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Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Brisbane, Australia
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Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Hi everyone, we are a family of 4, 2 adults & 2 kids (12 & 14 year old) visiting Boston for 4 nights at the end of march. We are looking for interesting but cultural things to do outside of the standard museums etc (although we will do some of these and recommendations welcome also)

We are also visiting NYC (9nights), Philadelphia (1day) and Washington DC (4nights) so if there are any suggestions for these cities that would also be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

Boston
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1. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Welcome to the forum. To the right you will see a Top Questions section. Within that are two links that may be of interest to you ...favorite things to do, and quirky things to do. Check them out!

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

The maparium. Also the "behind the scenes" at the old north church

MA
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3. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

You could take the commuter rail to Salem for the day and visit the wonderful Peabody Essex Museum, which in the courtyard has the Yin Yu Tang house, a 200 year old Chinese merchant's family house, which is fascinating to visit. Across the street is the Salem visitor center, which has lots of information about other historical sights in the area, including ones related to the infamous Salem witch trials. If your kids are into science, there is the MIT Technology Museum, which is good for older kids.

Massachusetts
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4. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Interesting and unusual would describe the National Historical Park in Lowell:

http://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm

Cambridge...
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5. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Regarding your itinerary, I think it's a shame you are only spending 1 day in Philadelphia. There are many many interesting sights there, some related to early American history like Independence Hall, but also lots of art, and great food. For the kids, in Philadelphia the Franklin Institute has interactive science exhibits, the University of Pennsylvania museum has fantastic archaeological finds from Egypt and elsewhere, the Mutter Museum has antique medical artifacts and other medical oddities. In Center City Philadelphia, the Reading Terminal Market is a foodie paradise. I love New York, but I'd consider cutting a day from your New York City visit and add it to Philadelphia.

Hollis, New...
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6. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

I second CambridgeMike's comments on Philadelphia. I strongly agree that you should take some time from New York to come closer to doing justice to this really engaging city.

Boston...
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7. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

Great suggestions above. Sights that are not downtown but that are worthy: The JFK Library (it's on the Red Line of our subway), and the John Adams National Park site -- both south of Boston. I think the JFK Library is well worth the time. You might also consider visiting Harvard campus in Cambridge, and Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth (for the latter you'd need a car).

Scranton...
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8. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

I really don't think New York City is worth spending 9 nights unless you plan on doing a lot of shopping. I'd drop a couple nights there and definitely add onto Philadelphia and Boston. Both cities have way more to do than NYC and Boston is much cleaner and beautiful than NYC, sales tax is also less in both cities.

Birmingham, Alabama
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9. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

I echo the trip to Lowell.

End of March might be too early, but maybe something involving the Harbor Islands might be fun: http://www.bostonharborislands.org/go-boating

Might they have an interest in the the cosmos - maybe the Planetarium?

The Museum of Fine Art has several mummies, which kids often like.

If you are driving (You probably could get a bus?) ...maybe a visit to Battleship Cove in Fall River for the USS Massachusetts and other ships?

Edited: 12 January 2013, 20:28
darnestown md
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10. Re: Interesting & unusual things for families to do in Boston?

We live near D.C. and love to take our kids to the museums downtown-Smithsonian, American History, Natural History, etc. All of these museums are free which is great. It is also easy to walk from one museum to another. You could also walk to the Washington Monument from here. The Holocaust Museum is also amazing. You should try to get tickets ahead of time for this. There are some other interesting museums that you need to pay for in the area-We personally liked the Crime and Punishment Museum better than the Spy Museum. There is also Madame Tussauds wax museum. The Newseum is also great. It is really fun to walk around down by the Verizon Center-lots of restaurants down there and there are usually sporting events, concerts, and the circus(March). Chinatown is also in that area and is fun for a quick meal or peek around the area. We took a night drive to see all the monuments lit up at night. It was really beautiful and we stopped at many of them to look around. I would definitely recommend this. have a great trip!