10 Kid-friendly Things to Do During Spring Break in Boston

More reliable than a groundhog's prediction, these annual activities mean spring has arrived.

One of the best things about living in New England is the region's rotation through four distinct seasons. Each has its thrills: Diving through ocean waves in summer, crunching through leaves in autumn, or feeling the cool kiss of snowflakes on cheeks in winter.

Spring tantalizes senses with sweet floral aromas, chirping birds and warming sunshine, and it is for this that Bostonians come out of hibernation.

In April, children all over the U.S. get a week off from school and their parents pack them up for family-friendly getaways. If you're planning to cut loose in Boston and make the most of this spring season, look no further.

Boston Duck Tours

When: Begins March 21, 2016

Quack, quack. Head out on the byways of this historic city in Boston Duck Tours’ amphibious World War II-style vehicles that take passengers past historic sites around town, not to mention each vessel takes a dip into the Charles River—so you can bet winter is over if you’re going for this swim! With nearly 50 different character guides as your potential ‘conDUCKtor,’ no ride is ever the same. The tour is available in eight different languages.

Vehicles depart The Shops at Prudential Center, Museum of Science and New England Aquarium, Boston, MA, 617.267.3825

Boston Duck Tours
Boston Duck Tours visits the Massachusetts State House (©Boston Duck Tours)

Greenway Carousel

When: Begins March 25, 2016

Amid the skyscrapers of the Financial District, kids can catch a ride on the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway's Greenway Carousel, a charming, handcrafted and custom-designed structure that brings creatures from the natural New England environment whimsically to life—a swooping barn owl and the Bay State’s native codfish, among them. 

Atlantic Avenue at Clinton Street, Boston, MA

Big Apple Circus

When: March 24-May 8, 2016

Big Apple Circus' annual six-week run has become a tradition to count on here in Boston. The one-ring affair celebrates the circus arts rather than putting lions and tigers and bears on display, instead featuring ladder-balancing acts, light-speed juggling, high-wire dancing, high-flying acrobatic, comical clowns and a delightful dog-and-pony show. Plus, the Big Top is moderately sized which means there really isn't a bad seat in the house.

City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA, 888.541.3750

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Nasturiums

When: Begins April 1, 2016

A little-known yet no-less stunning harbinger of spring is a standing, or rather, hanging tradition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum started by the art institution’s founder herself. Around late March through mid-April, horticulturists dangle dramatic, 20-foot nasturtium vines from balconies overlooking the courtyard. The edible orange flower also makes an appearance on the menu at Cafe G.

25 Evans Way, Boston, MA, 617.566.1401


Boston Red Sox

When: April 11, 2016

Major League Baseball’s local club kicks off Big Papi's farewell season at historic Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles.

4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA, 617.226.6644  

Swan Boats

When: Begins April 16, 2016

The historic Public Garden blooms with an elaborate display of 26,000 pink, purple, yellow and other soft-hued tulips. Observe the lovely, botanical view from onboard the Swan Boats, a 130-year-old tradition set on the Garden’s lagoon, which offers 15-minute idyllic sails daily in fair weather.

Public Garden, Arlington Street at Boylston, Boston, MA, 617.522.1966 

National Park Week

When: April 16-24, 2016

History buffs cash in when the National Park Service offers free admission to all its properties. Nearby properties include Boston National Historical Park along parts of The Freedom Trail, as well as Frederick Law Olmsted’s homeJFK’s Birthplace and Longfellow House-Washington Headquarters. If you visit Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord and Lexington for Patriots Day weekend, that’s free too.

Boston Marathon

When: April 18, 2016

Head to Boylston Street for the 120th edition of this prestigious race held on Patriot's Day and cheer on runners who hurtle toward the historic finish line. Elite field expected to finish between 12 pm and 12:30 pm.

Finish line is on Boylston Street, between Exeter and Dartmouth streets, Boston, MA

CraftBoston Spring

When: April 29-May 1, 2016

Sap is flowing in the sugar maples of New England and so are the creative juices of local artists. The spring edition of biannual vendor show CraftBoston features the fine wares of more than 90 artists.

Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St., Boston, MA

Duckling Day

When: May 8, 2016

Call it adorable: About 1,000 local kids and their families celebrate spring, Mother's Day, and Robert McCloskey's wonderful children's story "Make Way for Ducklings" at Duckling Day. Dress in costume and flock to Boston Common for face-painting, puppet shows and other play before parading through the park with Harvard University's marching band over to the Nancy Schön's Ducklings statue in the Public Garden.

Boston Common, Beacon Street at Charles Street, Boston, MA