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by Judy Antell


When my husband and I first got a cat, we were typical ‘new parents,’ obsessing over her every need and want. Three human children later, we weren’t quite as focused on our new kitten, and it wasn’t until we were already planning a weekend in Boston that we realized we had no one to watch our baby feline.  Luckily, we found a pet-friendly hotel, Hotel Marlowe.  The hotel, on the water in Cambridge, embraces dogs with a bowl of biscuits and a welcome sign, and is open to all pets.

   But bringing your pet isn’t the only attraction of this hotel.  It is also incredibly kid-friendly, overlooking the massive Museum of Science, and offering free use of kayaks and bicycles (including kids’ bikes and tandems).  The suites are also reasonable priced.

   Even if your child isn’t science-oriented, the museum is a great way to while away the day. There’s an enormous discovery center for kids up to age 8, as well as a dinosaur exhibit and live animals. And this summer, the museum has a new Baseball As America exhibit (through September 1), which looks at baseball through science.

   Another science museum, the MIT Museum, recently expanded, though the entire museum can probably fit into the Museum of Science’s massive lobby.  Exhibits include unusual machines that you can activate, sandscapes where kids can manipulate landscapes, and a LEGO learning lab.

   In keeping with the theme of museums connected to universities, we headed to the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  The museum has many dioramas of animals; it also has an extraordinary collection of glass flowers.  Admission includes the adjacent Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. There we explored the Hall of the North American Indian and an exhibit dedicated to Day of the Dead.

   If your kids need to burn off steam, they can run around the Boston Children’s Museum, which has a three-story climbing structure.  If your kids are too little, there’s a special Playspace for kids under 3.  There’s also a hands-on area where kids can explore different Boston neighborhoods, and a boat exhibit where you can literally float your boat.  In Airplay, a new exhibit developed with Blue Man Group, kids can play instruments and learn about air’s properties.

   None of Boston’s many attractions are particularly cat-friendly — but they are certainly appealing to kids.


• Museum of Science is open in summer Saturday-Thursday 9am-7pm, and Friday 9am-9pm.  $17, $14 ages 3-11, extra for Butterfly Garden, 3-D theater, laser shows and planetarium; www.mos.org.

• The MIT Museum is open daily, 10am-5pm.  Admission is $7.50, under 18 $3, under 5 FREE.  FREE to all Sundays till noon.  (617) 253-5927; http://web.mit.edu/museum.

• Harvard Museum of Natural History is open daily, 9am-5pm.  $9, $6 ages 3-18. www.hmnh.harvard.edu.

• Boston Children’s Museum’s open daily 10am-5pm, till 9pm on Fridays. Admission $10, $8 ages 2-15, $2 age 1; FREE under 1. On Fridays, 5pm-9pm, admission is $1 for everyone. www.bostonkids.org.

• Hotel Marlowe has a special “Baseball As America” package that includes four VIP passes to the Museum of Science; www.KimptonHotels.com.

• Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, www.massvacation.com.

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