Summer is in full swing here, and we have already gone away on our vacation, returned, spend another lovely week at home, and are now back at work. It almost feels like summer is over. Almost, but not quite. I am determined to make the best of every remaining sun-filled day.
Our vacation this year was spent in beautiful Boston. It is not our first time in this city, and because we enjoyed it so much the first time, we wanted to re-visit it. It is the kind of city that offers countless options for activities that are fun to do with children, lots of which are free.
I thought I’d tell you about my top choices.
By far, our favorite experience was the Boston Public Library. Their Children’s section is huge, with a play-area for the young ones, and of course rows upon rows of books to explore and immerse yourself in. We spend a few wonderful hours exploring it all, discovered a few new favorites. There are computers at the children’s disposal, with reading apps and games, which were a big hit as well.
The Library itself is a beautiful building from the late 1800’s with marble halls, impressive murals, creaky floors, wrought iron spiral ladders,floor to ceiling bookcases. It is filled with the sound of pages turning, and respectful whispers. The knowledge contained within those walls seems almost tangible. My son was in awe of the sheer amount of books, and was incredibly excited to explore the map-room, where you can admire maps depicting imaginary worlds written about in some of my favorite novels, by Jules Verne, and series such as “Harry Potter”, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Neverland” , but also rare, antique geographical ones. To make our experience complete, we were fortunate enough to catch a concert in the Courtyard, which this time was given by 2 singers from the Boston Lyric Opera. They were great at engaging the children and making it relatable and fun for them. A day that was a success all around.
A relaxing place to explore is Boston Common, a wonderful green space, perfect for spending the day on a picnic blanket, watching the kids splash away in the Frog Pond (which is a wading pool), perfect for cooling off. For the younger traveler, the Tadpole playground is irresistible, with more water works and climbing opportunities. We ate a delicious lunch by Brewer Fountain, where a food truck named Clover Food lab was stationed. It is a lovely place, with café tables, umbrellas and a lovely view of the golden dome of the Massachusetts State house. We were even treated to a piano concert.
Once you are ready for further exploration you can walk over to the Public Gardens, where kids are lined up to take photos with the bronze statues of the “Make way for Ducklings” stars. If you feel like spending a few dollars you can take the Swan boats on the pond, but if not, you can just walk through the park admiring the surroundings.
Another day was spent exploring the waterfront. There is lovely Columbus park, right by the water, after which you can walk around the harbor front, and admire the docked boats and yachts. If hunger strikes, Quincy market is just across the street, busy and teeming with people, but offering lots of choices for lunch. Once satiated, you could head back to the harbor, where there are numerous cruises to choose from. An inexpensive alternative is taking the Charlestown Ferry, which is a 10 minute ride over to the over to the Charlestown Navy Yard, an interesting place to explore with kids.
We took a day to drive out to Hyannis and spend a lazy few hours at Kalmus beach. It was amazing. The water was surprisingly warm, the breeze was refreshing, not a cloud in the sky, and I did not want to leave. The smell of saltwater does this to me every time.
The rest of the week we spent visiting the Museum of Science, The New England Aquarium, The Museum of fine arts, and simply exploring Boston neighborhoods. I loved the fact that the whole week we were there, we only once used public transportation, and managed to reach all of our destinations by foot. Boston is such a pedestrian- friendly city.
You will never run out of interesting things to see or do, that is for sure.