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Downtown Playdates

Downtown Playdates

PARTNERS

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Presenting Partner

The Greenway
Presenting Partner

Boston Children’s Museum

New England Aquarium

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

BSA Space

Christopher Columbus Park

THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market

Atlantic Wharf (Boston Properties)

Come play in downtown Boston this summer! Back for a second season, Downtown Playdates is a collaboration between nine downtown organizations, featuring fun, games and prizes for kids of all ages.

Downtown Playdates will be held on Saturdays in July and August, with activities scheduled between 10am and 4pm. Join us for our Kickoff Party on the Greenway on July 7, and come back over the summer for more!

For a taste of our programming offerings, check out the 2018 schedule below.

Share your photos of #downtownplaydates activities to be entered in our weekly prize giveaway! Prizes include:

  • A family four pack of Quincy Market Meal Passes
  • A Carousel family four pack (four tickets to the Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove)
  • Carousel coloring books
  • A family four pack for admission to the Boston Children’s Museum
  • A family four pack of passes to the New England Aquarium
  • Kids in the KITCHEN tickets
  • A family four pack of Harbor Island Ferry tickets
  • A family four pack of tickets to Fall Family Days at BSA Space (exact date to be selected by winner)

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

presenting partner

South Market Street, Boston, MA, 02109

Every Saturday

Rosalita’s Puppets (10:30am): Rosalita’s Puppets will charm kids and adults with new productions each week. Find the show at 10:30am on South Market Street (outside Wagamama). Rosalita’s Puppets will move inside to the Rotunda in case of rain.

Chess lessons (3:00 – 5:00pm) Our chess lessons teach important ideas and themes to players of all skill levels. Find a chess instructor at 3pm on South Market Street (outside Uniqlo).

Ping pong and board games:  free-to-borrow from 10am – 7pm daily. Find the Games Cart on North Market Street (outside Dick’s Last Resort).

Kids coloring station: includes crayons and paper for the smallest visitors, are free-to-borrow from 10am – 7pm daily. Find our Kids Corner on South Market Street (outside Cheers).

Select Saturdays

Community Mural Making with Karen Swyers (11am – 3pm):  Kids (and kids at heart) are invited to join Karen Swyers on select Saturdays in July and August as she creates a whimsical 10′ x 5′ mural of Faneuil Hall Marketplace and other Boston landmarks. Karen will work with budding artists of all levels to create individual characters and items that will be incorporated into the larger piece.

In case of rain, outdoor activities may be cancelled.


The Greenway

presenting partner

The Rose Kennedy Greenway offers a variety of activities to do with your family and is the perfect pathway on your journey to and from our partner sites. Join us for a break, a bite, a spin, and a splash!

Every Saturday


The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove is open every Saturday from 11am-9pm all summer long. $3/ride; buy ten tickets for $25 ($5 discount).

Greenway Play Sessions (11am – 2pm): Greenway Play Sessions near The Carousel will feature one of our unique pieces of play equipment and often an additional activity for kids and their families to enjoy! More information about specific date offerings available on our Facebook event page.

Our seven water features are perfect for cooling off on those hot days.

Select Saturdays

Downtown Playdates Kick-Off (July 7): Join us at The Greenway Carousel to kick off the Downtown Playdates series!

Boston Children’s Museum

308 Congress Street, Boston, MA, 02210

There is plenty to do at the beloved Boston Children’s Museum. Located a four minute walk from The Greenway’s Fort Point Channel parks, the museum offers fun for kids of all ages.

Every Saturday

Stop by and “Discover the Power of Play”—there is sure to be something fun for everyone! Located a four minute walk from The Greenway’s Fort Point Channel parks. (Events included with paid Museum admission).

Select Saturdays

Zumba® Kids—July 7, 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM: Get active and participate in a family friendly zumba class for kids and grown-ups! Zumba is a fitness program that incorporates many styles of dance, including cumbia, salsa, merengue,reggaeton, and tango.

Be Well Series: Sun Safety—July 14, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM: The summer is here, let’s play outside! But also be mindful about sun-safety. Enjoy outdoor games, learn about the effect of UV rays, and ask questions about how to be safe in the sun in order to be prepared for all the outdoor summertime fun!

Critter Day—Saturday July 21, Check calendar for time: Not all animals have four legs and two eyes.  There are lots of animals with strange body types, and many of them live in the ocean. Discover moon snails, crabs, mussels, jellies and lots more fantastic creatures that can only be found under the sea!

Wizarding Weekend—Saturday July 28, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Potions, Quidditch practice, and much more awaits you! Join us for a Wizarding Weekend, as we celebrate our favorite wizard’s birthday. Come dressed in your robes and bring your wand! Don’t have a wand? Worry not, you can make one! Your house needs your support, so join in and help them win the House Cup! Muggles and Wizards alike welcome!

Maker Programs—Saturday, August 4, 2:30 – 4:30 PM: Come join us for hands-on, minds-on activities where you’ll get to think creatively and solve problems as you experience the art, science, and fun of Making!

Kitchen Science—August 11, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM: What do oil, food coloring, milk and straws have in common?  They’re all found in the kitchen, and they’re all great for doing science!  Join us as we mix, experiment and predict, using things you can find at a grocery store.  Best for kids 6 and up.

American Society of Chemists do Chemistry Activities—August 18, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Please join professional chemists sharing their love of chemistry and chemical engineering through hands-on, engaging activities.

Be Well Series: Eye Care—August 25, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Investigate how your eyes work and ways to take good care of them. Explore optical illusions, try eye drop art, and more! Presented in collaboration with the New England School of Optometry.


New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA  02110

Come explore with Aquarium educators on George’s Island on Saturdays in July and August starting at 11am for Beach and Below.  Learn more about what animals call Boston Harbor their home. As we collect snails, crabs and other living things families are invited to come observe and touch them as well as ask questions about their lives and habitats.  We hope to see you out on the Harbor Islands this summer where you will get a chance to say “hi” to some of our marine neighbors.

Every Saturday (ferry fees apply)

Beach and Below (11am): Held on George’s Island each Saturday.


Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

Boston Harbor Islands Ferry Schedule  & Location Information

Hop on the ferry at Long Wharf North and discover an island adventure just minutes from Boston!  Enjoy free programs and events at Georges, Spectacle and Peddocks Islands plus activities at our downtown Welcome Center on the Greenway.

Visit bostonharborislands.org for detailed descriptions and registration for select events. All programs are free; regular ferry fees apply for travel to the Boston Harbor Islands.

Every Saturday (ferry fees apply for activities on the islands)

Zumba at the Harbor Islands Welcome Center (10:30am): Your workout has never been this fun!  Join Boston’s popular Zumba studio for a dynamic workout appropriate for all levels of experience.  This class is located at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston.  Registration is recommended.

Island Detectives on Spectacle Island (10AM – 10:45AM): Join a fun and interactive tour of Spectacle Island just for kids!

Go Fly A Kite on Spectacle Island (11:30AM – 1PM): Make a kite and fly it from the harbor’s highest point! Learn to make and decorate your own kite with materials provided during this drop-in program. Make your kite on the Visitor Center porch and ask park staff where to catch the best island breezes!

ArtCart on Spectacle Island (1:30PM – 3PM): Visit the ArtCart to borrow drawing and watercolor supplies and get creative outside! Visitors of all ages are invited to drop in and enjoy pencils, pastels, watercolors, crayons, coloring books and more.

Storming the Fort! on Georges Island (11:15AM – 12PM): An interactive tour of Fort Warren designed especially for kids! Join a park ranger to learn about life at Fort Warren during the Civil War, try your hand at marching drills, and “storm the fort” on Georges Island!

Beach and Below on Georges Island (11:15AM – 2:30PM): Learn what lies beneath the waves at Georges Island with staff from the New England Aquarium. Learn about unique species of marine life and examine our impact on the world’s oceans as you take part in this drop-in touch tank activity.

1860’s Dress-Up on Georges Island (12PM – 2PM): Step back in time as they try on children’s clothes in the style of the 1860’s. Join a Civil War soldier or lady in the parade ground and learn how children and adults would have dressed when they lived at Fort Warren over 150 years ago.

Select Saturdays

Illuminate the Harbor June 30, 9PM: Welcome the summer season with a harbor fireworks spectacular brought to you by Boston Harbor Now! View the show from the downtown, East Boston or South Boston waterfront.

Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys July 14 on Georges Island, 12:15PM – 1:15PM: Calling all kids!  Rock out to surf, soul and rockabilly tunes with Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys.

Marching Orders: Street Band Parade July 28 on Georges Island, 2PM – 4PM: School of HONK! descends upon the island, filling Fort Warren with music! Stomp your feet to the infectious beat of New Orleans jazz, gypsy swing, and big band music brought to you by Boston’s favorite community brass ensemble.  Join the spectacle with parade costumes and facepaint or make your own creation at our crafting station.

Karen K and the Jitterbugs August 11 on Georges Island, 12:15PM – 1PM: “Bug out!” with Parent’s Choice Award-winning band Karen K and the Jitterbugs on Georges Island’s Outdoor Stage!

Toe Jam Puppet Band August 25 on Georges Island, 12:15PM – 1PM: Get ready to get silly!  Act out a fairy tale, join a sing-along and learn a barn dance with local family favorite Toe Jam Puppet Band.


BSA Space

290 Congress St., Boston, MA, 02210

BSA Space is Boston’s leading center for architecture and design, and is home to the Boston Society of Architects/AIA and the BSA Foundation. BSA Space hosts exhibitions on design and architecture, architecture cruises and walking tours, and other programs and events that foster exchange between design and construction, the profession and the public, and encourage collaboration across the city and world.

Every Saturday

LEGO Challenge (11am – 4pm): Drop in for a LEGO Challenge during the Downtown Playdates series using your imagination and an extensive collection of LEGO Bricks. Each week participants will face a different design challenge including creating the tallest tower, reimagining a Boston neighborhood, designing a new neighborhood, or picturing buildings resilient to sea level rise. Join BSA Space’s design team for a brick ton of fun while envisioning Boston’s future using your favorite design tool.


Christopher Columbus Park

Near the corner of Mercantile Street & Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA, 02110

The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park are once again delighted to bring lawn games to the park on summer Saturdays. Christopher Columbus Park opened in 1974 and was Boston’s first waterfront park. It completes the pedestrian link from Boston City Hall by way of Faneuil Hall Marketplace across the Greenway to the waterfront.

Every Saturday

Tot Lot Playground: Come and play in the playground, which has a large climbing structure with slides, a sandbox, and a sprinkler area to cool off..

Lawn Games on the West Lawn (12:00pm – 4:00pm): Play corn hole, giant Jenga, ladder golf, and more!


THE KITCHEN at The Boston Public Market

100 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02108

At the KITCHEN we’ll be hosting Kids in the KITCHEN again this summer. For more information, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kids-in-the-kitchen-tickets-35265136974.

Select Saturdays

Kids in The KITCHEN July 14 & 28, August 11 & 25 ($9/members, $15/non-members)

Join the fun in The KITCHEN for a series of cooking classes for kids ages 6-12 to learn about local food and the journey it makes from the farm to the table. In these hands-on classes, kids explore and taste the seasonal bounty of the region through the local vendors of the Boston Public Market.

Classes are deliberately small (max 15 kids) so please register in advance to guarantee your spot HERE.


Atlantic Wharf (Boston Properties)

290 Congress Street (the grassy area in front of Smith & Wollensky)

End of Summer Bash! August 25, 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Join us on Saturday, August 25th from 12PM-2PM for an End of Summer Bash on Waterfront Plaza! (290 Congress Street, the grassy area in front of Smith & Wollensky). Bring the kids for one last celebration of Summer, including a kids concert with Stacey Peasley, face painting, fun activity tables, games, food and more! This event is free to the public, rain location will be inside 290 Congress Street in Waterfront Square.

News from Downtown Playdates

Downtown Playdates

Come play in downtown Boston this summer! Back for a second season, Downtown Playdates is a collaboration between nine downtown organizations, featuring fun, games and prizes for kids of all ages. Downtown Playdates will be held on Saturdays in July and August, with activities scheduled between 10am and 4pm. Join us for our Kickoff Party on the Greenway on July 7, and come back over the summer for more! For a taste of our programming offerings, check out the 2018 schedule below. Share your photos of #downtownplaydates activities to be entered in our weekly prize giveaway! Prizes include: A family four pack of Quincy Market Meal Passes A Carousel family four pack (four tickets to the Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove) Carousel coloring books A family four pack for admission to the Boston Children’s Museum A family four pack of passes...

Downtown Playdates Commuter Information

  Start off summer the right way with our Downtown Playdates series starting in July and running through August!  Whether you’re taking the T or driving, fun family activities are easily accessible to all. Here’s the easiest way to reach all of our events! T Stops: Rose Kennedy Greenway- Aquarium Station (blue line) Boston’s Children Museum- Courthouse Station (silver line) New England Aquarium- Aquarium Station (blue line) Boston Public Market- Haymarket Station (green and orange lines) Friends of Christopher Columbus Park- Aquarium Station (blue line) Boston Harbour Now- Aquarium Station (blue line) BSA Space- South Station (red line) Faneuil Hall Marketplace- Government Center (green and blue lines) Boston Properties / Atlantic Wharf- South Station (red line) Parking: Park directly above the Boston Public Market in the Parcel 7 (Haymarket) Parking...

Downtown Playdates Kickoff Weekend

Join us this Saturday, July 7th, for the Downtown Playdates kickoff party held at the Greenway Carousel!  Enjoy family friendly, free events every Saturday throughout July and August. Check out all of our events coming up this Saturday, July 7th! Faneuil Hall Marketplace Rosalita's Puppets: (10:30am) Chess lessons: (3:00pm - 5:00pm) Ping pong and board games:  free-to-borrow (10:00am - 7:00pm daily) Kids coloring and building block station: free-to-borrow (10:00am - 7:00pm daily) The Greenway The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove: open every Saturday (11:00am-9:00pm) all summer long. $3/ride; buy ten tickets for $25 ($5 discount) Greenway Play Sessions: meet near the Carousel (11:00am - 2:00pm) The seven water features: perfect for cooling off on those hot days Boston Children’s Museum Zumba® Kids: July 7, (11:00am and 11:30am) Get...

Downtown Playdates Special Events- July 14th

Downtown Playdates is now in full swing! Big thanks to everyone who came out last weekend to our kickoff party and visited our numerous events. We can’t wait to host this weekend’s fun happenings! Hope to see you there! Check out all of our events coming up this Saturday, July 14th. Faneuil Hall Marketplace Rosalita's Puppets: (10:30am) Chess lessons: (3:00 – 5:00pm) Ping pong and board games:  free-to-borrow from 10am - 7pm daily Kids coloring station: 10am - 7pm daily. The Greenway The Greenway Carousel at the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove: open every Saturday (11:00am-9:00pm) all summer long. $3/ride; buy ten tickets for $25 ($5 discount) Greenway Play Sessions: meet near the Carousel (11:00am - 2:00pm) The seven water features: perfect for cooling off on those hot days Boston Children’s Museum Be Well Series: Sun Safety:(11:00 am – 3:00 pm) The summer...

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