Octopus from Tentacles Take Hold exhibit at New England Aquarium (©E. Bauernfeind)
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 for the occasion, look no further. We've corralled eight great, affordable things to do.
Learn Outside the Classroom
Boston Children's Museum
Boston Children's Museum is a crazy cool place to take the kids any day of the week (and Friday night it's free 5-9 pm). After letting them summit the maze-like three-story (but safe!) New Balance Climb and explore the fully equipped Japanese House, step inside the world of Marc Brown with the Arthur® and Friends exhibit or head to Our Green Trail to learn about the environmentally friendly museum and how to make your own green choices.
308 Congress St., 617.426.6500
Have a hoppin' good time before Easter at the Stone Zoo. The animals make room for special guest the Easter Bunny, who will be available for meet-and-greet and photo opportunities. Crafts, games, music and fun encounters await April 15, 10 am-3 pm.
149 Pond St., Stoneham, 617.541.5466
Cambridge Science Festival
Multiple Cambridge locations
We think Sid the Science Kid would surely approve of the grand, collaborative Cambridge Science Festival, hosted by science-minded institutions across Boston's sister city of Cambridge April 14-23. The Sci-Art Reception kicks off the fun on April 14, followed by all sorts of fun dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math. To call out only a select few of the more than 100 events: Are We Alone? Exploring the Possibility of Other Intelligent Life in the Universe, MIT ClubChem Magic Show, Science Carnival & Robot Zoo. Full schedule of events here.
Boston Duck Tours
Museum of Science or The Shops at Prudential Center
Quack, quack. Head out on the byways of Boston in an amphibious World War II-style vehicle that takes passengers past 90-minutes worth of important historic sites. Boston Duck Tours might one of the quirkiest tours of this town, complete with a "conDUCKtor" character guide and a dip into the Charles River, but kids absolutely love it.
Departure points at The Shops at Prudential Center, the Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium, 617.267.3825
Tentacles Take Hold
New England Aquarium
The aquarium is a classic choice for any school break thanks to its interactive exhibits, cute sea creatures and giant central tank. But be sure to check out the latest exhibit "Tentacles Take Hold," featuring the giant Pacific octopus in its newly expanded habitat along with its tiny friends like cuttlefish, sea jellies and petit red octopuses.
1 Central Wharf, 617.973.5200
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Get some fresh air and exercise with a walk in Boston's newest park. Amid the skyscrapers of the Financial District, the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, formerly known as the Central Artery, used to be a highway. While this connected string of green spaces features a number of attractions, sculptures, fountains and more, its Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove and Greenway Carousel opens March 31 for the season. Kids can catch a ride on the charming, handcrafted and custom-designed carousel that brings creatures—like a swooping barn owl and the Bay State’s native codfish—from the natural New England environment whimsically to life. $3 per ride. Open 11 am-7 pm.
Atlantic Avenue at Clinton Street
Museum of Science
Boston's Museum of Science is one of the city's most dynamic destinations for kids, and we don't see that changing anytime soon. Simply put: there is one huge draw after another here: Real bolts of lightening crackle from the enormous Van de Graaff generator in the Theater of Electricity; winged insects flutter freely around exotic plants in the walk-in Butterfly Garden; the interactive Hall of Human Life examines your own personal biology; the Planetarium blasts off into outer space.
1 Science Park, 617.723.2500
Wheelock Family Theatre
From April 14-May 14, catch the theatrical performance of E.B. White's best-sellign children's book, presented by professional acting troupe Wheelock Family Theatre. In this beloved story, an extraordinary spider saves a young pig and a lasting, loyal friendship forms.
180 The Riverway, 617.879.2300