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Great spot in Boston to bring kids

So I've got the nephews, (10 & 12) and we'll be right in downtown Boston. Any suggestions on a fun place to bring them? Obviously I'd like to steer away from Cheesecake Factories and the like, but this isn't exactly going to be fine dining either. I had thoughts of heading to Pizzeria Regina, would make all of us happy, but how crazy-busy would they be at say 7:30-8ish on a Fri night? Something like Border Cafe would probably be fun for them, and barely tolerable for me, but again, I anticipate a mob scene there. I'm sorta blanking on other good options, anyone?

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    1. re: Bostonbob3

      Summer Shack is a good idea, so good in fact, that they've been there before. MOS is a good thought. Thanks guys.

      1. re: twentyoystahs

        I agree about Summer Shack too! I have yet to meet a kid that don't like to check out the giant lobster tank!

    2. Durgin Park might be perfect. They serve kid-friendly food that's also good enough to please a 'hound. Plus it will expose them to a bit of Boston history.

      1. How about the Museum of Science? You could eat and then tour the museum since they have extended hours on Friday nights (and I believe cocktails for the adults). I think the observatory is open, too.

        Just checked the website...they do have extended Friday night hours. Might be fun for the kids!


        2 Replies
        1. re: a l i c e

          I was thinking the same thing, MOS or the aquarium. And if you go to the library you can get free passes to the Museums. (Call ahead and then just pick them up... amazing deal).

          Or Top of the Hub or Bay Tower Room for an app. Fun to check out the city and see the planes taking off.

          1. re: cvb

            Bay Tower Room doesn't exist anymore, private function space.

        2. How about Shabu-zen or Kaze? My kids are 10 and 7, and they adore those places. It's the do-it-yourself factor, plus, they love soup and noodles. If it's lunchtime, dim sum is entirely child-friendly. Lot's of stuff on the board about that. We like China Pearl, but there are votes for Hei La Moon and Chau Chau City too.

          1. Durgin Park! I still remember going there as a 10 year old while visiting a relative who lived in Boston. 45 years later, I often take visitors especially with kids, to it. Something for everyone on the menu, the historic angle, and very "Boston" feel to it, etc. Kids always want to take home the flyers with the poem about the bad boy, the recipe for the cornbread, and the history of the place. Here's a place where you can actually try "Boston Baked Beans" and Indian pudding, for not that much money. Throw in the fact that it's in a very kid-magnet Quincy Market(not so back when I was 10!), tourist area you'll probably want to take to them to anyway, and you've got a slam dunk.

            1. have heard that the restaurant at the four seasons hotel is good for kids. good kids menu. lots of room around the tables. clean high chairs.

              1. depends on how open Ur shorties are to new things. my 12 year old son and i have been digging into chinatown lately. we love strolling around and trying new things. our current faves are the salt & pepper shrimp at Taiwan Cafe followed by the extra thick shanghai noodles at King Fung. we then stop by Bao Bao bakery for some treats (the mini cheesecakes are good) and always get some bbq (either ribs or a whole duck) for a late night snack.

                1. I know it's a chain, but Maggiano's is actually pretty decent and I'm sure the kids would love it.

                  1. My kid's love Dick's Last Resort. We like the one at the Pru better than the one in Quincy Market because there's more space.

                    1. Dick's is no longer at the Pru.

                      1. I moved from Boston so long ago and I was single then but there are some places I'd love to come back to see and bring my kids. I don't know how high on the "chowhound" factor but definitely high on fun. One is No Names on the water. That was always loud and casual. Serendipity in Fanieul Hall, for the frozen hot chocolate. Sail Loft, between downtown and the North End, on the water for their clam chowder (or cup of hot flavored cream, depending on how you look at it). As a lot of people mentioned, Durgin Park. Oh, and that burger place in Cambridge, Bartley's? Are these places still around? This was so long ago, but it's bringing back memories.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chowser

                          And I'm pretty sure the No Name is also gone. There's still a couple of Sail Lofts, I think, and Bartley's is still turning out well-regarded burgers.

                          1. re: chowser

                            They are all still here (except for Serendipity). The Sail Loft was renovated a while ago, haven't been since though.

                          2. Serendipity is long gone. :-(

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Chris VR

                              Oh no, no more frozen hot chocolate? See, I never got it when I was single and heard so much about it. I thought it would be a great time to try it when I brought my kids. Lesson learned, never put things off.:-( I've heard there's one in NYC but I wanted to sit outside and people watch at Fanieul Hall.

                            2. I'm gonna guess Serendipity's been gone for at LEAST ten years. So, don't feel so bad, maybe your kids weren't even born yet...:)

                              For the record, I brought the tykes to Regina. It was fun, good pizza as always. A bit of a line but it moved quickly. We went to Trani (the soft-serve injected cupcake place), new on Salem St, afterwards. Nothing special but of course the kids liked it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: twentyoystahs

                                Ten years? Now I'm feeling really old. Pizzeria Regina was really good, too. It's where I was re-introduced to plain cheese pizza and realized plain can be as good as one w/ toppings.

                              2. We went to Pizzeria Regina at about 5pm on Wednesday, and had to wait for a table, so...other ideas:

                                Bartley's/Toscanini's in Harvard Square
                                El Pelon Taqueria in Fenway
                                Emma's Pizza near Kendall

                                woops too late. mmm regina.