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Visiting Boston with Kids
My son was born in Boston, six years ago. I would love to take
him back for a visit but, for whatever reason, hotels are super
expensive over there (at least for me). I am hoping that
someone might know of a decent (no luxuries needed)and
affordable place where we could stay for a few days? It
doesn't have to be in Boston per se... It could be in Brighton
or any other close spot that's safe, nice and close to Boston.
We just returned from two trips to Boston: went there, stayed a 3 nights, went on to
Vermont, then returned for 3 more nights. We had the best and worst possible
Best: Using TripAdvisor.com, we ended up at the Hampton Inn--Billerica (which is
actually in Burlingon; go figure), large spacious suite for $59 a night, including
hot breakfast, taxes included.
Worst: Used PriceLine for the first time. They gave us the Bedford Plaza Hotel for that
same price. It sounded promising since it is not far from an MTA station with free
parking. It was, hands down, the worst hotel we've ever stayed at. Filthy, noisy,
the works. The comments on Yelp Boston and TripAdvisor.com (a good site for
searching) confirmed this.
We visited Boston in July 2008 for a wedding. My parents stayed at the Suite at 53
Wendell in Cambridge. It's awesome. You get a little suite with a bathroom and
kitchenette. Their unit had a washer/dryer too. There are tons of snacks and
beverages available in the building as well. It is very reasonable and is blocks away
from Harvard and the Cambridge (and Somerville, too, I think) T stops. It's in a cute
Private homes with kitchens. You have to pay a cleaning fee and a deposit however I
have found some pretty reasonable rates country wide. I have always gotten my
deposit back and love that I can prepare some of my own meals.
The Happy Traveler
HI, we stayed at this location (2 adults, 2 kids) this past
summer. I don't know what ''affordable'' means to you since you
didn't give a cost to stay below, but we loved the location in
the North End (Boston sparkles now on the waterfront with the
Big Dig complete) and the ease of making our own breakfasts in
the shared kitchen of this family friendly B&B. We paid
$150/night. Here's the website so you can see the various room
options and costs.
Hope you enjoy Boston-- I loved seeing the city with my kids.
We're going to be in New York and Boston for a few days in October with our three
kids, ages 3-8. I would love any recommendations of places to go or things to do.
Any suggestions on places we can go to see the fall colors? Thanks so much!
Boston: My kids loved the ''Duck Tour'' which starts from the
Children's Museum and they each got to drive! The Children's
Museum is super, as is the Aquarium. Salem is a cool day trip
pretty and some funky witch museums, Nathaniel Hawthorne's
home, etc. Cambridge (across the river): Walking around Harvard
is fun. The glass flowers exhibit in the botanical museum is
very unusual. There is also the Peabody Museum on Divinity Ave.
with archaeological finds. Harvard Square has its share of ice
cream places. Herrell's is the one to go to. After Steve sold
Steve's Ice Cream and couldn't use the name anymore, he started
Definitely go to the Children's Museum. Also, go to the
Museum and the Aquarium. We go there via the T (public subway)
and get to see the City that way. Try taking a Swan Boat ride
the Boston Public Garden and read THE TRUMPET AND THE SWAN as
your read-aloud book while in Boston. Visit the ''Make Way for
Ducklings'' statue while at the Garden. Go on a Duck Boat Tour;
they originated in Boston. Depending on gender and interest,
might enjoy a tour of Fenway Park. Visiting the top of the
Hancock Tower gives you a great view, a bit of history and some
hands-on exhibits. And you might visit the Harvard Natural
History Museum to see the gems, crystals and famous ''glass
flowers'' depending on attention spans. There are great
playgrounds all around; take a walk along the Charles near the
Hatchshell if the weather is nice. If you make it out to
Lexington with a car, try renting a canoe for an hour.
The Berkshires are wonderful for fall colors and there are a
variety of museums and lovely areas to visit out that way.
You'll have a wonderful time, what fun.
Belinda, former Cambridge resident
We lived just outside of Boston for 2 years, and my favorite
places were the Museum of Science (which we liked way better
the Children's Museum; plus it's open late on Friday nights and
has easy parking; be sure to walk past the gift store to see
musical staircase; there is also a kids' room back there but my
boys ages 2 and 5 loved the main museum esp the 3rd floor),
Drumlin Farm which is part of the Massachusetts Audobon
and Walden Pond. One of our favorite restaurants was The
Boston is nice, but nothing beats Berkeley!
editor note: reviews were also received for New York
We will be in Boston for 3 days this summer before we go to
Cape Cod. Any recommendations of where to stay, actual place or
area? Restaurants? Things to do?
We stayed at the Copley Square Hotel and were very happy with our choice (47
Huntington Ave. www.copleysquarehotel.com). We had a suite with 2 rooms and one
(very small) bathroom, which was perfect for 2 adults and 2 kids. The location was
excellent. I recommend the Duck Tour which was lots of fun; we caught it just down
the block from our hotel.
When we were in Boston a few summers ago our kids enjoyed doing a Duck Tour
http://www.bostonducktours.com/ (old WWII amphibious vehicles that are in several
towns). We had also read ''Make Way for Ducklings'' enough times in their childhood
that they enjoyed going to ride the Swan Boats and seeing the bronze sculptures of
the ducks in the Public Gardens. They actually enjoyed a little history which we
brushed up on before we went. And, they enjoyed Italian restaurants and pastries in
the North End.
My husband and I are traveling to Boston in mid-May with our son and
we are looking for accommodations that are in the center of the city. We
usually stay in bed and breakfasts, but it seems that most of them are not
interested in having our one-year old along for the ride. Does anyone
know of a spot that is not too expensive, comfortable and well-located?
Also, any additional recommendations regarding things to do in Boston
with children would be wonderful.
Do you need to be in the city? Getting around the whole
Boston area is made very easy by the subway system
(known as the ''T''), so you could choose to stay in any of the
''squares'', such as Harvard Square, Central Square, as well
as downtown, and get around with ease.
Boston has a really fun children's museum. The Science
Museum is a must! (If your kids are old enough to sit
through an IMAX film there, DO IT!) The ''Duck Tours'' that
take off from the base of the Prudential Bldg are fun for kids
of any age. Walking around Newbury Street and window
shopping are fun. At one end of Newbury street you will find
the Commons and ___?__ which have a duck pond with
''Swanboats'' you can ride, a pretty gardens to walk through
and a large field to play in. There are hotdog vendors and
performers usually near Park Pl (a T-stop). And if your kids
can tolerate it, great bargains to be found at Filene's
Basement, located in downtown crossing. Faneuil Hall is
also fun, with a food hall and other tourist-y restaurants. The
holocaust memorial there is very moving.
I used to live between Central and Harvard Squares. There
are nice neighborhood pockets to just walk through and
hidden playgrounds. Just ask any mom with a stroller you
happen to pass by. I would recommend a walk from Central
to Harvard Square, which is nice and you can stop at Johnny
Rockets (very kid friendly), which lies in between. There are
some grassy spots in Harvard Sq, including Harvard Yard.
And a stroll along the Charles River is always nice.
I'll be traveling to Boston for a conference in the ''Back Bay''
in July with my two year old. I hate hotels but will suffer
through one if it has a kitchenette. Any suggestions of places
to stay and things to do that will be fun for adults and my
child? Any places to eat that are especially good for little
ones? Appreciate the help.
I checked the archives and the info seemed geared for winter
trips not summer ones.
There are serveral options for you and your two year old,
especially in the summer. The Science Museum is close to Back
Bay and has lots of interactive exhibits for children. If you
are there in the begining of the month, a big thing to do in
Boston is go to the series of free concerts put on by the Boston
Pops. It is along the river and in the Back Bay area. In the
summer time, the Boston Orchestra goes west to Tanglewood and
the Boston Pops goes east to Boston. Here's the link to both
It's also an ideal time to walk around in Harvard Square,
which is very accessible by train (red line). Have fun!
I'm going back to Boston myself in a few weeks. First time with
a child. I draw here on experience with my nephews when they
were little and would come to visit.
Boston Gardens and Commons are attached. In the Gardens you can
take a ride on the Swan Boats and visit the bronze ducks from
Make Way for Ducklings. On the Common the rangers have tours.
Some are geared for kids. Although 2 is young he might enjoy
the walk around the Commons anyway.
Boston's Children's Museum is a cab ride away on Museum Warf.
They have things for kids of all ages. Its a wonderful
Near that is the Aquarium. Took my son on my last visit (only
12 months at the time) and he was bored by everything except
the pinguins. There is a dolphin hosw, shark tank and much
more. A 2 year old might get more out of it.
Also from the warves: Depending on how long you have--there is
a boat that goes to George's Island, and one that goes to
Jamaica Plains is a neighborhood. Check out a map. On Jamaica
Pond you can rent a row boat and go out on the pond. Growing up
in Boston, this was a favorite destination.
The Christian Science Center has a ''maporium''. It was closed
for a long time but I think its open again. You walk inside a
stained glass globe. When my nephew was 2 we took him. He was
so excited he squealed. Sound carries inside the globe and it
was LOUD but the staff was really understanding. Apparently
kids always get excited inside the maporium.
Go for a walk in Fanuil Hall. Lots of color and fun. Gets very
busy on weekends so your son would need to be craried, or in
stroller some of the time. Harvard Square--dido.
My nephews used to love going to FAO Schwartz, near Copley
Square, when they were little. I have mixed feelings.
No restaurant recommendations. When I left Boston I was
childless. Now if you want to know about bars...but that's a
My sister and I went to a wedding in Boston last Labor Day with
our daughters, ages 2 and 4. We absolutely loved the Museum of
Science (my favorite exhibit being a playground that taught
about the science of playgrounds, like swinging, but they got
to play at a park, INDOORS, on a very hot day). We are also SO
glad we took a friend's recommendation and signed up for
the ''Duck tour'', which departs from the Museum (and probably
somewhere else)--I know Boston well, having attended college
and worked there for several years and was enchanted by the
knowledge and humor of the tour guide (they all have their own
schtick but they all get raves). Best of all, you're in these
amazing WWII-era vehicles that after navigating the streets
slide into the water and become boats for a nautical tour! It
seems hokey/cheesy, it isn't cheap, but it's guaranteed fun.
If your 2 year old likes ''Make Way for Ducklings'', don't miss
the commemorative statues in the Public Garden and a ride on
the nearby swan boats. The New England Aquarium is great but
expensive. As for dining, we *blush* ate at 4 (different)
Legal Seafoods during the trip (I used to eat at the original
ONE, in Porter Square, before it burned down!). They have a
nice kids' menu, great service--very attentive to kids--tons of
locations, and good reliable fish and seafood for you at
affordable prices. Have a great trip!
I want to go back!
we are taking our daughter back east for college(!) and spending
3 days in boston first. any recommendations on what to see/what
not to miss? kids are 18 and 13. i had planned on staying
somewhere right in boston - is it really that easy to walk/take
public transit? i don't want to waste any of our time
commuting/ driving around looking for parking, but am wondering
if we should stay a little ways out to get a cheaper hotel. i
should have sent this out much earlier - we leave aug. 25 so
quick answers appreciated!
I wouldn't recommend driving in Boston if you can avoid it. It is
a city of narrow, mostly one way streets with limited parking.
The T is pretty decent as public transit goes; goes lots of
places, reasonably priced, a bit beat up but still functional.
I'd recommend the New England Aquarium, the Museum of Science,
maybe one of the Duck Tours (weird vehicle that goes on land and
water and you go on a tour of the city), Fanueil Hall for
shopping, eating and street performers. There's a ton of really
interesting historical things, the whole ''Freedom Trail'' if you
are interested. There are also all kinds of neat boat rides, I
took one to Provincetown for the day that I liked. Try the
www.BostonUSA website for tips. How about a baseball game at
Fenway Park? Also definitely visit Cambridge (the home of
Harvard), I loved that when I was a teenager. I also love the
Italian section, called the North End - great food. Be prepared
for lots of humidity and sometimes it even rains there in the
summer! Boston is a really neat walkable city with lots of
character, I think you will enjoy it.
First of all, I tried to e-mail the poster, but it bounced back!
Have fun in Boston! I haven’t been there in a while, but my
general recollection is that you should avoid driving if at all
possible. Signs are bad, drivers are aggressive, and parking
is horrific (like S.F.!). The subway system (the “"T"”) goes
lots of places, including the airport. It isn’t just
a “commuter” system like BART it covers a lot of territory.
If you are only going for a few days, you should be able to
find plenty to do right in town. The Aquarium is excellent (on
the Blue line of the T). If you and your kids like art
museums, don’t miss the Museum of Fine Arts (on the Green
Line). I also recommend the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum
if your family is art-appreciative. Of course, there’s
shopping and historic walks, Boston Commons with swan-boat
rides, and other touristy things. My husband reminds me that
the Science museum (Green Line, Lechmere station) would be
enjoyable, especially for your 13-yr-old. There is also a
small (maybe bigger now) computer museum.
If you want to get away from the city itself, and decide to
rent a car just for the day, go up to Salem. While the “witch”
related stuff is a bit overdone, there is an excellent museum
focusing on the area’s nautical history (not as dry as it
sounds), and a pretty commons area.
Oh hogwash ! Don't let them scare you, Boston drivers are just
fine, ok, we may get a little 'creative' sometimes, but where
is your sense of humor? :) The 'T' is a wonderful way to get
around (subway system) if you are particularly fearful. Start
at Harvard Medical School, eat on the green, Go see the
isabella stewart gardener museum, an easy walk from there, and
then hit Newbury street, walk down to the boston commons, take
a duck boat ride, take the T to cambridge and walk around, eat
and sit outside at grendles, walk along the charles river,
check out brookline village, listen to tons of great live music
at the regatta bar in cambridge, tt the bears, or the alley
behind fenway park. drive up to portsmouth new hampshire. have
Boston w/ Kids at Christmas
We (two adults, three kids, 18m-9) are going to visit my sister
in Boston for Christmas. Does anyone know of any special "must
do" holiday events? Or just fun stuff for us to do in the cold?
Ice skating at Frog Pond in Boston Common, short day trips to ski resorts,
Boston Ballet's "The Nutcracker" are some fun Bostonian winter traditions.
My kids loved the Boston Children's Museum. They have
interactive exhibits for kids of all different ages -
even a special area for little kids. When we were there
in August, the big hits with my kids were the climbing
walls (different walls for different age levels varying
in degree of difficulty), the Arthur exhibit (from the
PBS t.v. show), and the bubbles exhibit.
I visit Boston twice a year with kids, usually in the cold. Here are my
ideas, in no particular order:
-Skating on Boston Common/Public Gardens (if it's cold enough). The frog
pond is shallow and so freezes easily. There's a hotel on the public gardens
which serves high tea, but I don't know if you want to take an 18m old
there. Walking around Beacon Hill and Charles St. would be fun for the
adults, as it is a charming neighborhood--cobblestone streets, Georgian
brick houses, etc.
-Faniuel Hall/Quincy Market is a charming if touristy set of shops. The
famous Durgin Park restaurant is there (family style seating, and waitresses
who specialize in the brash Boston attitude). Nearby is the original Oyster
House, an old old restaurant from around colonial times.
-Children's Museum...fabulous, especially if cold or rainy.
-Boston Tea Party ship -- quick, but fun.
-U.S.S. Constitution in Charlestown, if you're into sailing ships.
-Museum of Science is fabulous also, especially for the older kid(s).
There's even a lot for younger kids.
-Boston Aquarium. Haven't been in awhile, but it was great last time I went.
-Boston by Food gives fabulous architectural walking tours. May be ambitious
for the younger kids, but we loved it. (My husband was a docent.)
If you're willing to drive further, Plymouth Plantation is a fabulous
"living history" site. Reconstructed the original village and the guides all
act in character as a specific person who came over on the Mayflower.
There's also a native American village, but the interpreters are not in
character (because they are "real" native americans, not actors). And
there's the Mayflower II nearby, an exact replica of the original. Also
further out in a different direction is Sturbridge Village, from a later
period of history (early 1800's) and is also a village recreated. No living
history actors, but people dressed in period costumes who demonstrate
various crafts. Plymouth Plantation probably wouldn't be decked out in
holiday themes, b/c the Puritans weren't big on "papist" holidays like
Christmas, but I would imagine Sturbridge Village would be.
On the north shore, Rockport is a charming village that gets all gussied up
for Christmas, complete with Santa Claus arriving on a lobster boat. (For
many years, that was my grandfather in that role!) Also on the North Shore
are the Salem Witch Museum and even better, the House of Seven Gables which
is the house the book was written about. Lovely historic old house, with
good guides. And there's a national park in Lynn Mass. on the textile
industry -- good for older kids -- as well as another national park on the
north shore, I think near Salem, with some lovely old houses.
If you get a chance, pick up a copy of "In and Out Boston, With or Without
Children." I ran a summer program for 8 year olds in Boston, and it was my
Have fun! Dress for the cold.
Boston with a baby
Help! I will be travelling around the east coast before Columbus Day weekend
looking at colleges with my husband and his 17 year old daughter and our six
month old baby. We are going to fly into Newark and head up towards
Providence and Boston. Does anyone have any suggestions for baby friendly
accommodations in the Boston area (outside of it is fine, such as near
Wellesley or Newton) and/or Providence. Or in Connecticut on our way back
down (I used to live in Westport and would love to stay near there but can't
think of anything feasible). I'm thinking something that would give us
rooms with connecting doors so that baby can be shipped back and forth
between our rooms in shifts if necessary and with the all-important survival
tool of a MICROWAVE (yes, I know people used to manage without them but I
frankly have no idea how). Any suggestions would be welcomed with tears of
gratitude. (Also feel free to add general travel tips/advice.) Thanks!!!
I don't have any suggestions for accommodations, but if you have the
time take a ride on the Boston Duck Tour. We just did on our recent
visit and it was a lot of fun. See
The tour is on an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious
landing vehicle, at the Prudential Center in Boston's historic Back
Boston in October
Boston in October -- you are lucky, it's a great time of year to be there!
Things to do with an 11-year-old that are non-museum activities: you can
trace Paul Revere's ride (follow golden horseshoes in the pavement), visit
Walden Pond and walk around there (it's spectacular at that time of year
with the changing leaves too, and they have a small visitor's center), or
drive out to see Plymouth Rock, etc. If you go around the third weekend
of the month, you might catch the Head of the Charles, a huge rowing event
that is ongoing all day, with teams from all over the country (and the
world) and lots of people wandering up and down the riverbanks -- a real
festival. And don't resist taking your 1-year-old to the Public garden to
see the little statues of the eight ducklings and the Mommy and Daddy
ducks from the classic picture book Make Way for Ducklings; little kids
love to sit on the statues, feed the ducks and watch the swanboats.
Of the things that all the guidebooks mention, don't miss the
Science Museum since that will have things for both of them
(there is an activity room for toddlers). That place is
expensive ($9.00 for adults I think) but it reciprocates
with Lawrence Hall of Science/Academy of Sciences/Exploratorium
so bring your card if you are member of one of those.
One local form of recreation the fall is to drive out in the
country and look at the leaves. The local weather reports will
tell you where the most intense color is. Not exactly a kid
trip but something that can be combined with attractions outside
the city. This does imply driving amongst Boston drivers, something
that might be quite entertaining for the older kid if he likes
Don't forget the joys of public transportation. The Red Line
between Cambridge and Boston is my favorite since it pops out
of the tunnel to cross the river with great views on either side.
Sit in the front of the train for this if you can.
When you get there check the local listings to see if there
are outdoor events on the Esplanade or the Public Garden.
October is a little late but you might get lucky and be
able to have lunch outside and hear music.
Before you order, make sure you understand the establishment's
definition of shakes and frappes. A traditional New England
shake consists of milk and flavoring but no ice cream.
for the person going to boston. I grew up in boston. and beleive it or
not the best place to go and plan on spending all day is thre museam of
science its like the exploratoriam x 10. I try to go whenever im back
and always bring any kids i have with me. I gaurentee big fun for all
ages. there is the largest IMAX screen in the states in there (Like at
great America only WAY WAY bigger), as well as a planaterium/lazerium.
hands on computers etc. YOU cant imagine. Bring a bag lunch the
cafateria on the top floor is spendy. Its MBTA (BART) accessible. Other
visist include of course the freedom trail and hanging in the boston
garden (PARK) ride the duck boats around the pond. they have a very large
aquarium but your kids have probaly been to the one in golden gate park.
its bigger in boston but similiar. I strongly recommend the museam of
science. have fun!-K
From a UCB employee temporarily stationed in Boston with two boys,
8 and 12, here are some fun things we've found in the Boston area
that your family might enjoy as well:
Definitely another vote for the Museum of Science. Like the
Exploratorium, it has a lot of hands-on exhibits which they'll
enjoy. The IMAX theatre is currently showing the Everest film,
which is quite an awesome visual adventure; I think your 11 year
old would enjoy this, but the baby would probably have to sit this
one out, due to theatre policy. A lot of other things to see, though.
The "musical stairs" and kinetic displays are big hits.
Also in Boston, take the elevator to the top of the Hancock building
($3-5 dollars each, I think) and have a wonderful, almost 360 degree view
of the entire Boston area and harbor. There's a lot of historical info
around the walls of the observatory, plus a narrated diarama depicting
some of the Revolutionary War battles.
If the weather is nice, you can take a 45 minute ferry ride around
the Boston harbor area. You get a lot of info on the various sights
around the harbor from the crew, on the way to George's Island. Once
there you can either get off and walk around the Civil War era fort that
is pretty much intact, picnic on the lush grass and take a later ferry
back, or simply stay on the ferry for the return trip. My boys loved
exploring the huge fort, and if you bring a flashlight, you can go
into various stairways and tunnels. Fun!
If you have a car and an extra day, head out of the city, northwest
to the Lexington/Concord area. The drive is about a 1/2 hour, and the
foliage should be pretty spectacular at that time. On either the first or
second weekend in October, Lexington hosts "Colonial Days". There are a
number of colonial-era activities for the kids - games such as hoops;
lantern, candle and husk doll making, plus the demonstration of musket
loading and shooting (cover baby's ears) by uniformed Minutemen and
British troops. In Concord, you can walk over the Old North Bridge,
see Walden Pond, and tour Emerson's and the Bronte houses and the old
cemetary with its interesting gravestones. Very nearby, in Lincon,
is the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park. The Sculpture Park, all
outside, is a wonderful place - everywhere you turn, hidden in the trees
or looming above you, there is sculpture and artwork, a lot of it
humorous and whimsical enough to really catch kids' attention and start
a discussion. About a mile down the road is Drumlin Farms, an Audubon
reserve, with both farm animals (gather your own eggs and take a hayride),
and injured/recuperating wild animals (owls, hawks, foxes). This is one
of our favorite weekend spots.
Hope this gives you some ideas - enjoy!
Another great thing to do is apple-picking...I was in Boston
two years ago for the month of October and that is one of
my best memories...you'd probably want a backpack rather than
a stroller for the 1-year-old, but the place we went was not
very far from the parking lot to the trees.
It was a slight drive from Boston, but as the other postings
describe, the drive itself can be really stunning if the leaves
are good this year.
Oh, boy, Boston in October! My favorite time of the year to go! Not too
hot, not cold, but juuuuust right!
1) The Boston Gardens. I don't know if the swan boats will still be in
service, but if they are, that's a treat. Buy plenty of popcorn or peanuts
to feed the ducks, squirrels and pigeons! There is a wonderful bronze
sculpture of the mama duck and her babies from the "Make Way for Ducklings"
book at the entrance to the Gardens that leads out to Charles Street. Be
sure to read "Make Way for Ducklings" before you go!
2) Exiting the Gardens, then meander down Charles Street for the beautiful
sights of old brick buildings, antique shops, quaint, quaint, quaint!
Beacon Hill will be a challenge with a stroller, so only tackle that if you
perhaps put the little one in a backpack.
3) FAO Schwartz in Boston has a HUGE bronze teddy bear statue in
front--great for picture taking! And, the inside of the store is
different from the one in SF.
4) The Boston Children's Museum has stimuli for kids of all ages.
5) The Boston Museum of Science is a treat for your older kid.
6) A tour of Paul Revere's house is a must. Imagine what it was like to
live back then, with those tiny beds and tiny rooms! Fascinating. Also,
the house is in the heart of Boston's north end, which is an Italian
neighborhood with wonderful restaurants and lovely, friendly people. You
can also walk to the old North Church, of "one if by land, two if by sea"
7) The Fanueil Hall Marketplace has become a total tourist area, but I like
it. There are a jillion little stands that sell everything from the
charming to the vulgar. One place there that hasn't changed one iota is
Durgin Park restaurant. Go there for the best value in beef or lobster and
sit down at a huge table covered with a red-checkered cloth and eat "family
style". (Not a good place if you're a vegetarian.)
8) A walk along the Charles River and a picnic by the water, watching the
boats go by, can be a wonderful thing to do.
Oh, you'll have so much fun! I hope you have the time to get to know this
area at least a little bit. Boston in October and May are my two favorite
times of the year.
I grew up in Amherst, Ma. but left Ma. when I was 17 so it's been a long
time. I'm writing because from me you get a kid's perspective, because
that's when I experienced it all. Trips to the 'city' were big deals, but
as an impressionable kid what impressed me most were the swan boats (your
11 yr old might be getting a little big for them, though) and the Boston
Museum of Science. My dad once dropped my sister and me off at the museum
early in the a.m, and we still weren't ready to be picked up when he came
for us at 5:00. Lots of historical buildings and I remember driving past
as my parents would explain things, but I have a feeling your son would
just do what my brothers and sisters used to do - just grunt at all the
dumb buildings and statues. If you're going to a wedding, hopefully you
have family or even hotel people who can give directions. How long will
you be there? I have a 12 yr old boy and 10 yr old girl and yes, in fifth
grade my son's class studied the 13 colonies and the revolution and much of
the action was in Ma. If you have a car Plymouth Plantation in Plymouth
(south of Boston) is a village that recreates history with people dressed
in 1700's outfits performing tasks of way back then. There's a similar
village in Worcestor, I forget the name - maybe Worcestor Village - that is
a standard field trip for all the schools. I remember it from 5th grade!
Very authentic, and brings what you've been studying to life. Plymouth
really does have a Plymouth Rock. Not very impressive at all - just a big
rock in a pit. Not very thrilling but nice to see. Again, if you have
time, and if you haven't seen Atlantic beaches, go either to Cape Cod, but
a bit of a drive, or head north of Boston to Gloucester. New England
beaches don't have the grandness of Ca, beaches, however, they have such a
quaintness and I think much 'friendlier' and relaxing. (Starting to get
homesick!) It's interesting to compare the two coasts. Ma. is beautiful
in October when you'll be there, the trees are changing color. I met
people literally from all over the world who've made a New England trip
largely to see an autumn in New England. But you need to get out of the
city and more inland to see it. It'd be a beautiful drive to Worcestor
Also close to Boston is Salem -witch hunt land - which I understand is
pretty good. I've never been personally so can't recommend specifics, but
that's one trip the family never took. Have a good trip! And yes, New
Englanders are much more reserved but don't be put off by it - we just
don't do the hugs and kisses like Ca.
Duh, here you are associated with Cal, and I neglected to mention Harvard!!
Again, considering your son's age, I'm sure he'd be impressed with
Cambridge, and youself, too! Just be sure to point out to your son that
Cal tops Harvard at everything!
re: traveling in Boston: I highly recommend the Boston's Children's
Museum. It is on the waterfront, in an old industrial building, and has
amazing things to do for an 11 year old, plus a tot area for the one year
old. Also the Boston Aquarium, nearby, has dolphin shows. And have you
read "Make Way for Ducklings"? The story takes place downtown in the
Boston Common, which still has swan boat rides where you can feed the
ducks. Another thing we loved to do with our kids is ride the trolleys.
This is more for the 3-5 set though. Have fun!
this page was last updated: Feb 11, 2010
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