For Patients and Families
Activities for patients
Visits to the hospital can sometimes be long, but they don’t have to be boring! Our Volunteer Services and Child Life Services departments coordinate many fun and creative activities for all age groups; see your child’s Child Life specialist for a copy of the full Entertainment Calendar.
Activity rooms can be found on every inpatient floor. They are shared by children, teens, young adults and parents, and are open during the day for relaxing or taking a break from the hospital routine. Child Life specialists and unit volunteers provide developmental play, games, computers, art projects, music and other creative and educational activities at scheduled times.
Your child must be supervised by a parent, staff person or volunteer while in the activity rooms. Parents and visitors are welcome to participate in activities. Because the activity rooms are places for children to temporarily escape the stress of the hospital, all medical examinations or other actions that may cause upset are prohibited in these areas.
Patient Entertainment Center
Patients and families are invited to come and enjoy the sights, sounds and events of the Patient Entertainment Center (PEC). Located in the Berthiaume building to the right of the top of the large staircase in the Main Lobby, magic shows, bingo and musical performances are just some of the fun activities offered in the PEC. With activity tables, PacMan machines and a colorful jukebox on "free play," filled with old favorites and the latest hits, the PEC is a great place to just relax.
Every Tuesday at 2 p.m., a live cablecast show is produced in the PEC and aired on Channel 22, one of the hospital's in-house cable channels. In addition, there are two Saturday shows a month.
A schedule of events is posted outside the PEC and is available on the inpatient units. If your child is interested in attending an event in the PEC, please discuss it first with his nurse. Volunteers are sometimes available to escort patients to the PEC.
Television and radio
There are televisions and VCRs in every patient room. The television system carries local stations and some satellite stations, 24 hours a day. Movies are shown from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
Some favorite channels include:
Channel 16 – Disney Channel
Channel 20 – Nickelodeon
Channel 22 – Movies and hospital information, including the PEC schedule and list of services at the Interfaith Chapel; "Children's Midday;" the Midweek Morning Show
Channel 26 – Relaxation channel
Channel 28 – Spiritual programming
- Channel 29 – Patient education
"Children's Midday" is offered each Tuesday at 2 p.m. on Channel 22. This live, interactive show, produced in the PEC, welcomes patient participation from viewers on inpatient units as well as those in the entertainment area. To talk to the show's weekly host, dial 5-KIDS (ext. 5-5437) on your hospital phone.
The "Midweek Morning Show" (MWMS), Children's fun monthly talk show, is aired from the PEC. The show, hosted by Child Life specialists, is broadcast throughout the hospital on Channel 22. Each episode features a special guest and a variety of regular segments, both live and taped.
The schedule and listings for patient entertainment are on Channel 22 and are posted on each patient care unit.
Hospital volunteers visit the units and clinics weekdays, evenings and weekends to provide companionship and entertainment for patients and families. They are a support service, taking on many roles within the hospital including escorting patients, reading stories and leading activities.
Clown Care Unit
The Clown Care Unit is a group of clowns trained by the Big Apple Circus. Costumed as doctors and nurses, the clowns visit children in their rooms or unit activity room, and entertain them with humor and play specifically suited to hospitalized children. The clowns visit selected patient care units and the intensive care units during the week; ask your child's nurse or Child Life specialist if your child's unit is on their route.
Pawprints Dog Visitation Program
Pawprints is Boston Children's Hospital's therapy dog visitation program. Through Pawprints, eligible patients and their families may receive a visit from one of the hospital's therapy dogs.
Located behind the Farley/Pavilion building, the Prouty Garden offers a serene and playful escape from the pace inside our hospital. It's the perfect getaway for patient and caretaker.