Aquariums around Boston, MA

Back in town, a traveler’s escape or locals just curious about what’s around Boston will be delighted to know the City on a Hill is as wealthy in aquatic life as it is in history. Read on for some of our favorite aquarium experiences around Boston.

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is easily a full day’s event, if not a gift that keeps on giving. This is owed to its diversity in wildlife, experiences, and purpose, a place where Boston goes to be educated and inspired by some twenty-thousand representatives of more than six hundred species. 

The Indo-Pacific Coral Reef exhibit is the first of many examples of New England Aquarium’s great scope, housing a community complete with its own small coral neighborhood and famous faces such as the tomato clownfish, orangespine unicornfish, and the longnose butterflyfish. The Penguin Exhibit is home to the lovable African penguins and rockhoppers, where guests can see their eccentric activities on land and in the water. Representing the West Coast is the Olympic Coast Exhibit, a glimpse into the lifestyles of the inhabitants off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, including stoic bivalves, colorful anemone communities, and kelp forest, and the majestic giant Pacific octopus. 

The jewel in the New England Aquarium’s crown, however, is the aptly named Giant Ocean Tank, four stories of a complete Caribbean coral reef exhibit, a massive project undergone by the Artistic talents of the aquarium to a strikingly lifelike result. Inside more than 200,000 gallons of warm salt water are barracuda, reef fishes, loggerhead sea turtles, moray eels, and the most famous star of New England Aquarium, Myrtle the Green Sea Turtle, dazzling the people of Boston since 1970!

Also present is the Atlantic Harbor Seals Exhibit, with its own quirky family of local Atlantic Harbor Seals. Here, you can watch the beloved Atlantic harbor seals swim and perform in their deep habitat, or enjoy a sunbath on top of the rocks. There is also the Amazon Rainforest exhibit, a trip through 4,500 gallons of captivating terror – between piranhas, tetra, anacondas, electric eels, and poison dart frogs. 

In addition to these exhibits, there is also a variety of more interactive experiences for visitors who prefer a hands-on visit. These include two touch tanks where visitors can meet and touch tidepool natives such as Sea Stars, Mussels, Snails, and Sea Urchins, or docile cownose rays, Atlantic rays, and Epaulette Sharks. 

Guests can also famously catch the opportunity to go whale-watching with the professionals of the New England Aquarium every year throughout the summer, where a rich community of humpback, finback minke, pilot, and right whales flourish off of the coast of Massachusetts. This is a three-to-four-hour tour to see some of the larger inhabitants of Massachusetts’ waters in their natural habitat. For those visitors who are unable to attend the New England Aquarium in person, there are also a number of educational and more intimate virtual calls and encounters with special species and the staff. 

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5 Quirky Date Night Destinations in Boston

Date night doesn’t have to be the same each time. While we all love cuddling up at the movies or trying new restaurants or embracing a bit of high culture at museums, every once in a while, date night needs to be shaken up. Each city has a hidden world of strange, quirky, and delightful things to do. Try any one of these on your next date night and embrace the weird, whimsical part of life.

Mapparium

If you love travelling, art, and pure wonder then the Mapparium is a must-see place. It is a one-of-a-kind adventure that can be found in the Mary Baker Eddy Library. The Mapparium – a three-story tall, inside-out stained-glass globe of the Earth – is the only globe/map that offers an accurate depiction of the size of each country and continent on Earth. It is both a phenomenally breathtaking piece of artwork and an adventure which will have you questioning your own understanding of the size of the world.

The Boston Bricks

Are you and your date a couple of history nerds? Enjoy a bit of a scavenger hunt? Then it’s time to hunt for the history of Boston, Massachusetts. Take a lovely detour along Winthrop Lane to find all 100 “Boston Bricks”. The bricks are actually bronze reliefs, depicting important events in Boston’s history. They are placed among the bricks that line the pathway of Winthrop Lane. You may step on a brick depicting a sewing machine, the first baseball glove worn, or even a notoriously-aggressive Boston driver. But no matter where you walk, you’ll pause to laugh or ponder the quirky, important history of the city.

Museum of Bad Art

A title which is entirely subjective, but one which makes for a special trip to the museum. You and your date may be bored of attempting to add a little culture to your life. If that’s the case, then it’s time for a trip to the Museum of Bad Art. Whether the art is made by beginners or “professionals”, each piece has been considered “bad art” by traditional conventions of artistic worth. You may find inspiration to pick-up your paint brush again or simply enjoy wandering through art full of joy and no pretension.

Black Light Yoga 

Workout dates may already be on your list for date nights, but whether you consider them a classic date night option or something outside your current wheelhouse, you’ve never experienced a workout date quite like Black Light Yoga. The atmosphere in the studio is energizing, sexy, and fun. The black light will make you and your partner glow bright and neon as if you may have traveled to a sci-fi world. Flow through the poses in the glow of the black light while moving in time to the music. 

The Donkey Show

You may think a date night that includes seeing a Shakespeare play is a bit stuffy, but The Donkey Show has the cure for that. It is peculiar and fun, a show that combines Shakespeare’s bonkers comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the bright lights and funky beats of the disco-era. Grab your feather boa and boogie to all the Disco hits of the 70’s while the magic of Shakespeare’s show unfurls around you.

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Our favorite ways to spend summer in Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts. Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John F. Kennedy, Samuel Morse and King Bhumibol the Great are just some of the names that come from this city.  Its history includes the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill and Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. Among the Tufts, Harvard and MIT, the birth of Facebook, Spock and our incumbent Captain America, The City on a Hill has a lot to its name. ( And we hadn’t mentioned the Clam Chowder yet! ) With so much to see, it might be hard to figure out where to start. To narrow down the options, read on for our favourite things to do in Boston. 

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Just a five-minute walk from Boston Harbour, you can try local cuisine, shop for souvenirs and clothes, watch street performers and enjoy live music- all within a historic location. Constructed in 1742, Faneuil Hall is where Americans protested the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act, and has since hosted speeches by Susan B. Anthony, Julius Chapelle and Barack Obama. Local cuisine such as Lobster Rolls, Clam Cakes, Oysters on the half shell, Clam Chowder and the bountiful Clam Bake are all found here. Among plentiful shops are festive handcarts, an exact replica of the bar from Cheers, street performances and a Military Museum. And Faneuil Hall’s central location makes it a walkable addition to any itinerary. Foodies, History Buffs, Families and those looking for photo ops- be sure to stop by Faneuil Hall. 

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 4 Kilometre path stopping at sixteen sites of great historic importance. Some of these sites are the Boston Common, America’s oldest public park, King’s Chapel, Boston Latin School, America’s oldest public school, The Old South Meeting House, organising point of the Boston Tea Party, The Home of Paul Revere, The USS Constitution, the world’s oldest floating ship, and Bunker Hill, commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill. This trail should take up most of a day, but no need to worry about battery levels, navigation or amenities- most of the trail is neatly marked by red brick and quite close to businesses. 

Fourth of July in Boston

Experience the Fourth of July Boston style! Stay downtown and attend a parade from City Hall to the Old State House. At the parade’s end, enjoy a reading of the Declaration of Independence just as it was done in 1776! Stay downtown for the live music and festivities on America’s birthday, and then finish the night under the Fireworks.

Puerto Rican Festival

Boston’s strong Puerto Rican community shines during the annual Puerto Rican Festival. Try Puerto Rican dishes, enjoy dance, floats and a Parade in the heart of Boston. Interactive storytelling sessions, seminars, rides and activity booths provide fun for all age groups. Whether as a group of friends, as a couple or as a family, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Puerto Rican Festival. 

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5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Boston, MA

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Boston.

Public Garden

This was city park was built in 1837 and has been a popular Boston spot ever since. It is especially popular with hopeless romantics who take advantage of the swan-themed boats available on the lagoon or take turns making wishes in the fountains. The Garden is well-cared for and features tulips and wildflowers in the Spring and Summer and Willow Trees hanging over the lagoon. A picnic in the Public Garden is always a stunning, tranquil experience. 

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Several parks make up Rose Kennedy Greenway. They link together and cover 1.5 miles of downtown Boston. If you are looking for a true, big city picnic experience with skyscrapers surrounding you, plenty of excitement and city hustle and bustle to enjoy, and rotating art exhibits, then Rose Kennedy Greenway is the place for you. It is the best of both worlds; it will surround you with nature while also offering postcard worthy shots of the Boston Skyline. For an extra treat, pop over to nearby Haymarket before your picnic.

Arnold Arboretum

A free, living museum on the campus of Harvard University. Follow the Oak Path and marvel at the carefully designed world around you. You won’t have to go too far before finding the perfect tree to nestle under or open field to lay out a picnic blanket. Dana Greenhouses are an especially beautiful, romantic place to stop along the way. Picnics at the Arboretum are even more magical in the Spring or Fall when the Cherry Trees blossom or the Fall leaves dazzle with every color. 

Back Bay Fens

The best picnic spot for any true Boston Red Sox fan, Back Bay Fens (as its name suggests) is located behind Fenway Park. The park itself is quite large so there are plenty of options for picnic areas. There are also several gardens to walk through – including a rose garden – playgrounds for kids and a river that runs through the entire park.

Spectacle Island

The name says it all. Picnicking on Spectacle Island means breathtaking views. This island can only be reached by a seasonal ferry which takes you just beyond Dorchester Bay to this small, stunning island filled with walking trails, beaches, and large grassy areas made for sitting down on a blanket to enjoy a good meal.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Boston, MA

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

New England Aquarium

1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

The New England Aquarium is a public aquarium located in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to the main aquarium building, attractions at the New England Aquarium include the Simons IMAX Theatre and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch, which operates from April through November. The aquarium has more than 22,000 members and hosts more than 1.3 million visitors each year.

Freedom Trail

Various Locations Throughout Boston

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. While most of the sites are free or suggest donations, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission. 

Boston Common

139 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

Boston Common is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the Boston Commons. Dating from 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common consists of 50 acres of land bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street. The Common is part of the Emerald Necklace of parks and parkways that extend from the Common south to Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, and Dorchester.  Boston Common continues to be a stage for free speech and public assembly. Here, during the 20th century, Charles Lindbergh promoted commercial aviation. Anti-Vietnam War and civil rights rallies were held, including one that was led by Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1979, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass.

Boston Children’s Museum

308 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Boston Children’s Museum is a children’s museum dedicated to the education of children. Located on Children’s Wharf along the Fort Point Channel, Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest children’s museum in the United States. It contains many activities meant to both amuse and educate young children.  The museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement and learning through experience, employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children.  Designed for both children and families, museum exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts.

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#TakeTheScenicRoute – Prettiest Drives around Boston

There’s nothing like the Great American Road Trip! And given continued travel restrictions preventing Americans from taking their vacations abroad in many countries, more and more people are turning to road trips when they need to get away from it all.

If you’ll be in Boston and are looking for scenic drives or road trips to take, the rocky coastline to the East and the Berkshire mountains to the West make for beautiful driving. Read on for some fun ideas the next time you feel the need to take the scenic route.

The Berkshires

Taking a trip over the Western side of Massachusetts will put you in the Berkshire mountain range, a lovely region of small towns, arts and cultural institutions, and farm-to-table cuisine. It’s a lovely trip to take any time of year, but scenic drives there are especially popular in Autumn when the fall foliage is peaking.

A road trip out to the Berkshires will take you just over two hours from Boston, and once you’re there, there are a couple of scenic routes you can take around the area. Visit this website for seven different drives you can take on your Berkshire trip to give you a scenic tour of the region.

Cape Cod

For a totally different kind of scenery, drive South to Cape Cod. There you’ll find Route 6A, also called Old King’s Highway, curling around the North side of the peninsula. This is the scenic route for you if you want rocky, rugged coastline, beaches, clam shacks, cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and historic fishing towns.

The road is designated as a National Scenic Byway and will take you all the way up to Provincetown. If you’re ready to cruise along 6A, check out this guide from the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. It lists stop-offs to turn your scenic route into a full road trip, including a historic glass company, eclectic cafes, a museum, a farm, a playhouse, a flea market, and more.

Once you reach the end of the route, spend some time in Provincetown. It’s a super vibrant, artsy, and LGBT-friendly community right at the tip of the Cape. It’s the perfect place to spend some time in the summer.

Lexington and Concord

If you have less time, a quicker route starts just 26 minutes away in the historic town of Lexington.

From Lexington, the trip to Concord need only be 15 minutes, but it’s a beautiful, forested route that includes Minuteman National Historical Park, which is worth a stop to learn more about the first battle of the Revolutionary War. There are multiple historic buildings at the park, including houses, a tavern, and a farm.

Once you’ve reached Concord, there’s plenty more to see and do, including Louisa May Alcott’s house, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house, the Concord Museum, and Walden Pond.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Boston

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Boston this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Picnic in the Park

A laid-back day picnicking with family and friends is one of the best ways to spend the Fourth of July, and if you’re looking for a public park to host a gathering the whole family will enjoy, head to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. This 4.5-acre park occupies a lovely spot along the waterfront with fantastic views of the harbor, a playground, and a rose garden.  If you have young kids, make sure to check out their Independence Day Celebration on June 26th, from 12 to 2 pm, which will include a magician and a storyteller!

Boston Harborfest

Great news! One of the country’s largest Fourth of July festivals is coming back this summer. Organizers of Boston Harborfest are working closely with city and health officials to determine how best to keep the festival safe, so more information and a schedule will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, we know that this 40-year-old tradition will include historical reenactments, live entertainment, and food to celebrate Boston’s important maritime and revolutionary history. Some highlights include:

·   “Float Your Boat” boat parade – decorate your boat in the spirit of the holiday and join the parade in the Inner Harbor.

·   Live music – the programming will be free and include local groups.

·   Independence Day Commemoration – a solemn wreath-laying on the graves of patriots.

·   Walk the Historic Freedom Trail – stops will have special events and programs and tours will be led by historically costumed guides.

Revere Beach

Cooling off at the beach is the perfect way to spend a sweltering Fourth of July, and Boston conveniently has a local beach where you can easily do that! This 3-mile crescent of sand was established as America’s first public beach in 1896. Revere Beach is easily accessed off the Blue Line, which makes it very popular and often crowded, but with the crowds come amenities like bathrooms, concessions, lifeguards, and accessibility. Make sure you stop by Kelly’s Roast Beef for lunch, they have amazing lobster rolls and fish & chips!

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

The Boston Pops Orchestra hosts an annual concert spectacular every Fourth of July. This famous free concert takes place in the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, so bring a picnic blanket! The night is capped off by a gorgeous firework display over the Charles River. It’s still under consideration whether or not the event will be allowed to happen this year due to the pandemic. But you’ll want to bookmark this event and check back in late Spring for the decision.

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Arboretums and Botanical Gardens to Visit in Boston

When considering a vacation, or even just a day out with the family, why not consider visiting a local arboretum or botanical garden?  You can enjoy a delightful getaway with a visit to one of these beautiful gateways to all that nature has to offer.

Arboretums and botanical gardens work to promote common respect and educate with a drive towards an appreciation of the world of gardening and the insects that work to pollinate our plants and flowers. 

These nature monuments are just waiting to be discovered and welcome all visitors for a day of tranquility, enjoying their peaceful beauty.  Make sure to check out one of the arboretums or botanical gardens listed below.

Arnold Arboretum

125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

The Arnold Arboretum is quite large and super spacious, making this an excellent idea for a hike or nature stroll. There are numerous paths and hidden trails for explorers to follow, while the direction center maps it all out perfectly for the first-time visitor.

Boston Public Garden

69 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

The Boston Public Garden has its own personal meaning to many around the city, as countless Bostonians and visitors have walked its paths, held hands underneath its trees, and gazed across the water to admire all of nature’s glory in our midst.

Harvard Museum of Natural History

26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard Museum of Natural History may seem like a slightly odd place to visit for those with an appreciation for botany. Still, one particular display brings garden and flower fans in daily—the Glass Flowers exhibit.

Mount Auburn Cemetery

580 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

For those seeking to add a little peace and tranquility to their day, Mount Auburn Cemetery is a simply beautiful botanical garden spot that doubles as a serene and somber resting place.

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Best Coastal Small Towns Near Boston for a Weekend Getaway by the #Sea

Boston is a great city because it has so much of everything – museums, history, food, professional sports. But sometimes you just need to get away from it all and spend a weekend by the sea. Luckily, Boston is also well-suited for that, with its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and many charming, seaside towns. Read on for some of the best ones for your next long weekend.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Though it’s almost a two-hour drive north of Boston, Kennebunkport is worth the trip. Your weekend spent here can be spent marveling at historic New England architecture, visiting the many beaches the town has to offer, and of course, eating fresh Maine lobster. To round out your trip, here are additional ideas:

·         Seashore Trolley Museum: It’s the largest museum of mass transit vehicles in the world! Admission is only $12 for adults and there’s plenty to do, including trolley rides, a museum store, exhibits, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Dog are welcome, so the whole family can join.

·         Dock Square: This is the best spot in town for souvenir shopping. Peruse the craft stores and boutiques and then follow it up with some seafood from the Clam Shack.

Plum Island, Massachusetts

An hour outside Boston you’ll find this adorable barrier island, named for the wild plums that grow there in the summer. At just 11 miles long, the island is about as far from a big-city feel you can get: in fact, the island is less of a town, and more of a collection of beach houses interspersed with nature. You’ll spend most of your time enjoying the beach, but here are some other ideas to do:

·         Birdwatch: The island is home to a bird sanctuary, so it’s a perfect place to see how many varieties of shorebird species you can spot. The best place to birdwatch is the Parker River Sanctuary, which is a protected nesting site for many migrating birds. See if you can spot the Piping Plover which the area is famous for.

·         Climb Plumb Island Lighthouse: Built in 1898, the white-shingled tower of the lighthouse has that quintessential New England look. Tours are free and the climb to the top is shot and family-friendly.

Marblehead, Massachusetts

At just under 45 minutes away from downtown Boston, this getaway is perfect for when you need to get back early Sunday night for work the next day. Marblehead’s history including being an important hub for fishing and shipbuilding, and it still has a huge harbor today. There’s tons to do in this resort town, including:

·         Fort Sewall: If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to check out this fort this 17th-century fort. The site is part of the National Register of Historic Places and the grounds include a community park with lovely views of the harbor.

·         Crowninshield Island: This small island off the coast of town is a fun place for families to spend the day. It has easy hiking trails, tide pools, beaches, and a swing set! You can wade to it at low tide or kayak over at high tide.

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Things to Do for Mother’s Day in Boston

Mother’s Day is coming up next month! The moms in our lives work so hard and give so much, so it’s important to take a day to make them feel special. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, a step-mother, the mother of your children, or a friend who is a mom, here are some ideas of wonderful things to do with her.

Henrietta’s Table

Since Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday, it’s traditional for many people to take their mom out for brunch. This is always a winning idea, and in Boston, there’s no better place for brunch than Henrietta’s Table in Harvard Square. This delightful restaurant has been serving up a menu of “honest to goodness New England cooking” for 20 years. In fact, Chef Peter Davis is a conservationist who prides himself on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and fisheries. The restaurant specializes in brunch, with favorites like quiche, pancakes, and fresh-squeezed juices. Make sure you try a slice of their maple cheesecake with fresh whipped cream, too.

Boston Common

May is the beginning of picnic season! The weather is warming up, trees and flowers are blooming, and outdoor celebrations are a safe option during COVID-19. A great place to take your mom for a picnic locally is Boston Common. This sprawling downtown park is conveniently located near a couple of transit options. When you’re done eating, it’s the starting point for the historical Boston Freedom Trail if you want to walk off calories from lunch! Pro tip for eating in the park: there are MANY squirrels here, and they are not at all shy about coming over to beg for some food.

Harbor Cruise

Another great idea to get fresh air with your mom is taking her on a jazz cruise in the harbor. Northern Lights offers these 90-minute cruises on Sunday evenings. You’ll get to enjoy the beautiful sunset colors with a mixed drink in hand from the bar while being serenaded by a live jazz band, the Blue Motion Quartet. Bring a sweater since early May evenings on the water can be chilly.

Central Park Lanes

Is that mom in your life fun-loving and young at heart? It might be nice to plan an active day. A fun activity to do when in Boston is candlepin bowling, a bowling style unique to New England! You can give it a try at the family-owned Central Park Lanes in East Boston. This is old-school, no-frills bowling at its best with a cool, retro design scheme to boot and you and your mom are bound to have a blast.

Fox & the Knife

If your mom is more of the traditional type, you might want to treat her to a classy night out. Consider Fox & the Knife, which was a semi-finalist in the 2020 James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant. Better yet, this classy new spot is family-owned, and features an all-female chef and management team! Indoor dining is open Thursday through Sunday, but reservations are required.

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