Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston


Out of all the many celebrations I invite you to follow me on, my kids’ birthdays are my favorite occasions to CELEBRATE.   The most important aspect of our celebrations is spending time with a birthday kid on their day, while enjoying a special activity (or two, or three!) as a family. (I am not talking about a party for 30 or so of your child’s friends – this would be a subject for another post some day).

Living in the Boston area, with its own ocean harbor, national historical sights, world class art and science museums – there is simply no limit to special places you can take your kids to on their birthday, even if you only have a couple of hours in the afternoon that are free from work and/or school.

So here are some ideas for what to do and where to take your kids in BOSTON on their BIRTHDAYS.

Where to take your kids in Boston for their birthday

1. Make a Hair Appointment (for her doll)

This year, for the first time ever, I was not able to take a day off for my daughter’s birthday (besides, she LOVES her Kindergarten too much to miss even a day!).  Still- we had a very special afternoon celebration at an American Girl store in Natick.

First, the birthday family (grandparents included) had a celebratory dinner (surprisingly delicious!) at the in-store bistro followed by the doll hair salon experience, where Vi’s American Doll Rebecca (a birthday present from a couple of years back) got a new hairdo – and her ears pierced (still talking about the doll!).

Where to take your child on their birthday in Boston
The birthday girl is enjoying her  doll’s beauty salon experience at the American Doll store in Natick, MA.

While you don’t have to bring an American Girl doll to enjoy your celebration at the bistro, the little details (a doll chair and a doll sized tea cup with a saucer) add to the experience- and so do all the other “pink” elements of the décor .  My mom confessed that her “inner child” rejoiced.  Birthday meals ($20 per adult, $30 for a birthday girl, you may reserve online)  include an appetizer and main course, and a signature cake; regular dinners are $16.50 and weekday tea and crafts are $13.50.  Doll hair and “spa” treatments are $5-25.



2. Pick Some Fresh Strawberries at your local Farm:

Where to Take Your Child on Their Birthday in Boston
Vi picking strawberries at Ward Berry Farm on her third birthday.

If you have a summer birthday, (like we do), there is usually something ripe to pick at your local farm (check your farm’s website for a day’s picking update), in addition to petting zoos, hay rides, and apple donuts (exact choices depend on your farm, of course).

It’s a strawberry picking season at Ward Berry Farm in Sharon; Tougas Family Farm in Northborough offers plenty of pick your own options throughout the summer and fall (strawberries and cherries time now!); and for the Metro West residents there is a Lookout Farm in Natick.

3. Take a Swan Boat Ride in the Boston’s Public Garden

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston


Swan Boats  in the Boston’s Public Garden have been freshly repainted for the season (10am to 4pm through the end of June and until 5pm in July and August; Adults $3, Children $1.50). Don’t forget to pet the famous ducklings of the “Make Way for Ducklings” statutes when you are in Park.

4. Go Camping

This involves spending the night, but we have had some great family memories on a family only birthday camping trips in honor of the birthday child.

Where to take your kids on their birthday in Boston
Den enjoying a S’more at a Shawme Crawl Camp site on the Cape

5. Cross the bridge to Cape Cod

If you go mid-week, you can avoid the bridge traffic even in the summer.  There are beaches, theme mini-golf courses, ocean side biking and a general sense of an escape you sometimes need from the city.

Here is Den mini-golfing somewhere in Yarmouth on rt. 28 on his 6th birthday:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston


6. Take a Ride on Greenway Carousel

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston

Vi enjoyed her recent ride on a Greenway Carousel (part of the 1.5-mile contemporary public park in the middle of Boston)  as much as she did on her first birthday:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston

On a Greenway walk, Vi also loved playing the water “games” with the water fountain and a “steam” sculpture (there are a total of 7 water features in Greenway Park):

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston
Steam Sculpture on Greenway.
One of the Greenway Fountains

7. Visit a Zoo

There are several great Zoos in the area, including Southwick Zoo in Mendon and Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

8. Meet Thomas the Train at Edaville USA and Thomas Land (open until 8pm in August; check their website for daily summer schedule )


9. Slide down the water slides in CoCo Key indoor water playground.

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston

CoCo Key Boston in Danvers, MA (inside the DoubleTree Hotel Boston North Shore) is one of the largest indoor water parks around Boston. Beware: advance online registration is required for day passes. (open late some days, check the schedule ahead of time)

10. Play at the Boston’s Children’s Museum

We took Vi to celebrate her first birthday: there is a lot of hands-on exploration for little kids and even their older siblings:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston
Vi and Den admiring the aquarium at the Children’s Museum on the day of Vi’s first birthday

Children’s Museum is open until 9pm on Fridays (10-5 daily)

11. Go Bowling.

This picture was taken at the Ryan Bowling in Yarmouth, on the Cape.  A little family competition never hurts the birthday fun. Here, Den and his grandma are getting into a serious “competitive” spirit during Den’s 12th birthday celebration:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston

For a “fancier” bowling experience with on-site restaurant, check out King’s Bowling in Dedham’s Legacy Place.

12. Build some Legos at the Lego Playground

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston (in Somerville); is open until 9pm on Fri and Sat and until 7 pm other days; you need 2-3 hours to enjoy this Lego play space. Advance tickets are suggested to guarantee admission and can be purchased online (there is also a reduced ticket offer of $15-$18.50 per person for tickets bought online).

My kids visiting Lego Discovery Center last June
Vi and Den are celebrating Vi’s 5th



13. Explore Dinosaur Collection at Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge (daily 9-5)

Den and his cousin visited to celebrate Den’s 10th birthday and thoroughly enjoyed the fun and learning experience:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston

Plenty of  other scientific discoveries in Boston are to be made at  New England Aquarium (9-5 during the week, until 6 on weekends) and Museum of Science.

THE ART LOVING Birthday Kids, will love to

14. Admire the collections of Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston (Wedn-Friday until 9:45pm; closes at 4:45 on other days), Museum of Contemporary Art (until 9pm Thursday and Friday) and Harvard Art Museums.

Where to Take the Kids on their Birthday in Boston


For a more hands-on painting experience, your kid may want to

15. Paint some Pottery

Vi requested a visit to the Make a Meaning as one of her 5th birthday celebration activities:

Where to take the kids on their birthday in Boston
At the crafts store with her dad and grandpa celebrating her 5th

This Make a Meaning store (in Dedham) has since closed but there are other paint your pottery style shops, including “Plaster Fun Times” (several locations throughout the state) – they always leave space for walk-in painters; open until 6pm most days).


16. Explore Boston’s National Historical Park in Charleston, with its US Constitution Museum and USS Constitution Ship (check the website for the Free Tours times of this world’s oldest commissioned war ship) OR

17. Visit Plimoth Plantation and Mayflower Ship in Plymouth.

AND YOUR KITCHEN HELPERS could improve their skills by

18. Taking a Cooking Class

There are a couple of local kids cooking classes options, including the cooking centers at Whole Foods in Dedham and Sur La Table in Braintree. Check their websites for monthly schedule of classes for young kids and up to teens.

Vi at the Sticky Fingers Class at Dedham’s Whole Foods.



Check Museums’ websites: most offer free or reduced admission days

Check with your local library for free tickets (subject to availability)

If you are interested in more child birthday tips – read this post.


Where to take your kids on their birthday in Boston

We thank “American Girl” for providing us media passes for our birthday meal at their bistro. I received no compensation for recommending any of the museums or businesses included in this article and I am doing so because I believe that they are wonderful choices for spending time with your child – on their birthday.




13 thoughts on “BOSTON BIRTHDAYS.”

    1. Victoria@celebratetheweekend

      Thanks for your comment, Dana! I thought it was a fun way to take Vi (and family) on the day of her birthday!

  1. What great suggestions! I loved that you can combine all these travels, family time and make the birthday a memorable experience for your child 🙂 Been to some of these places in Boston, would love to be back and see the rest!

  2. You have so many great ideas of fun things to do. I think we would go for strawberry picking and the Lego centre first. This post also makes me realise that I really need to visit Boston!!!

  3. What a great list of places to visit with your kids in Boston, whether it is or is not their birthday. My daughter always complains that her birthday is in the wintertime so she can’t do anything outdoor, but she has started to ask about an indoor water park birthday recently, so I’ll have to decide whether we’ll do it or not.

    1. Victoria@celebratetheweekend

      There are a couple of great indoors water parks within a driving distance- you should not deny your girl, Jolanta:)

  4. Some great ideas even though we are not from the area. I took my daughter to American Girl bistro for her birthday treat in NYC and she loved it! I thought the food was pretty good too. We did the hairstyle too and she and her doll were so pleased to be having a dress-up dinner in the bistro. really sweet.

  5. Pingback: Girls' Lunch at the American Girl Bistro-Boston

  6. I just visited your current post through your one other page. I am happy to know new points and also have suggested it to my all 15 family members. Actually my kids just like in this post, always try to go for the birthday celebrations of their friends and each time I have to spend a lot. But your post has given me some new points to consider.

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