Boston Harbor Islands: Georges Island
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:66 Long Wharf, Boston, MA (for the ferry)
Hours:Ferry: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May through mid-October; island: 9 a.m. to sunset daily
Fee: Ferry: adults, $14; children ages 4–11, $8; island: free
Bathrooms: At the visitor center
Water/Snacks: Water fountain inside the visitor center; concessions outside

USGS Boston North

Georges Island is a short ferry ride away & offers a fort to explore, complete with a drawbridge, dungeons, spooky tunnels, & plenty of space to run around.

Fort Warren on Georges Island.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Thirty-nine-acre Georges Island is home to Fort Warren and serves as the hub for visiting most of the Boston Harbor Islands, which comprise a 34-island national park less than 10 miles from Boston’s shores. After a pleasant 25-minute ferry ride, you’ll arrive at the dock, where you can watch a brief movie about the island’s history at the excellent visitor center. The fort, now a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1833 and served by turns as a training ground, a patrol point, and a Civil War prison.

Older kids will love exploring the warren of dark passageways, rooms, and towers. For intrepid explorers, a flashlight is a must to avoid stumbling. Spiral staircases leading to dead ends, cannon placements, rooftop vistas, and observation points on the ramparts are irresistible to children, but remind them to be cautious. Don’t forget to bring a camera; Boston views from the island can’t be beat.

Free park-ranger-led tours of the fort give visitors an in-depth history of the island. Special events, such as fishing clinics, musical performances and other live shows, and even vintage 1860s baseball games played by costumed teams are offered in summer. You can’t swim at this island, but you can wander along the gravel beach. While you can bring a stroller on the ferry, much of the fort and island are not stroller-friendly. You’ll want to bring a baby carrier for infants.

Remember: Four islands in the park allow camping: Grape, Bumpkin, Lovells, and Peddocks. Visit the park website for more information.

Plan B:

The New England Aquarium, one dock over, and the Boston Children’s Museum, a few blocks away, are great alternatives.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Plan ahead and bring supplies to cook out at one of several cooking grills.


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