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Family Fun Guide To Boston’s Back Bay

July 1, 2011 2:12 AM

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Charles Street in Boston (credit: Michael Hicks via Flickr)

Charles Street in Boston (credit: Michael Hicks via Flickr)

One residual benefit of Boston’s Back Bay is that the neighborhood encourages people to walk — whether it’s in and out of stores, up and down the iconic brownstone-lined streets, along the banks of the Charles River, or through the Public Garden in search of those bronze ducks. And while Back Bay tends to be known as a chic Boston neighborhood replete with fine dining and high fashion, it actually is very family friendly as well. Here are four spots that will offer plenty of entertainment for grownups and kids alike. - By Christine Koh

Read Also: Road Trip: Boston With the Kids

newbury street3 Family Fun Guide To Bostons Back Bay

(credit: newbury-st.com)

Newbury & Boylston Streets

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Parents will probably find it difficult to resist saying, “Honey, can you hold the baby for a minute while I look at…” along the commercial corridors of Newbury and Boylston Street. And while I do recommend a little swap time to allow for prowling of both fancy labels and their lesser priced cousins (for example, at H & M on Newbury or Marshalls on Boylston), Lester Harry’s on Newbury offers a delightful , upscale selection for wee ones and Isis Parenting (in the Shops at the Prudential on Boylston) is a great place for toys, gear, and maternity/postpartum basics.

ducklings Family Fun Guide To Bostons Back Bay

The 'Make Way for Ducklings' statue on the Boston Common (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Boston Common and the Public Garden

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Boston Common and the Public Garden are accessible from the lower end of Newbury and Boylston and this beautiful green space not only offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, but family photo ops don’t get any better. Kids will love making friends with the Make Way for Ducklings statues, climbing the structures at the playground, riding the carousel, or splashing in the spray park (which turns into an ice skating rink in the winter) at Frog Pond. And the whole family can kick back and enjoy a Swan Boat ride together.

hatchshell Family Fun Guide To Bostons Back Bay

(WBZ photo)

The Hatch Shell

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Just a handful of blocks north of Newbury and Boylston is the Charles River. The Hatch Shell along the Charles is another city icon worth a visit, and a stroll along the Charles River will not only feel relaxing for parents, but offer endless fascination for kids – whether in the form of swans and rowers to look at or trees and playground structures to climb.

charlesstreet michaelhcks Family Fun Guide To Bostons Back Bay

Charles Street in Boston (credit: Michael Hicks via Flickr)

Charles Street

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Technically, Charles Street is part of Beacon Hill, but being adjacent to the Back Bay (just a few steps from the edge of the Boston Common/Public Garden) it’s an irresistible historic street to browse. Grownups will find a well appointed collection of antique stores and trendy little shops, kids will delight in The Red Wagon’s toys and books, and the whole family no doubt will agree on the yumminess of Upper Crust’s pizza

Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned freelance writer, editor, and designer. She is the founder and editor of Boston Mamas, the designer behind Posh Peacock, and writes a personal blog at Pop Discourse.

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