July Adventures: 11 fun things to do with the kids this month
Thursday, July 1 through Sunday, July 4
Various downtown locations - Boston
With hundreds of activities over Independence Day weekend at Boston’s best landmarks, this family-friendly event is one of the country’s largest Fourth of July festivals. Activities include historical reenactments, Freedom Trail walks, boat tours, live entertainment, and more. Performances and roving enactors kick things off at Downtown Crossing on Thursday. Saturday, enjoy a classic car show, costumed entertainers and live music, then head over to the harbor to watch an patriotic-themed parade of creatively-decorated motorboats. On Independence Day, a parade will step off from City Hall Plaza and pass the Granary Burial Ground, where wreaths will be laid on the graves of patriots. The parade continues through Downtown Crossing to the Old State House for a reading of the Declaration of Independence from the balcony. For the full schedule of events, visit bostonharborfest.com.
Summer Concerts with the Concord Band
Thursdays, July 1 and 8
Fruitlands Museum - Harvard
Bring your blanket, lawn chairs and picnic basket to take in an outdoor concert and spectacular views. The Concord Band will treat concert-goers to a fun roster of timeless music, including pieces memorializing historic events, show tunes, holiday favorites and more. Picnic food, snacks, and beverages are available through pre-order with the Fruitlands Museum Cafe. Tickets are $10 for member adults and $15 for nonmembers, kids are free. Advance registration required at thetrustees.org.
Sunset Family Owl Prowl
Saturdays, July 3 and 17
Tully Lake Campground - Royalston
Learn about the owls that breed in Massachusetts! Find out how to identify owls by call, where to find them, and how owls can successfully hunt at night. Take your skills to the trail and listen for owls along Long Pond. After the walk, end with a bedtime story – “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen. Don’t forget a flashlight! Members $6-$9; nonmembers $10-$15. Register at thetrustees.org.
Friday, July 9
EcoTarium - Worcester
Check out two new exhibits to inspire passion for nature and science, the Tree Houses and Design Zone, at the reopening of indoor exhibits at Worcester’s leading science and nature museum. The summer featured Tree Houses exhibit teaches explorers how to become an environmental steward by hanging out in trees and how trees help sustain life on Earth. This indoor experience teaches the importance of sustainable logging, animal tracking, building, and much more. Design Zone, an interactive and creative exhibit, highlights the relationship between mathematical thinking and the creative process in art, music, and engineering. Design areas allow users to create and produce music, video games, and extreme sports. For tickets and more information, visit ecotarium.org.
Patriots’ Field Day with Dad
Sunday, July 11
Gillette Stadium - Foxboro
The New England Patriots Hall of Fame’s annual Field Day with Dad event takes place on the Gillette Stadium field. The event will feature activities for kids and adults and include a photo opportunity with the Super Bowl LIII championship trophy (guests will use their own cameras). Enjoy balloon sculptures, caricature artists, and cheerleader and alumni appearances. Fans can test their readiness in NFL Scouting Combine drills, take advantage of other photo opportunities, play cornhole, or just play on the home field of the six-time Super Bowl champions. Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 5-12; under five need a ticket but will not be charged. For more info and tickets, go to patriotshalloffame.com.
Brimfield Flea Market and Antique Show
Tuesday July 13 through Sunday, July, 18
Route 20, Brimfield
The largest of its kind in the country, this massive outdoor antique show and flea market welcomes over 100,000 shoppers each year. Roughly 6,000 antique and collectible dealers make annual pilgrimages here to sell wares ranging from furniture and garden treasures to folk art, vintage textiles, and just about everything else you can imagine. Browse 12 fields filled with rows and rows of tented booths. Children will love the sights and the food, and can even try their hand at haggling for a deal. More info is at brimfieldantiquefleamarket.com.
Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience
July 23 through Oct. 11
Franklin Park Zoo - Boston
Boston Lights will once again illuminate Franklin Park Zoo with all new lanterns and lights. Experience the wonder of over 60 magnificent displays featuring hundreds of beautifully crafted lanterns spanning the zoo’s 72 acres. Walk through glowing corridors of lotus and sunflowers, cranes and cherry blossoms, and a towering 87-foot-long Tyrannosaurus Rex tunnel. Luminous animal and ocean scenes, traditional Asian lantern displays, a stunning 164-foot-long phoenix, and more will light up the night sky. Tickets are $21.95 for members, $19.95 non-members, or family four-packs for $62.95/$72.95. Kids under 2 free. More details at zoonewengland.org.
Summer Thursday Evenings at Tower Hill
Thursdays in July
Tower Hill Botanic Garden - West Boylston
Tower Hill Botanic Garden will be open for extended hours from 5-9 p.m. on Thursdays throughout July. Explore the gardens while enjoying live music, playing fun lawn games, and hiking our woodland trails. Enjoy food and drinks at the café, watch the sunset over the Wachusett Reservoir, and choose from a wide variety of scheduled programs for both children and adults. While you’re three, check out the new exhibit, Wild Hideaways, where you can explore a fantastical collection of interactive, outdoor hideaways inspired by art and nature, and custom designed by local landscape architects and artists. These creative pieces will transport visitors to a world full of imagination and adventure. Tickets are $16 for adults, $6 for kids, and children 5 and under are free. Reserve tickets at towerhillbg.org.
Summer Friday Nights Free
Fridays through Sept. 3
Discovery Museum - Acton
Enjoy free admission from 4:30-7:30 p.m. every Friday night this summer at the Discovery Museum, a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape -- featuring a 550-square-foot treehouse -- blend the best of STEAM learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land. Though not required for admission, visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation, to be distributed to the Acton Food Pantry and Open Table. Advanced reservations will be required to visit the campus; for details visit discoveryacton.org.
Pizza Picnics on the Farm
Fridays in July
Powisset Farm - Dover
Spread out your blanket or sit at a picnic table to enjoy dinner against the backdrop of the beautiful farm fields and impending sunset. The al forno outdoor pizza oven going from 6-8 p.m. with a variety of farm-fresh pizzas. Craft beer and wine will also be available for sale. Listen to live music, take the kids for a StoryWalk along the trails, and take in the relaxed end-of-a-long-week farm vibe. Members $8, nonmembers $10. Advance tickets required, and available at thetrustees.org.
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
Saturdays in July
Tully Lake Campground - Royalston
Join Campground Rangers to learn the basics of fishing. Go on a short hike to the fishing spot and learn how to set up your fishing pole, basic casting techniques, fish identification, and how to take a fish off the line. Fishing poles and bait will be provided. For children 12 and under, parent or guardian must be present. Member $5, nonmember $10, register at thetrustees.org.