It is tradition in our house on Mother’s Day that I get to pick what we do, all 5 of us, as a family. One year we went to Canobie Lake Park and I got to ride all the big rides with the big kids, while my husband brought our toddler to all the toddler rides. Another year we rode go-karts and played lazer craze.
This year it was a little more difficult to come up with something as my children are now 5, 9 and 11 and have varying interests. To add to the complexity, I have 2 boys and a girl so I needed something that would not only be interesting to 3 different age groups, but also boys and girls (not to mention my husband and me!).
Enter the World Famous Boston Duck Tour. As they say on their website: “you’ve never toured Boston in anything that comes close to a Boston Duck Tour.” The “DUCK” is a vehicle that rides on both land and water. It is actually an authentic World War II amphibious landing vehicle that has been renovated for sightseeing tours around Boston.
I ordered our tickets online for our tour and printed them at home because I wanted to make sure we could get a mid-morning reservation. If you know the specific timeframe you want, I recommend ordering your tickets online a few days in advance.
The five of us show up around 11:00 for our 11:15 tour and we are allowed to get on the DUCK right away. I was impressed that we didn’t have to wait! The DUCK is window-less, so dress for the weather (which, in Boston, can change at any moment). We lucked out and had a gorgeous 75 degree day. Not only does the tour drive by all the historical places and famous Boston landmarks, your tour guide, the ConDUCKtor, also provides a short history lesson and some “insider” tidbits about the city. My 11 year old found this especially cool because he has learned all about the American Revolution in school. He really got into the history.
Now I admit, I wasn’t fully prepared for the ConDUCKtor, as his personality was a little…. loud (ha)… I later learned that all the ConDUCKtors take on specific characters, and are assigned to specific boats. They conduct the tour in character while they navigate through crazy Boston traffic. Our ConDUCKtor brought a lot of humor to the whole experience and the kids really liked him! In fact, if you have children between the ages 5 and 11, sit near the front – he lets a few kids drive the boat once it’s in the water!
Some of the places we drove by include the State House, Bunker Hill and the TD Banknorth Garden, many old cemeteries, Faneuil Hall and Cheers. As we drove by Boston Common, we got to witness the annual Mother’s Day “Make Way for Ducklings” parade!
Did I mention the Quacking? Yes, you are required to quack at people walking on the street as you ride the Duck Tour. Don’t worry, your ConDUCKtor will tell you when, completely at random throughout the entire tour.
Once we got into the Charles River, my 5 year old was in complete heaven. He was waiting all day for that vehicle to get into the water and it did not disappoint. He was just in complete awe and loved every single second. 80 minutes later and we were back where we started.
Here’s my pro and con list:
- Great family activity for a family with multiple age groups
- Fun for Mom and Dad
- Unique and fun
- Weather could be an issue if you don’t dress appropriately
- It is on the expensive side, but they do provide different options, including a shorter, 65
- minute tour. See ticket prices.
I’ve been recommending it to lots of friends who are looking for something new to do with the whole family. My husband and I both really enjoyed it, the kids enjoyed it, and it was a great way to spend a beautiful day in Boston! You should check it out. Quack quack! Visit www.bostontours.us/ for more information!
That’s IT! – Kim
Kim was born and raised in the Boston area. She is married with three children, ages 11, 9 and 5. Learn more about Kim at her personal blog http://thepichronicles.blogspot.com/
* Kim was not compensated for this post. The review is in our own words and is our opinion.The review is in her own words and is her opinion.