The museum opened in 1913 - it is the second oldest children's museum in the US (the oldest is the Brooklyn Children's Museum which opened in 1899). The Boston Children's Museum's first site was near Jamaica Pond in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain; the Museum moved to its present location in a former warehouse on Fort Point Channel in near downtown Boston in 1979.
The museum has evolved over the years; it currently occupies three floors and has both permanent and visiting exhibits, and all are very interactive for ages toddler on up. One of the permanent exhibits is based on the popular PBS series "Arthur" (creator Marc Brown hails from the Boston area) - you can visit Arthur's home, school and even become part of his show through a special video set up.
My youngest son - in Arthur's world!
Some of the other popular exhibits include a construction zone (inspired by Boston's infamous "Big Dig") where kids can climb on Bobcats and learn about different aspects of construction:
In the "Construction Zone"
Other exhibits include "Peep's World" (based on the popular PBS series), "Science Playground" where kids can learn about the laws of motion . . . or just play with bubbles, and "Boston Black . . . A City Connects" which explores Boston’s African American community.
The favorite exhibit by far for my sons was the "New Balance Climb", a three-story rope climbing structure located in the lobby of the museum - they could have spent an entire day in it! For parents of younger children, the climbing structure sits right next to a set of stairs so you can climb up alongside your child if you are nervous about them climbing!
The New Balance Climb
If you plan on visiting Boston during the summer months and have children - make a stop at the Boston Children's Museum. There are restaurants on site (including one in the historic Hood Milk Bottle in front of the museum)!
It is a stone's throw away from the popular tourist destinations of Fanueil Hall and the North End, and there are large, affordable parking lots only two blocks away. It can also be easily accessed by subway or commuter rail from South Station in Boston - the station is about a 5-7 minute walk from the Museum. For more Boston tourism information, visit the The Greater Boston Convention and Visitor Bureau website!