After visiting family in New Hampshire for the Holidays, we took the kids to Boston for a family vacation and we wanted to share some of the highlights of the trip. Boston is a much better trip in spring, summer, or fall but we know how to have fun in the snow and thought we’d share our winter travel ideas.
We knew that we were going to do a lot of history-related sightseeing in Boston so to get the kids warmed up and interested before we left, our bedtime reading was John, Paul, George and Ben. This book is one of the kids favorites since it is a pretty funny and irreverent look at our country’s founders. What’s not to like?
We planned for 3 days in Boston and we arrived on New Years Eve and it was freezing and snowing. Boston offers some New Years Eve fun with an event called First Night. For kids, they offer all kinds of entertainment for families during the day with a Mardi Gras style parade in the evening. We enjoyed seeing some of the magic and puppet acts. The parade was pretty weak but then again it was snowing and about 10 degrees out so I think it was really toned down a notch. The kids were too cold to enjoy.
We looked at some of the beautiful old houses on Beacon and Charles Street before deciding it was too gosh darn cold and headed for the Children’s Museum. While our kids are getting a little too old for these children’s museums, they really enjoyed the Blue Man Group, Bubble, and Make Your Own Sailboat exhibits. If your kids are under the age of 5 you could probably spend the day here. With older kids (9 and 6 years old) we were done in under two hours.
We then headed over to the North End and Pizza Regina, which rocked. This restaurant is hilarious. It is small, so you will end up standing outside. Fortunately we didn’t have to wait more than 15 minues in the cold. You had better know what you want to order by the time you get close to the door or you will get kicked out of line. However, this restaurant is everything a typical family Italian place should be, with wacky waitresses. The pizza was very good and for Boston, the price is perfect. Mangia!
We watched a movie in the hotel room to finish the day, which the kids thought was too cool.
The next day we hit the Freedom Trail. The kids loved this slice of history. I was so proud that they walked almost the whole trail in the cold without complaining. Of course, a few trips to some gift shops along the way helped to motivate them. We also added our typical family wackiness by since my husband and son were dancing down the street singing “Freedom” by George Michael. The Freedom Trail is marked with a red line down the sidewalk so you can easily follow. To add even more silliness to the proceedings, we started to mimic Monty Python’s “Minister of Silly Walks” skit. You know where you walk in a line and do the funniest walks you can think up. Sure, people stared at us. Did we care? NO! We’ll never see them again. (I hope.)
According to the kids, the highlights of the Freedom Trail were Paul Revere’s House, the graveyard with Ben Franklin, Mother Goose, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams graves, and the Old North Church. They were totally fascinated by the whole “One if by Land, Two if by Sea” thing. They also thought it was hilarious that John Hancock has the largest tombstone in the cemetery, just like his signature. (Was he compensating for something?) Definitely hit the bakeries in the North End for a great snack and warm-up break. You can’t go wrong ordering any of the pastries.
There’s a lot more you can do in Boston in the summer but we had a great time in the cold and snow. Have you taken a family vacation in Boston? If so, what were some of your highlights? Please share.
© 2009 Sue Kirchner
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