A Boston Family Weekend

Nov 2014
Heading out for a Boston family weekend?  You’re in luck, because Boston is home for me and I love nothing more than sharing all the great sites this terrific city has to offer. Boston is a great spot for a getaway destination with the family any time of year, and even better to explore anew if you are returning to visiting your hometown.boston copley square architecture
As the city shifts and grows there are always new places to explore. It’s remarkably easy to keep it eco friendly by choosing a hotel with sustainable practices and eating at spots that support local fare. Walking the miles of trails and parks keeps it green.  Kids will love following the Freedom Trail, Boston’s historical version of the yellow brick road and many of the area museums are free for those under 18. Weather can be a bit unpredictable,  but as we Bostonians like to say-give it a minute and its likely to change. Make sure to pack your layers!
 Renzo Piano designed atrium Harvard Museum
renzo piano designed harvard art museum
 Museum lovers will swoon at the new Renzo Piano expansion of the Harvard Art Museums. It’s lofty, a bit overwhelming and guaranteed to knock your socks off. The center atrium, topped with a glass cupola, brings the whole diverse body of work together. I would suggest getting their early when you have lots of energy and can take in all it has to offer. One needs a fresh state of mind and peak energy levels because there is a lot to see.
 beyt 2b handmade shope local in boston
This time of year everyone has shopping on their mind and Boston is loaded with special small boutiques featuring the goods of artisans and small batch food and craft vendors. In Cambridge [Beyt] By B2B is a wonderful discovery with one of the best missions around. Rescuing architectural fragments from around the world and giving shattered lives new opportunity, they are restoring beauty one handmade piece at a time.  Support Small Business Saturday {year round} by shopping at these unusual and one-of a kind locations throughout the city.
boston children's museum
Year round residents of New England  know how to enjoy the great outdoors, and there’s plenty of opportunity to take advantage of both the indoors and out.  Ready to let your inner child loose and explore the wonders of the world? Boston’s Children’s Museum is just the spot. Friday nights they have partnered with Target, and the Museum is $1.00 from 5pm-9pm, the perfect destination for extensive child-centric exhibits focusing on science, culture and environmental awareness.  Flour Bakery is located right around the corner, serving fresh local pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches and is open until 8pm on Fridays. Saturday morning after a hearty breakfast, dress warmly and tour the city with a Boston Duck Tour.  The amphibious landing vehicles are always a big hit with the everyone. Expect cheers when they roll off the road and make a splash into the Charles River.  The guides-or ConDUCKtors-are filled with corny jokes and lots of historical detail.  They’ll encourage your kids to quack at pedestrians on the street.  Beginning at three locations, you can decide if you’d like to visit the Science Museum, keep it outside at the Prudential center and walk the surrounding area, or tour the waterfront and visit the New England Aquarium after you finish.
boston food truck bon me
Worked up an appetite? The food truck craze has taken Boston by storm just as it has the rest of the country. To take advantage of terrific dining at a fraction of indoor restaurant prices, download the app Street Food Boston.  Food trucks can be found at 20 public locations around the city and at special sites like the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Whatever the mood of your group-BBQ, cupcakes, vegetarian, grilled cheese, or lobsta roll-the app will tell you what’s near your location. You’ll be one step closer to food nirvana. For additional cheap and tasty options in the city, take a peak at my wanderlist on AFAR where I have curated the Boston Travel Guide.

skate boston frog pond

In the center of the city, you’ll find the crown jewel of the emerald necklace-The Boston Public Garden.  Everyone will recognize Nancy Schon’s famous sculpture from Make Way for Ducklings. Mrs. Mallard and her 8 ducklings lead you into the Public Garden at the Beacon/Charles St. entrance. Take the path and enjoy ice skating on the Frog Pond in the winter. Their cafe has kid favorite mac-and cheese. If time and weather permits, the Freedom Trail also begins close by.  Walk up to the State House area and pick up a map for a self guided tour of sights on the trail. Keep in mind that the Trail is not a loop when choosing what you’d like to visit along the 2.5 mile path.

If you have any energy left after a day of exploring, how about some early evening fun at Kings Bowling Alley {early is better to avoid the crowds} before you make way to dinner. As an alternative, Somerville’s location of Brooklyn Boulders has a great indoor climbing wall and plenty of area neighborhood restaurants for afterwards.

Two of my favorite hotel’s with sustainable practices are:

boston lenox hotel

Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Newbury St., Copley Square you’ve got it all at the Lenox Hotel‘s location.  As a matter of fact, there isn’t much you can’t walk to from this centralized address-just make sure to bring a comfy pair of shoes! Old world charm and a modern sensibility combine to give this sustainability leader high marks for blazing the eco-trail. The staff is friendly, the beds comfy, and their commitment to the environment strong. Guests can order from a brochure featuring kid friendly items like crayons, coloring books, and many snacks.  The attached City Table features lots of local fare and has a kids menu.  There is also babysitting/child services available, a kids gift a check in and cookies at turndown.  This hotel is pretty complete.

Another option on the other side of the Charles River is the Hotel Marlowe.  Child size bathrobes, complimentary bike and kayak rentals and family friendly food at Bambara {featuring local, organic ingredients and sustainable seafood}, make this destination close to the Museum of Science a winner with families.  Kids receive a welcome gift at check in and can choose two treasures from a chest of goodies.  Pet friendly, there’s room for the family mascot and baby gear is available by prior request. Luxury and sustainability compliment each other at this eco-friendly leader in the industry.

This is just a small offering of what my city has to offer.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I’d be glad to make additional suggestions. Perhaps I’ll see you on the Freedom Trail!

  1. What a fantastic roundup of what Boston has to offer the visitor Alison. I wish we could have made it there when we came to the States in April. The Boston weather sounds a lot like the weather in Melbourne. We can have four seasons in one day sometimes. I’d love to do the Boston Duck Tour, sounds like fun and of course the Harvard art museum & shopping at all those artisan stores. Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family, have a blessed day together. Catherine x