At the end of every school year, I find myself slightly overwhelmed by the thought of having my children home for three straight months. A few years ago, a wise friend gave me the idea of making a summer bucket list — any time the “I’m bored” whining starts, we have some ideas to draw from! My children and I make our lists together, so they get to add things they’re excited about too. Our list is still in progress, but here’s what we are planning to do this summer!

  1. Check out some new pools and splash pads from the DCR list. Artesani is our summer go-to, but this year we are going to explore some new ones!
  2. Visit the USS Constitution. We’ve been in Boston for 14 years and have never been. With a Boston Public Library museum pass, you can get up to nine people into the museum for free!
  3. Have a picnic on Bunker Hill and see the monument (unfortunately, the monument is still closed for climbing — but the grounds are lovely for picnicking!).
  4. Go strawberry picking at our favorite family farm! Boston Moms puts together an awesome list of berry farms every year, so there are lots of good choices!
  5. Wicked Good Playdates! I’ll be at the one in Chestnut Hill — will I see you there?
  6. Hike our first real mountain. We are thinking of Lonesome Lake and the Kinsmans or Mt. Monadnock — but I would love to hear your favorites for kid-friendly hikes!
  7. Read Your Way to Fenway. Summer reading programs at the library are the best!
  8. Swim at Walden Pond — just be sure to get there early, as the lot fills up quickly!
  9. Bike the Minuteman Trail. Our youngest is just learning how to ride a two-wheeler, and I can’t wait for family bike rides this summer. Especially with soaring fuel prices, we plan to explore more of the city by bike!
  10. Go to the new four-story Beacon Hill Bookstore.
  11. Take a ferry ride out to the Boston Harbor Islands.
  12. Swim at Mirabella Pool. Located on the Boston Harbor in the North End, this one takes a while to warm up — think mid-August — but once it does, you cannot beat the views of the Harbor!
  13. Peach picking! (Or, for those who prefer true southern peaches, there are still a few boxes left on the peach truck!]. Tougas Family Farm never fails to produce really yummy peaches!
  14. Take in an outdoor movie or concert. Our friends have highly recommended the Summer in the Highlands series in Newton, but there are lots of downtown options also!
  15. Visit Daddy at his office (and take some touristy photos around Harvard Square). And we’ll be sure to visit the original Berryline for a special sweet treat!
  16. Go to the Copley Public Library — maybe even pop in for a LEGO builders day!
  17. Blow giant bubbles.
  18. Create our own ice cream flavor.
  19. Go to the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl.
  20. Camping! We have trips planned to Nickerson and Shawme-Crowell State Forests, both of which we have found to be very kid-friendly!
  21. Fireworks! Our favorites are up over the beach in Winthrop, but the Pops Fireworks Spectacular is always excellent also!
  22. Kayaking on the Charles River. We bought an inflatable kayak a few years ago, and it’s awesome for quick jaunts out! But you can also rent kayaks or canoes (including one-way rentals!) from Paddle Boston.
  23. Free Slurpee Day on July 11 (7/11)!
  24. Check out Patriots Training Camp down in Foxboro. Yes, it’s about seeing the team, but there are also a bunch of free, fun activities for kids! 

What’s on your Boston summer bucket list?!

Kristen is Southern by birth but has called Boston home since 2008. Unlike most Boston natives, she still really loves the snow and cold. She and her husband have two energetic and kind sons (2013, 2014) and a sassy baby girl (2016). Kristen jokes that she has a Master's degree in laundry and a PhD in conflict resolution — which she uses far more than her actual physics and politics degrees. After seven years as a stay-at-home mom, Kristen went back to work full-time in 2021, and has found that incredibly life-giving while also an additional "juggle." In her "spare" time, she runs her own business (Murph&Moose), serves on multiple school committees, and runs half marathons. Her passion is seeing moms feel comfortable in their own skin and less alone in the chaos that is motherhood. Loves: gardening, languages, coffee, running, time with her girlfriends, and the rare moments of silence when all three children are (finally) in bed. Dislikes: daylight saving time, non-washable markers, and noisy neighbors who disrupt her rare moments of silence.