Kid-friendly historical things to see in Boston
By Eileen Ogintz
Boston skyline with the American flag (Flickr: Eric Beato)
If the kids gripe that American history is boring, there’s one solution: Take them to Boston.
Boston is the kind of city where you can time travel back nearly 400 years just by taking a walk. Here are five kid-tested historical sites that are guaranteed to please:
(MORE: Don’t know where to stay? Look for kid-friendly hotels in Boston.)
Faneuil Hall is where many arguments and debates took place before the American Revolution. During the Civil War it is where Abolitionists spoke out. Today, it is a stop on the famous Freedom Trail but more known as tourism-central with 75 local shops, restaurants, stalls and street entertainment outside.
USS Constitution (Photo: Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)
The USS Constitution is the oldest warship afloat and the place to see what it would have been like to be a sailor in the early 1800s. Boys as young as eight were part of the USS Constitution’s crew during the War of 1812: They were “powder monkeys” carrying gunpowder to the canons.
Inside the Harvard Museum of Natural History (Photo: Greg Cook)
Harvard Yard and Harvard Square is where the 21st Century meets the 17th Century. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, established in 1636. Walk through Harvard Yard and through Harvard Square, home to some 150 shops and many restaurants. Tell the kids it’s here that George Washington took command of the Continental Army, that Abolitionists spoke out against slavery and students protested against the Vietnam War. Some Brattle Street houses date back to before the American Revolution. Today there are lots of street performers and of course, college students—there are some 50,000 who go to school in and around Boston. Kids also like the Harvard Museum of Natural History with its famous collection of glass flowers and the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology which is a good place to learn how the Native Americans here dealt with the arrival of Europeans.
Fenway Park (Flickr: David Salafia)
Fenway Park is where the Red Sox have played since 1912, the oldest ballpark still in use in major league baseball and on the National Register of Historic Places. Take a tour and you might get to go to the top of the famous Green Monster, the wall over Left Field signed on the inside by current and former Major League players. Kids say if you are in Boston during baseball season, you definitely should go to a Red Sox game
(MORE: Find other great kid-friendly attractions to see or visit in Boston.)
Boston Tea Party Museum (Flickr: Robert Linsdell)
The Boston Tea Party Museum is the place to time travel back to Dec. 16, 1773 – the night the Sons of Liberty, dressed as Mohawk Indians, threw 340 chests of British tea into Boston Harbor to protest the British tax on tea, and ultimately changed the course of American history. At this interactive museum, debate the tax, literally dump “the tea” and learn in the museum how that one act of rebellion had such tremendous ramifications on both sides of the Atlantic. Kids will especially like visiting the replica ship, the talking portraits of King George and Samuel Adams and the holographs introducing two young women on opposite sides of the issue.