Known for the infamous Tea Party that’s reenacted every December, the Green Monster and epic St. Patrick’s Day fun, the New England city of Boston isn’t just for history buffs, baseball fans and green beer lovers. Known as “the walking city” and “Beantown,” Boston is both historic and modern. Here’s where to go for family fun in Boston on Sundays.
Hop in the car (It’s about two hours or less from many points in New England!) and get thee family to Boston.
Ditch the Car
Driving into Boston seems like a good idea – until you realize that in this walking city the last thing you need is to deal with parking all day. Head over to Boston Common and park in the Boston Common Garage, an underground parking structure beneath the historic park.
If You Go: On weekends, it will only set you back about $12 per day. And this parking garage is centrally located to so much Boston family fun. (Located beneath Boston Common)
11:30 am: Get Brunchy
Before you head off on your family fun day adventure, fuel up by heading up Tremont Street a bit to the Theater District delight, Abby Lane. This convenient brunch spot opens at 11:30 am and serves a variety of seasonal fare (their menu changes every few months!). Try their Breakfast Pizza, which is big enough to share, topped with salmon, fresh artichoke, capers, red onion and arugula for the springtime. Though there is a kids menu, stick to the brunch menu and have the kids split one of the decadent breakfast-ish dishes like Pecan Roll Pancakes or Nutella Croissant French Toast. Or for a healthier option, go for the Scrambled Eggs which come with potato cakes, griddled croissant, bacon and fresh strawberries.
If You Go: Abby Lane opens at 11:30 am for brunch. Reservations are recommended. (253 Tremont St., $12-$20 for their big-portioned brunch entrees)
1 pm: New England Aquarium
With massive viewing tanks and penguins galore, the New England Aquarium is a great all-year-old spot for families. Once you leave Abby Lane, it’s a quick walk to get there — less than a third of a mile (that’s about an eight-minute walk). Spend some time watching the Giant Ocean Tank that’s filled with all sorts of sea creatures. And don’t forget to check out the Shark and Ray Touch Tanks, so kids can get up close and personal with sealife.
If You Go: If your kids love sealife, and you plan to visit this one more than once in a 12-month period, consider becoming a member as two visits pay the cost of membership at the New England Aquarium. (1 Central Wharf, admission is $17.95 for kids 3-11 and $24.95 for 12 and up)
3 pm: Faneuil Hall
Historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace (which includes Quincy Market and the other shopping buildings located here) is a shopper’s dream. Browse the carts in Quincy Market for jewelry and Boston-themed goods and head outside to drop into Origins, Boston Pewter Company, Urban Outfitters and more. If you’re hungry, there are numerous food vendors in Quincy Market too, but we think you should probably hold off for dinnertime. While you are there, be sure to pause and enjoy the street performances that happen each weekend. You never know what you and the kids might spy.
If You Go: Take your time and explore all the buildings. There really is something for everyone. (1 Faneuil Hall Square)
4:30 pm: An Early Dinner with History
Gather up your purchases and kids and head just up the street to Union Oyster House, a restaurant dating back to 1826 that resides in a building so old that there are no records to indicate when exactly it was built or by whom. But don’t be put off by the oldness of this restaurant – it’s just given them plenty of time to cultivate the best recipes and techniques for New England-style seafood dishes. The kids can order off the well-appointed children’s menu that includes kid-favorites as well as a few more interesting choices. For you
If You Go: Union Oyster House is known for their seafood, so avoid the land-lubbers entrees and try something different. The Fried Select Oysters are worth every bite. (41 Union St., children’s choices run $5.96-$9.95, adult entrees are $20.95 and up)
6 pm: The Road to Freedom … and the Boston Common
Make your way along the Freedom Trail back to Boston Common. Chances are many of the stops will be closed for the evening, but you can still peak through the gates at King’s Chapel and Burying Ground and Granary Burying Ground. Be sure to take note of Old South Meeting House, Park Street Church and the golden-domed Massachusetts State House too. Once you get to Boston Common, take a few minutes to enjoy the historic city park – the oldest in America (it was established as a public park in 1634!). Let the kids play for a bit on the playground, and perhaps walk along the trails a bit. Then it’s back to the car, and time to head home.
If You Go: There’s ice skating in winter. But since it’s so late in the day, you won’t be able to stop into the information desk. Just enjoy the scenery.