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Jan 10, 2010 12:16 PM

Need ideas for a toddlers day in Boston

Hi folks!

I was hoping for some advice. Let me give you the basics.
My daughter is turning two next month. We decided not to have a party (as they overwhelm her.) We live on the northshore and our daughter adores Boston. We thought a day or an afternoon with a few of her friends (and their parents) in the city might be the perfect birthday event for her. Ideas for places for lunch...a little more fun than the ordinary lunch outing? Ideas for places for a little indoor fun? I was thinking the Childrens musuem, but that may be a little chaotic.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated!! Thanks for your help!!!

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  1. Oh, I hope the weather will cooperate and you can walk around a bit!!

    The Children's Museum has an area specifically for the 0-3 set. While it can be a little busy, it's usually not too bad - just busy with toddlers. Check their website for the song-and-story schedule; the baby/toddler area is generally less busy on the days they don't have music. For lunch, your could try Flour bakery which is right around the corner from the Children's Museum. In my personal experience, the staff and the clientele doesn't seem to be particulatly happy to see toddlers during their busy lunchtime so you might want to aim for an off-peak lunch. There are several other nifty-looking sandwich shops in the immediate area but I always go back to Flour and ignore the looks :-)

    Have you been to the Aquarium with your DD? Fun place to take the kids, they can run around the ramps and if they do well in restaurants you can go to Sel de la Terre for lunch. Also a nice riverwalk right outside, Christopher Columbus park is fun to stroll through (there's a giant sand pit, not sure if it's open in the winter tho). Not a long walk to Quincy Market & the North End from there, either.

    If the weather ends up being horrid, you can always go to Copley Place/ Pru Center. There are some looooong galleries at the Pru that are perfect for running the little rugrats ragged. Not that I've done that. Ever. :-)

    3 Replies
    1. re: gimlis1mum

      Totally what I would have said!
      I would add that by age two, they will like other things outside of the little kids area, like the bubbles, the climbing stuff, and also the "plays" are short enough that toddlers will have fun but not start to climb the walls, so I suggest aiming for one of those.

      I also totally prefer Flour Bakery to what they have on site, though you could bring a picnic. I haven't had (or noticed) any situation with bringing kids to Flour, but it's not easy to get a table at peak times, so try to get there by 11:30. The kids will love the food and treats.

      1. re: dulce de leche

        I third the rec of the Children's Museum - just get there early before it gets crowded. I took my daughter (when she was 2) to Flour, and it's great for kids. Also, they have a little window where you can watch the bakers, so we got to see croissants being made - honestly, I think that was a bigger hit than the museum! I think that we did go at an "off" time, but people were still really nice to us.

        Have a great time - I'm sure that she'll love any activity... So pick something that 's fun for you and the other parents - at this age, it's still kind of more for you :)

        1. re: sallyt

          THanks, everyone!! Both Flour and Cupcake Tea are fantastic ideas! Although, I think we may skip Children's... We're hoping for a nice day to cruise around the Public gardens or somewhere in the city...

    2. Cupcake tea at the Ritz!!!

        1. Full Moon in Huron Village in Cambridge is a great place to take young kids. Their entire business model is geared towards young families: the menu is kid friendly, they have crayons, and there is is a large play area in plain sight with tons of toys and a wooden train set. The service has always been great too. My five year old niece loves going there.
          But let me be clear, this is no chuck e cheese. It has a great atmosphere and adults can feel sophisticated and hip while dining.

          Full Moon
          344 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

          1 Reply
          1. re: caserole

            I would second Full Moon. It's a wonderful spot to be able to have grown-up food while the kids get healthy kid food (mac and cheese made with real cheese, served with cantaloupe rather than the ubiquitous fries, and drinks served in sippy cups). And the play area is geared to the little ones. Out of the way enough so that there is no danger of them getting tripped over or hot food spilled on them, but still easily watchable from the dining area. And the brunch is very yummy - I'm particularly fond of the huevos rancheros with chorizo sausage and black beans. Mmmm...

            There is an excellent little-kids' play space at the Museum of Science as well. Much less crazed than the Children's Museum. You still pay at the entrance, but to get into the play space you walk down past the food court, on the way to the Omni theater.