Our trips are great for families new to hiking or camping as well as those with more experience. We welcome families of all kinds. Here are some of our most common questions about our trips:
What if my kids are too slow or the hike is too challenging?
To parents who worry "my kid won't fit in", we say - you may be surprised! Our outings offer a friendly atmosphere with a combination of new and returning families. Magic happens! Kids without fail make friends of different ages, and constantly surprise parents with their adaptability! Of course not all kids travel at the same pace, so leaders tailor activities to the group. Older kids may go on a longer/faster hike while the littler ones go at their own pace with time to explore. Typically, there are lots of stops for breaks and snacks, with an adult at the rear to keep track of everyone.
If you have any questions about the challenge level of the trip, email the leader. Ask the ages, what equipment is necessary and describe your family's experience to see if it is a good fit.
Do you have easy family day hikes?
We plan close-to-home walks, explorations and other fun outdoor activities for kids around Boston. We sometimes meet at a playground to keep the kids happy while we congregate, or combine a walk with a social get-together. Some of our hikes are T-accessible and we encourage car pooling.
Do I have to be a member?
There is no need to be to be an AMC member - everyone with kids two to teens is welcome (younger if they are in a carrier!). On the occasion that one of our trips uses AMC lodging, there may be a discount for members.
Do you have overnight family trips?
On weekends and during school vacations, our family trips go further -- to beautiful locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine! In the summer, choose from car camping with hiking, biking, water activities and general exploring in nature, hiking to AMC huts/lodges, or camping right here in the Boston Harbor Islands! In the winter our trips offer simple farmhouse accommodation or AMC huts for sledding, skiing and other snow fun. On all our trips leaders make sure the activities fit the ages and abilities of the kids.
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations may be a rustic farmhouse, tent camping, or an AMC hut or lodge. Families may have to share a room or a bathroom or walk to shower. We work to make sure the set up is comfortable for all families. Each trip is different - so check with the leader.
How are meals handled?
Trip leaders usually buy food for the trip and everyone helps with meal preparation and eats together. Kids share in chores too! We will always have kid-friendly food available. Let the leader know if you or your kid have food allergies or special requirements and we will do our best to accommodate them.
Are there are any fees?
There are no charges for our day hikes or activities, you only have to pay for any entrance fees or equipment rentals. But please register so we know you are coming! Overnight trip fees usually include accommodation/campsite and food. You may have to bring lunch makings or something for a potluck. You will get details on what is included in the cost when you register. Our overnight trips also help to contribute towards the leaders and co-leaders expenses. A small amount may go to the Boston Family Outings Group to help with training and overheads.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you are going on a free trip, we request that you alert the leader of the trip if you do need to cancel. If you are going on a paid trip, the policy is as follows:
If you need to cancel for any reason, and there are at least thirty days before the start of the trip, you will receive a full refund. If you need to cancel less than 30 days before the trip, the leader will make every effort to give you a full refund, but since some accommodations will not refund cancellations made less than 30 days in advance and food may have been purchased, we may not be able to refund your fee. If there is a waiting list and other participants to take your spot, you will receive a full refund. On occasion, at the discretion of our Family Outings Treasurer, we are able to apply a partial refund toward a future trip with AMC Boston Family Outings.
Is this right for my family?
Leaders may set age requirements or equipment requirements (think hiking to AMC huts) for their trip and will help you decide if the trip is right for your family. Don't worry about your kid/s not fitting in - it's amazing how kids who do not know each other play together on trips!
Are dogs allowed on trips?
Dogs are welcome on some trips. This is on a trip by trip basis - if you want to bring a dog, check first.
Why should I go?
Your kids get to spend time together outdoors, and you get grown-up company. It's a win-win.