fb-pixel Skip to main content

10 Boston-area spots to be a kid again

You deserve to take a break from being a grown-up.

The giant solar-powered LED swings on the Lawn on D change colors when swung, fun for kids and adults alike.
The giant solar-powered LED swings on the Lawn on D change colors when swung, fun for kids and adults alike.Massachusetts Convention Center Authority/Signature Boston

There’s no denying that it’s been a very adult year and a half. For some, losses were heartbreaking and catastrophic. For the rest of us, we lost out on a year of celebrations, hugs, and spontaneity. The pandemic may have actually aged us through “stress aging,” wherein taxing events can take their toll physically as well as mentally, CNN reported.

But now that things are looking up, it’s about time that we all had the chance to reclaim our inner child. Whether your fond memories of youth include bouncing on trampolines, painting pottery, or vicious battles of laser tag, or you want to try something new, we’ve got you covered. This weekend, try out one of our 10 Boston-area spots where you can be a kid again. You deserve it.



Go ahead and jump! SkyZone’s wall-to-wall trampoline courts are perfect for hopping back in time. 60 minutes of cartwheels and somersaults will run you $20, but if you feel like bringing your friends into the mix, challenge them to a gladiator jousting battle, dodgeball, or basketball, all on the trampolines. 69 Norman St., Everett. 617-387-1000, skyzone.com.


Show your prowess on the lanes, old school. Family-run for more than two decades, Southie Bowl is a no-nonsense candlepin bowling joint, so hit some strikes while enjoying their ample beer list. Two hours of bowling will run you $20. 543 E Broadway, Boston. 617-464-4858, southiebowl.com.


The Lawn on D is sort of like a playground, but the swings here are giant LED, color-changing, egg-shaped swings. Lawn games like bocce, cornhole, Ping-Pong, and Jenga pop up in this Seaport District summer staple on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There’s also food and drinks in case you want the evening to get a little more grown-up. 420 D St., Boston. signatureboston.com.


The Lawn on D features a giant Jenga lawn game on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The Lawn on D features a giant Jenga lawn game on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.Massachusetts Convention Center Authority/Signature Boston


Tap into your artistic side at Rainbows Pottery Studio in Beacon Hill. They offer paint-your-own sessions, where you can make your mark on bowls, mugs, and figurines galore. We’re sure your mom would still love a homemade vase for her birthday. 15R Charles St., Boston. 617-306-6131, rainbowspottery.com


To cool off, take a trip down the 1.5-mile Rose Kennedy Greenway to visit the many walk-through water fountains, which include the soak-worthy North Canal water jets, the meditative Labyrinth Fountain, and the Harbour Fog movement-activated misting fountain. Who needs the pool? Atlantic Avenue, Boston. 617-292-0020, rosekennedygreenway.org.


The Castle, a board-game cafe on the North Shore since 2015, gives patrons a chance to munch on something from its full-service menu while defeating their friends (or enemies) in more than 1,000 possible games. Its library spans Cards Against Humanity, Settlers of Catan, and, yes — a Boston Edition of Monopoly. 240 Rantoul St., Beverly. 978-969-1719, thecastlebeverly.com.


No childhood was complete without the occasional 18 holes of mini-golf. You may have to travel a bit outside of the city to get your fix, but McGolf features a koi pond and a free game after six rounds. 150 Bridge St., Dedham. 781-326-9616. mcgolfonline.com.


Brooklyn Boulders might technically be a gym, but its sprawling indoor rock-climbing facilities are kid-approved. Learn the ropes in one of the introductory classes, or buy a day pass and climb to new heights. They also have a sauna for you to melt the grown-up stress away. 12A Tyler St., Somerville. 617-623-6700, brooklynboulders.com.


Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville has bouldering walls as well as rope climbing.
Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville has bouldering walls as well as rope climbing.The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance


Escape rooms might not have been around during your childhood, but Escape the Room in Downtown Crossing could make you forget that. For an hour, you look for clues and messages to — you guessed it — escape the room, which have themes like South Park and The Clock Tower. 33 West St., 3rd floor, Boston. 857-256-1174, escapetheroom.com


This one is a little hard to describe, but Boda Borg in Malden involves groups of three to five people progressing through a series of “quests” made up of mental and physical challenges, and you can’t progress to the next quest before you complete the last one. In Boda Borg, which was founded in Sweden, you don’t know what to do, your time is short, and the odds are you will consistently fail. Sort of sounds like adulthood. 90 Pleasant St., Malden. 781-321-1081, bodaborg.com

Dana Gerber can be reached at dana.gerber@globe.com