Before we moved to East Boston, it felt like a distant land, far across the water from the rest of Boston. Now, after having lived here for almost a decade, I cannot imagine a better place to live — or raise kids. One stop away from downtown Boston on the MBTA Blue Line or a short water-taxi ride away, it’s an easy location for an adventure and offers a myriad of options to parents of young children!
Here are some of my favorite East Boston locations to visit with my kids:
Take the Blue Line to Orient Heights for this hidden treasure of Eastie. It’s a tiny beach with a large (free) parking lot. But the real draw is the view of Logan Airport a few hundred feet away. Your transportation-loving child will be thrilled to watch planes taking off and landing as Blue Line trains rumble by behind. When they get bored of watching trains and planes, they can build a sandcastle, play in the basic but fun playground, or splash in the shallow, wave-free waters. Parents can also rest easy knowing there are on-site bathrooms open April to October.
When you’ve exhausted the fun of Constitution Beach, you can bike, walk, or run the 2.8 miles down the East Boston Greenway to Piers Park. The Greenway is scenic and only crosses one street — perfect for beginning bikers! As an added bonus, it runs alongside the Blue Line MBTA for the first mile. My children like to try to race the trains! If you prefer to take the train, Piers Park is a short 10-minute walk from Maverick Station.
Piers Park overlooks the Boston Harbor, giving you gorgeous views of downtown. It has a great little playground and splash pad. During the summer, there are open-air concerts sponsored by Zumix, plus outdoor movies. The local Piers Park Sailing Center offers a fantastic array of youth programs, including sailing lessons and nature camp. In the fall, the East Boston YMCA runs the stroller-friendly East BOOston 5K down the Greenway to Piers Park. And yes, there are on-site bathrooms!
Public Parks and Playgrounds
Be sure to check out some of the new, clean, completely enclosed playgrounds that hide in Eastie.
- Paris Street Playground features a phenomenal climbing structure sure to challenge the most adventurous of little monkeys!
- The American Legion Playground has views of the canal where your children can watch large ships come in. There is a section for toddlers, as well as ample climbing structures, slides, and swings (over new rubber surfaces) for older children. While it’s not close to public transportation, there is free two-hour street parking readily available most times of the day.
- A short walk from the Airport MBTA stop is Bremen Street Playground, featuring three different sections, all enclosed with a toddler-safe fence. In the summers, the Bremen Street fountains are one of my kids’ favorite attractions in the whole city of Boston.
- East Boston Memorial Playground is one of my favorites. It’s huge, with wood chip flooring, and features multiple climbing structures, swings, two teeter-totters, and small splash pad within its gated enclosures. Your little one can adventure while you can feel secure that their adventures are limited to a safe space.
- Lo Presti Park is not completely enclosed, but it’s newly renovated and features gorgeous views of the Boston Harbor, where you can watch the boats pass by! It’s a short walk from Maverick Station.
East Boston Public Library
On a rainy day (or any day), be sure to stop by the East Boston public library for one of two children’s storytimes. On Wednesdays there is a baby lap-sit with stories and songs for children 2 and under, and on Tuesdays there is a fantastic children’s storytime and crafts for children ages 1-5. During the year, the librarians keep a robust calendar of insightful and fun children’s programs, including concerts, playgroups, and after-school tutoring.
Last but not least, for more indoor fun, Central Park Lanes does not disappoint. It’s a bit of a hole-in-the-wall, no-frills type of place, but for a fun afternoon of bowling, it is your place to be. It’s a short walk or bus ride from Maverick Station, and there’s typically street parking available as well.
Whether you come for a few hours or a full-day adventure, I hope to see you around my neighborhood soon! What are your go-to places for kids around East Boston?