Before visiting Boston, I kept hearing about Boston Duck Tours, and how it was a must-do with kids. Turns out, their reputation precedes them for a reason! This tour is the perfect way to gain an overview of the city while the kids (and adults) are highly entertained. The fun begins as soon as you board your ‘duck’, a W.W.II style amphibious landing vehicle, and are introduced to your ‘conDUCKtor’, who both drives the vehicle and narrates the tour.
The tour takes visitors throughout the city while the conDUCKor points out sights such as the Public Garden, points along the Freedom Trail, Copley Square, the State House, various museums, and historic buildings. Then, well before even young kids can get squirmy, the vehicles drives straight into the Charles River where it floats downstream. The views are wonderful, but even more fun is the amazement of the kids, especially when they’re all given turns at the helm of the ‘boat’.
Our tour, aboard the red, white, and blue (and aptly named) ‘Liberty’, was conducted by ‘Captain Foghorn’, who was lively, funny, and friendly throughout the tour. We were taught how to ‘quack’ at game passersby on the street and other tour vehicles, and the kids were free to blow their ‘quackers’ (duck whistles), which were less annoying than you’d think (but still $4 each). Captain Foghorn peppered his narrative of the city with personal anecdotes, jokes, and current events, keeping adults as entertained as the kids. The total time for the tour is 90 minutes (though a shorter version is available) and all the kids in our group, from age 2-12, called it one of their favorite activities in the city.
Tip: Plan to arrive at your tour 1/2 hour before departure time, and bring sweatshirts or jackets, as it gets cold on the river!
Date last visited: June 2011
Ticket prices: Tickets are $32 for adults, $22 for kids 3-12, and $10 for under 3. This price seemed steep to me, but after experiencing the tour, I can say it’s worth it! Be sure to get tickets ahead of time online, as they do sell out.
Hours: Tours depart seven days per week, rain or shine, from mid-March through November. See website for more information or details about the abbreviated tour departing from the New England Aquarium.
Directions: When purchasing tickets, visitors have two options of tour start locations, The Museum of Science (1 Science Park) or the Prudential Center in the Back Bay (53 Huntington Avenue). We choose the Prudential Center, and easily found the duck tour booth upstairs, then boarded our vehicle one block away.
As I disclose whenever applicable, our party received complimentary tickets to experience the Boston Duck Tour. While appreciated, this compensation came with no expectation of a positive review.