Visiting the Boston Children's Museum:
The Boston Children's Museum is a must do on any visit to Boston with kids. The museum is sure to delight visitors of all ages. The huge climbing structure in the center of the museum provides hours of entertainment for the kids, and you'll even see an occasionally grown-up trying to wiggle their body through the narrow passages. The museum has three floors of fun and plenty of space for every visitor. Even on its busiest days, it's possible to find a quiet space, tucked out-of-the-way, to enjoy quiet time to learn and explore alongside your kids. The museum is open every day. You can check their website for specific hours.
A few weeks ago, it was school vacation week. It's always nice to have extra time to explore the city with my kids. One of our favorite adventures is a trip to the Boston Children's Museum. For the kids, they love to check out the newest exhibits (currently dinosaurs) and they would play for hours in the construction room where they can drive dump trucks and crawl through tunnels. For me, no adventure is complete without thinking about where we will stop in for lunch or dinner.
Where to Eat:
There are so many kid friendly dining spots within walking distance of the Boston Children's Museum. Below are some of our favorite spots for breakfast (and coffee), lunch, and dinner.
Flour Bakery and Cafe - 12 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA (great for breakfast, lunch, or a quick snack and coffee for Mom or Dad):
Not sure about you, but when I am gearing up to take my kids on an adventure, I can always use a little extra caffeine. My first choice for coffee, a morning snack, breakfast, or lunch is Flour Bakery and Cafe on Farnsworth Street. Flour is owned by Joanne Chang. Joanne is a world renown chef who runs multiple Flour locations, owns Myers & Chang, a fine dining restaurant in the South End, and has written numerous cookbooks. The cafe is a hotspot in Fort Point for lunch, so definitely try and get there between 11:15 and 11:45 for lunch if you want to avoid a crowd. You'll need to check out the menu on the chalkboard on the left before ordering your lunches. Flour offers excellent salads, soups, and sandwiches for the grown-ups and kids can choose from the adult menu or order a ham and cheese sandwich, grilled cheese, or a PB&J. Once you order, you can find a table to sit at. Your name will be called once your order is ready. It's easiest to pay with a credit card, have it ready to go if it's the busy lunch time rush. In terms of dessert, there are three ways to order.
- Order right away and your treats will be ready before your food. If you believe life is short, then have dessert first.
- The second option is asking the person at the counter to hold on to your desserts for you until after your kids have eaten.
- The final option is to wait and order dessert after you have finished eating.
In terms of what I recommend, I'm being 100% genuine when I say that you can't go wrong here, everything is good. Some of my favorites include the Applewood Smoked Bacon Sandwich, Chopped Greek and Lemon Thyme Salad, or anything from their seasonal menu. In terms of sweets, we love the Oreos, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. The Vegan Chocolate Muffin is legit as well. I highly recommend grabbing a tea or coffee to go if you are on your way to, or returning, to The Boston Children's Museum.
If you haven't been to Shake Shack, you have to go. The burgers are just delicious. A soft potato bun loaded with beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato and a special "Shack Sauce" can't be missed. The fries are crispy, the shakes are rich, creamy, and feature local bakery items from around Boston. They will happily make a plain burger if your kids are picky like mine... Don't be discouraged if there's a line, it'll move quickly. This is a great spot for lunch or dinner! They have a small selection of beer and wine if you are in need of a relaxing refreshment.
Hood Milk Bottle (quick and easy lunch or ice cream cone)
My kids love this place. On a sunny day, you can grab a hotdog, ice cream, or an ice cold drink and sit by the water and enjoy the view. Across the way you can watch tourists throw fake tea into the harbor and your kids can throw crumbs from their hot dog buns to the pigeons anxiously awaiting their lunches. This is an easy spot. Nothing fancy, but a decent selection and they have Italian Ice, which always makes my kids smile.
Our kids love to go to "fancy" restaurants. Miel is a French bistro inside the Intercontinental Hotel. A quick walk across the bridge from the Children's Museum and you'll find Miel. Grown-ups can enjoy a variety of seasonal, organic dishes and a lovely selection of wine. They will pretty much make kids whatever they would like. My guys typically order a small steak or a piece of salmon. This restaurant is definitely a relaxing way to end a long day on your feet at the Children' Museum. The hotel is just beautiful and they don't mind if kids explore the lobby and first floor of the hotel while they wait for their dinner.
Sportello - 348 Congress Street, Boston, MA (incredible, unforgettable dinner that you can pull off with kids if you go on the earlier side)
I had to add this restaurant to the list because it on my list of top 5 places to eat in the city. This is definitely more of a restaurant for adults. However, if you go right around 5:00, your kids won't be on the only ones in the restaurant. The food here is just phenomenal. Rich, developed flavors, unique combinations of food, and you can sit at the counter and watch the chefs prepare food, or you can sit by the window and watch the world go by. If your kids are not super adventurous, Sportello is happy to serve them a bowl of fresh pasta with butter and parmesan, and a few fresh slices of prosciutto.
I'm a huge fan of street parking. I usually have great luck parking along Congress Street. If you have the Park Boston App, you can pay using your phone. The only catch is the two-hour limit on spaces. You will have to go and move your car (to a different parking zone) every two hours. There are numerous lots and garages all around the museum which are convenient and not over the top expensive.
Where to Stay:
If you are lucky enough to be spending the night in Boston, definitely try to score a room at the Intercontinental. The rooms are gorgeous, the kids are well taken care of, and they have an indoor pool. They also have a special "hospitality" program that you can take advantage of. This is unlimited snacks, light breakfast, lunch and dinner, and grown-up beverages in the evenings for parents. Be sure to ask about this when you check in.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope that if you find yourself at the Children's Museum in Boston that you are able to find some delicious places to eat. Please feel free to comment on this post and share some of your favorite dining spots around the Children's Museum, I'd love to check them out with my family!
If you're looking for more great travel and food ideas, have a look at my post about Visiting Maui With Kids & Where to Eat.
Some of My Favorite Boston Books and Cookbooks:
If you find that you need more Flour or Shake Shack in your life, below are links to cookbooks written by Joanne Chang and Shake Shack. We also added a few of our favorite book about Boston for kids!
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