15 Free Things to Do in Boston with Kids
I have shared many times that Beantown is my hometown, and I often bring my family “home” to Boston. We have tons of posts on things to do in Boston (our Boston City Guide is a good place to start). Summer is an especially fun time to explore Boston, as there are so many family friendly attractions near the Harbor waterfront. This week, we’re sharing 15 free things to do throughout the Boston area. Some of these attractions are free all year, but many activities cater to the warmer weather.
10 Family Friendly Winter Activities in Woodstock, Vermont
Woodstock, Vermont is a quintessential New England town. Located one hour south of the Vermont capital of Montpelier and just over two hours from Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, Woodstock has a population of just over 3,000 but swells with visitors in both the popular foliage and summer seasons. Many of the activities center around nature: skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, and swimming, but there are also plenty of historical museums, hands-on centers, tons of family fun, and plenty of beautiful shops (if the kids can be entertained). We visited Woodstock in the summertime many years ago, but found that winter is also a great time to visit when we returned last month. While fact checking logistics, we found woodstockvt.com helpful with places to explore, dining and shopping suggestions, and calendars of events.
City Guide: 15 Kid Friendly Activities in Boston, Massachusetts
I’ll disclose that Boston is my hometown, so this post will be “wicked” biased. But even the biggest Yankees fan will admit that the birthplace of the American Revolution, the home of winning sports teams, waterfront activities, world class arts and culture, and curator of foods like Fenway franks, bakes beans, chowdah, and Boston Cream Pie, is one of the most special places in the world. There are SO many family friendly activities you’ll need weeks years to see and do it all, but for our latest City Guide we’ll start with these 15 places the whole family is sure to love.
National Park Guide: Badlands National Park in South Dakota
Badlands National Park, located in Interior South Dakota, is the location of the world’s largest fossil beds. The 244,000 acre park is home to sedimentary rock layers deposited over 70 million years ago, as well as mixed grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and ferrets live. There are over 60 species of grass throughout the prairies inside the park. Named by the early French trappers and the Lakota Native American tribe that founded the area, the Badlands are known for extremes: extreme weather, extreme vastness of the plains, and extreme fossil beds. Learn more about the formation of the Badlands Buttes here.
Badlands became a National Monument in 1939 and then a National Park in 1978; the southern half of the park is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is co-managed with the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Over one million people visit Badlands National Park each year.
National Park Guide: Arches National Park in Utah
Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, one of the most popular National Parks in America with two million visitors each year, is home to over 2,000 cataloged arches formed by erosion and weathering over the past 65 million years. Learn more about how the arches were formed here. Today, the park covers over 76, 000 acres and, in addition to the arches, is home to almost 500 species of plants, almost 200 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, and 6 species of fish (yes- fish!)
We visited in June of 2021, during the still on going COVID pandemic, and there were some restrictions, mainly with the Visitor’s Center and programs. We highly recommend visiting early in the morning (being inside the park by 6am early), spending the morning hiking, and then leaving the park for lunch and a rest during peak afternoon sun. Later afternoon and evening will provide cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Be careful to stay away from cactus and yucca plants, both of which are prevalent throughout the park. Both plants have sharp tips that can poke and easily puncture skin.
National Park Guide: Canyonlands National Park in Utah
The entire Canyonlands National Park, located in the eastern part of Utah, covers over 337,000 acres of canyons, mesas, buttes, arches, and spires. The geology of the park includes over a dozen layers of various sandstones, ranging from Navajo Sandstone down to Cedar Mesa Sandstone. CanyonLands is home to several archeological sites with structures one thousand years ago and amazing star gazing, including the Milky Way. Canyonlands is a designated International Dark Sky Park for its impressive attention to preservation.