences of all ages, including toddlers! Their classes and workshops are perfect for kids a little older, though some are open to children of all ages. They work hard to be a place that inspires Boston toddlers to grow, play, and create. Their team of puppetry professionals knows how to connect little ones with this art form that has been successful with young people for so long.
They have a busy schedule with plenty of shows that your toddler will love to experience, and the shows rotate frequently, so be sure to check their calendar for an up-to-date calendar! Another special treat for toddlers and their grown-ups is Puppet Playtime, a fun and interactive performance experience designed for little ones under three and their grown-ups. A friendly performer will guide the group through play, songs, imagination games, and more, accompanied by puppet friends, of course!
The Greenway is a contemporary city park right in the heart of Boston, complete with food trucks, fountains, and gorgeous landscaping. However, riding on the Greenway Carousel is one of the best ways to experience The Greenway. Adorned with native New England carousel creatures, it is a completely one-of-a-kind attraction. Your little ones will love spotting the hand-carved characters inspired by the air, sea, and land animals of Boston Harbor. Boston students tasked to draw carousel characters they would want to ride designed these!
Another wonderful thing about the Greenway Carousel is that it was created in partnership with the Institute for Human-Centered Design. It is the most ADA-compliant carousel in the region, meaning everybody can enjoy it. It goes beyond wheelchair accessibility – its design accommodates people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities to enjoy, too!
There are so many amazing things to do in Boston with toddlers, and I’m sure you’ll love participating, too. So pack up your diaper bag and stroller and hit the town for an adventure that will have your little one squealing joyfully!
If you found this list helpful, you might like sticking around here for a bit! I love connecting with parents and sharing content they’ll find useful. Additionally, I know from experience this season can be chaotic, and I want to help you find ways to relax and enjoy it! I plan laid-back photo sessions to ensure you can have gorgeous memories you can hang onto for years. If you’ve considered booking family pictures in the Boston area, I would love to connect! Contact me today to find out more.