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  Family fun on the Boston Harbor Islands
Family fun on the Boston Harbor Islands

What to Bring

Folding Chair   Hat
Sunglasses   Sunscreen
Insect repellent   Binoculars
Windbreaker   Sweatshirt
Food for picnic   Kite
Water   Snacks


To Boston Long Wharf by car:
From the south, take I-93 to exit 23 (Atlantic Avenue & Northern Avenue)
Follow signs to Atlantic Avenue and the
New England Aquarium
From the north, take I-93 to exit 23 Purchase Street/South Station
Take first left on Congress, then immediate left on to Atlantic Avenue
Follow signs to the New England Aquarium
Parking is not possible at Long Wharf
(passenger drop-off only), and you will
have to park nearby, at Rowes Wharf, The Mariott Hotel, The Garage at Post Office
Square, The Boston Harbor Garage, or
Quincy Market. Traffic can be heavy in the area because of the Big Dig, so arrive early to find a spot without hurrying. Average
parking fee for a day is about $25
(off-street parking is free on Sunday, but
spaces are difficult to find)
By Subway:
Take the Blue Line to the Aquarium Station or the Orange Line to Haymarket
  Good to know in advance
Ferry fees: $10 round-trip per adult, $8 per child age 6-18, $6 per child age 3-5, free for children under 3; inter-island shuttle is free

Ticket center and ferry departure to
George's Island located at Long Wharf, one block from Faneuil Hall, between the Marriott and the New England Aquarium

Water is available only on Georges Island - bring your own to other islands
Ferry can be crowded on summer
afternoons – arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. The last ferry of the day is
always the most crowded
On-island rangers are equipped with
emergency communications and first aid
To schedule your trip, download the water shuttle
For other ferry information, contact Harbor Express: or 617-222-6999
For information on moorings for private
boats, call 617-223-8666
For more information on the Boston Harbor Islands National Park: or call 617-223-8666
All islands open from 9:00 am to sunset
Restrooms on Georges Island
No pets allowed
Carry-in/carry-out policy, trash receptacles are limited
Alcoholic beverages prohibited
Amplified sound (radios, boom boxes)

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 1/5
  Time from Boston: 30 minutes
  Duration: Full day

$10 per person

  Main activity:

For Families

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Thirty-four islands make up the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area, varying in size and shape, rich in history and nature with plenty to do for the entire family. Whether your family likes to hike, swim, enjoy live theatre and cultural events, or just explore, the islands have something for everyone.

Among the islands, two are great family destinations: Georges Island, the Islands' hub, is family central with free activities every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer. Lovells, its smaller neighbor, is a great choice for a picnic and swimming, as Lovells has a swimming beach supervised by lifeguards.

To better enjoy the Islands with your kids, the best is to select the activities that best fit your family's tastes. Here are our four summer picks:
1. Spend the day on Georges Island and visit Historic Fort Warren
Start early: board the 9:00 am ferry at Long Wharf and arrive at Georges Island, a 30 acre Civil War landmark, at 9:45am
Take a guided tour of historic Fort Warren to discover how the fort was used as a prison for confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Hear the legend of the "Lady in Black," a ghost rumored to haunt the dark corridors of the fort
Pack a picnic and find a place for yourself under the ramparts. In the afternoon, climb the ramparts, walk along the beach, fly a kite, explore the island on your own and enjoy picturesque vistas
Return on the 4:15pm ferry and arrive back in Boston by 5:00 pm
2. Attend the Weekend Family Fun Days
Every Saturdays and Sundays through September 4, 2005, free science, history and cultural activities for families. All the events take place on Georges Island - call 617-223-8666 for the latest program:
August 13-14: Boston Harbor Islands Outdoor Photo Expedition: Bring a camera to the islands and join expert photographers to learn about light, composition and outdoor photography. Walk island trails with PhotoWalks Tours to capture history, wildlife and scenic harbor vistas on film.
August 20-21: It's Easy Being Green: Meet cast members from Zoom, the popular PBS children's television show and watch a Zoom stage show; two performances each day: 11:00 am and 2:00pm (weather permitting). Kids will design a contraption that will help to green up the environment; cook a hotdog in a solar oven; and see the Hull wind turbine that generates energy to power local homes.
August 27-28: Baseball Time Travelers: Step back in time for a World Series game at Fort Warren. Legend has it that in the early 1900s, Boston's laws prevented baseball from being played on Saturdays and Sundays. So as not to let America's pastime miss a swing, the Boston Braves took to the field of Peddocks Island. Come and see vintage baseball-traditional overhand style and an underhand one-bounce style. Baseball historians will be on hand to call the game and test fans baseball knowledge. Rumor has it that the 2005 World Series Trophy will make an appearance, too!
September 3-4: Boston Harbor Island Kite Festival: See stunt kite artists demonstrating their high-flying techniques and bring your own kite to catch the wind and join in the fun.
3. Attend a children play
Enjoy live theatre with "Plays in the Park" summer series features the Boston Children's Theatre-"live theatre for children by children"
Performances every Friday at 12 noon and 1:30 pm through September 2, 2005:
August 12 Muppet Revue
August 19 Salute to the Sea
August 26 Baseball Revue
Sept. 2 Chinese Folktales
For performance details: 617-424-6634 or 617-223-8666
4. Explore Lovells Island For Sun and Swimming
Characterized by its curved beaches and diverse wildlife, Lovells is a peaceful island escape and great place for safe family swimming, since Lovells sandy beaches are supervised by lifeguards in season
Along its shores are rocky tidal pools, sands dunes and some of the best views of the outer harbor. Beach goers can also explore the remains of Fort Standish and walk along trails that pass by the dunes and salt-marsh woods
Special events and daily programs bring alive the military history, folklore, geology, and biology of the island
To begin your day of fun in the sun, take the 9:00 am ferry to Georges Island.-the ride is approximately 30 minutes. Disembark at Georges to wait for the Lovells shuttle at 10:00 am. Spend the day on Lovells and take the shuttle back to Georges at 3:45pm to make the 4:15pm ferry back to Boston
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