Massachusetts/ Travel

Visiting Massachusetts with Kids- Freedom and Fenway

Visiting Massachusetts with kids, Redsox, Fenway

At the top of our to do list while visiting Massachusetts with kids was walking the freedom trail, watching a game at Fenway and learning facts of the Salem Witch Trials.

Preparation for Visiting Massachusetts with Kids

What I mostly think of is the Boston Tea Party and the involvement of Boston in the revolutionary war. Just like our Philadelphia trip, I had the kids watch the series Liberty Kids again. My oldest is taking civics so early US history is really applicable to her. The younger kids didn’t remember the series at all so it was perfect to watch again.

We were lucky that a Red Sox game coincided with when we were visiting Boston. Because of when things were open and when the Red Sox game was, we had numerous fragmented days in Boston. We started out in Massachusetts seeing Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower and a covered bridge. The first things we did in Boston are covered here. We ended our trip with a Red Sox game.

When I was in high school, I had to write an in-depth paper on a topic of my choosing. I compared the Salem Witch Trials to McCarthyism. Since then, I have always had an interest in that part of US history. I wanted my kids to see Salem so we did a night walking tour. Also, in preparation for this visit, I had my older two kids watch Hocus Pocus. I should have also had them watch Bewitched.

JFK and Salem

Matt and I had been to Boston before, but we didn’t go to the JFK museum. We’ve gone to several presidential libraries and always learned a lot so we wanted to take our kids to the JFK presidential library. The museum is right on the water so it’s a beautiful setting and just walking around the grounds was a treat. President Kennedy’s old sailboat was part of the decor outside.

visiting Massachusetts with kids. JFK Museum

After the JFK museum we stopped at my brother’s house to visit his kids and dogs briefly. My kids said seeing the dogs was the highlight of the day. After seeing my brother we stopped at the LDS temple in Boston, and drove through Harvard to see the school.

We then drove to Salem for our evening walking tour. The tour we chose was the Witch City Walking tour it was a mix of learning the history of Salem (the witch trials and some other ghost stories) and seeing some places that had to do with current culture (Hocus Pocus House, statue for Bewitched). We also learned that today in the month of October that Salem is packed. More crowded than Disney it sounded like. The tour ended at the witch memorial area. It was a full moon that night and crazy to think such atrocities can happen (But human cruelty has unfortunately happened many times since then). Our guide wore an Edgar Allan Poe shirt with Ravens on it and did a great job. I always enjoy walking tours.

visiting Massachusetts with kids. Salem Hocus Pocus House

Boston Commons and Freedom Walk

The following morning, we had a 9am freedom walking tour. We got to Boston Commons a little early (we were not sure how traffic would be so I would rather be early than late). We had time to visit the playground and see the Massachusetts state Capitol. The walking tour was great. My brother joined us on the walking tour. Previously he did the self-guided audio tour. I asked them how they compared. He said the in person one was a bit more in depth, the guide was energetic, and you can ask him questions. The self-audio tour can be done more quickly. I’m always a big fan of in person. Our guide wore a colonial outfit which added to the experience, and he involved the kids for part of the tour.

visiting Massachusetts with kids. Freedom Walk

As an FYI for the walking tour the standard tour (which we did) does not include the whole freedom walk. We planned to do the rest by ourselves in a few days. After the walking tour we went back to Boston Commons and did a swan boat tour. We were impressed that the boat guides paddled the whole way. They must be in great shape. We enjoyed seeing the Boston Public Gardens and bridge. We then hit the road to continue our adventures in Portland, Maine and Acadia National Park.

visiting Massachusetts with kids. swan boat tour Boston

Accents, Baseball, & Cannoli’s

After our Maine and Canada trip we went back to Boston for our last day visiting Massachusetts. We started the day off seeing Bunker Hill then we walked over to the USS Constitution and the museum. We also went to the USS Cassin since it was right next door and free. The kids loved pretending to shoot the cannons, guns and drive the ships. The museum and boats had a lot of hands on activities. It made visiting Massachusetts with kids easy.

After the ships we had lunch at Union Oyster House, coincidently we got to eat in JFK’s favorite booth. We could guess what it was his favorite booth. It’s upstairs in the back. So, I’m guessing it was more private and he could eat in peace. Whenever I think of President Kennedy I think of his accent and hear him saying “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.”

We were not planning to see Matt’s parent’s again, but we ran into them. We were walking around Boston, and we saw them drive by. The kids were the ones who recognized their grandparent’s and followed them to their hotel. Then ran up to them and surprised them. It was a joyous reunion. They decided they would walk around with us and finish up the freedom tour and get some cannolis. We went to Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church. We learned that Paul Revere had a large family. He got a larger home but it was more outdated so probably better bang for his buck. I thought the pews were unique in the Old North Church. My mother-in-law said she saw something similar in Philadelphia.

We tried cannoli’s at three different places Bova’s Bakery, Parziale’s Bakery and Mike’s Pastry. If I was only to pick one place to get cannoli’s I would pick Mike’s Pastry. The cannoli’s were bigger and there was larger selection. Bova’s Bakery had other things aside from cannoli’s. Their cannoli’s were great they had more than one choice for cannoli’s. Apparently, Bova’s is more a local scene. Mike’s Pastry is definitely a tourist scene. We walked by the holocaust memorial before we said good bye to Matt’s parents (Again). Then we parked at the Art Museum to walk over to Fenway Park.

The baseball game was great. We met my brother and his family. We enjoyed cotton candy, bratwurst and popcorn. There was a kid’s area that was all included in the price of admission. There was face painting, virtual reality throwing and hitting the balls, a magic show and some photo-ops. The kids had fun with their cousins and at the kid’s area.

What Else to do in Massachusetts

My in-laws also visited Massachusetts and went to Martha’s Vineyard for a few days, Cape Cod, saw the Boston Tea Party boat and spent more time in Plymouth. There is so much to do in Massachusetts. I don’t know if we will be back but overall, I feel like we did a good job of visiting Massachusetts with kids.

Logan Airport Tip: It’s a zoo- arrive early. We were so glad we got their early to navigate the lines.

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