November officially starts the holiday season excitement! It’s a busy month for sure – with Thanksgiving planning in full swing and holiday shopping to complete. Take some time with the kids and unwind at one of these family-friendly activities around the city.
These activities are all budget-friendly and accessible by public transportation. From parades to nature hikes to light shows, we’ve got it all right here:
1. Free Play Date at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
Date: Saturday, November 1, 2019
Location: Institute of Contemporary Art, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA 02210
Ages: All ages
About: Bring the kids for an activity-filled day at the Institute of Contemporary Art! Activities include family gallery tours, arts and crafts, and performances. The event is designed for kids and adults to experience together.
Transportation: The ICA is a 5-minute walk from the Courthouse and World Trade Center bus stations, accessible via the Red T Line. Limited parking nearby.
2. Create the Change Day Boston 2019
Date: Sunday, November 3, 2019, 2pm-4pm
Location: Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Roxbury Crossing, Boston 02120
Cost: $0-$5 (contact the organization for waiver)
Ages: All ages
About: Get into the true holiday spirit with this event by Project Giving Kids. This service-based event includes an array of different activities. Kids can choose from assembling hygiene kits for people in need, crafting fleece blankets for shelter animals, assembling backpacks for homeless students, or writing holiday cards for stationed troops. Music, snacks, and raffle prizes are provided!
Transportation: The athletic center is T accessible, located off of the Orange line. There is free parking onsite.
3. Veteran’s Day Parade
Date: Monday, November 11, 2019
Location: Starts at Boylston and Charles Street near the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, ending at City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA; Parade starts at 12pm
Ages: All Ages
About: Salute our veterans during Boston’s annual Veteran’s Day parade. The procession includes a variety of floats and local marching bands. The parade starts at 12pm at the intersection of Boylston and Charles Street, near the Boston Common and Public Garden. The mile-long route ends at City Hall Plaza with a short program.
Transportation: To get to Boylston and Charles Street, use any Green T lines or the Red T line. You can also use the Orange line, getting off at the Chinatown station. Parking is available at the Boston Common Garage. To get to City Hall Plaza, use the Orange, Blue, or any Green T lines. Parking is limited in this location.
4. Give a Hoot About Owls
Date: Sunday, November 17, 2019, 4pm-5:30pm
Location: Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA 02126
Cost: Free for adults, $9 for children
Ages: Kids ages 5 to 13
About: Go on a nature trail and look for owls! Budding scientists will be able to dissect owl pellets in this hands-on event. Children will also make take-home arts and crafts.
Transportation: The Boston Nature Center is accessible via bus – get off at the American Legion Highway & Walk Hill Street stop or the Blue Hill Avenue & Morton Street stop. There is plenty of onsite parking.
5. Family Hike: Get Ready for Winter!
Date: Sunday, November 17, 2019; 2pm-3:30pm
Location: The Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130
Ages: All ages, best for kids ages 4 to 10
About: Go on a nature walk with the family. This interactive hike teaches kids how different animals get ready for the winter. Kids can create winter homes for their favorite animal at the end of their walk.
Transportation: Accessible by the Orange T line. Parking is available near main entrance and along the Arboretum’s perimeter.
6. Holiday Trellis Lighting: Christopher Columbus Park 2019
Date: Monday, November 18, 2019, 5pm
Location: Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, 110 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02110
Ages: All ages
About: Join Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department to light the park up for the holiday season! Come for the seasonal musical performances, holiday treats, refreshments, and giveaways. Special guests include Santa Claus, Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman.
Transportation: Accessible via the Orange, Blue, and Green lines. Parking may be limited.
7. Boston Blink! Holiday Light & Sound Extravaganza 2019
Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 – January 1, 2020 (ongoing); 4:30pm-9pm every night
Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109
Ages: All ages
About: Enjoy the largest Christmas tree in the Northeast while experiencing a spectacular light show in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. The holiday show illuminates the Boston skyline to the beat of classic holiday music. Performances are every half hour, starting at 4:30pm until closing.
Transportation: Accessible via all the Orange, Red, Blue, and Green T lines. Paid parking nearby (75 State Street Garage)