Family Travel: Where to Stay in Boston & Cambridge
Best Kid-Friendly Boston Hotels
Check out these properties for kid-friendly services and local family-fun attractions.
Families on a Boston vacation need every incentive and break they can get. Most large hotels offer packages that are meant to lure families. They might give you tickets to local attractions, cookies at bedtime, free movies and sometimes even toys. No doubt visiting museums will be a high priority on your trip and if you can get some free tickets, you can save a bundle.
Downtime is also important when traveling with kids, and there’s no better place for this than at swimming pools, which are found at many of the Boston family hotels that I’ve reviewed. The following spots consistently offer great family packages and other perks. Three of these hotels are in Cambridge, which is just a stone’s throw from Boston, Mass., and easily accessible by car and subway.
Boston Harbor Hotel
The Boston Harbor Hotel on Rowes Wharf, features a location which alone is almost enough to entertain kids. Watching the hustle and bustle of the harbor traffic can be quite enthralling. You and your family can easily walk to Faneuil Hall, the Freedom Trail and the New England Aquarium. You can rely on the hotel to have Boston family packages year-round, usually tied to the season, that are just an extra $25 on top of whatever room or suite price you book. The current spring package, which runs from March 19 to June 18, includes sugar cookies and milk at turndown, four tickets to the New England Aquarium (worth about $60) and valet parking (which is $36 a night). There’s also a gorgeous 60-foot indoor pool.
During the summer, the hotel offers free outdoor concerts on Tuesday through Thursday nights, and classic film screenings on Friday nights. Movies featured have included Some Like It Hot, Planet of the Apes and The Princess Bride.
Even without the package, the hotel takes notice of all kids who stay there during their Boston vacations. It has books, games, puzzles, child-size bathrobes and even an in-room high chair available. Other items on hand are strollers and a car seat, should you choose not to travel with yours.
Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf, tel. 617-439-7000. Package rates start at $375. www.bhh.com
Omni Parker House
The Omni Parker House is a veritable institution that opened in 1855. Its employee and guest lists are legendary, as is its claim to fame of creating both the Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls. Malcolm X was a busboy here; Ho Chi Minh was a baker. Wizard of Oz fans might love that Judy Garland used to stay here. The hotel is located in an ideal spot for vacationers, right along the Freedom Trail across from Boston Common. You can walk to almost every tourist spot you can think of—Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, the Public Garden, the State House and many others.
The hotel is ideal for traveling to Boston with kids—it offers a number of packages of interest to families throughout the year. For example in winter, there’s a Wet-n-Wild Aquarium package and a Boston Hockey Sports Fan package, among others. Check the Web site for other seasonal options. Kids also get a goodie bag with games and books upon check-in.
Omni Parker House, 60 School St., tel. 617-227-8600. Package rates start at $179. www.omnihotels.com