There IS a first time for everything
This trip, for our family, was the first time we did our own thing. For years we latched on to what grandparents wanted to do. It was the first time I found an incredible deal on airline tickets and couldn’t pass it up. It was the first trip our kids took part in planning and had some real ownership in how we spent our time. This trip is where everything changed for us and we began living within the values of OUR family.
History at our fingertips
We constantly found ourselves marveling that our feet were in the places where our nation struggled to become what it is today. The stories our kids had read and heard in school came to life. We broke up the walking of the Freedom Trail so it wouldn’t be too much all at once. You will want to see the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House and the Paul Revere House, but know these locations charge and entrance fee. We opted not do do an official tour and did the walk at our own pace and stopped at the places we wanted to see. There are 16 marked sites and each captures an important part of our nation’s history. Our kids loved Old North Church and the neighborhood cobblestone streets and jam packed houses.
Don’t Miss These Activities
We used the “T” to get to Fenway Park and bought tickets to get a behind the scenes tour. Getting to the up high in the sky view for sunset was another highlight at the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Tower. If you have a rainy day or need a spot to let the kids get their energy out consider The Boston Children’s Museum where your kids can explore (Every Friday from 5-9pm, admission is $1 per person). There are a multitude of great restaurants to choose from, but if you want to try a Boston tradition try Legal Sea Foods for some chowder and lobster. For a quick lunch on the go stop at Al’s for a killer sub and take it down to the water’s edge near the aquarium. We did the quintessential Duck boat tour, which is a great starting point when you arrive in the city so you can get your bearings. An absolute must for us was to visit both Harvard and MIT. Take the “T” across the Charles River and spend the day amongst the big brains. We found the MIT museum to be fascinating and very “hands on”, perfect for kids and adults.
Why an Airbnb works in a big city
After much research we decided to stay in an Airbnb with a Whole Foods nearby. We are a family of 5 and Boston is a city where we found very few hotel rooms that could accommodate more than four people. If you want to stay in the city center near everything you will need to have two hotel rooms for a group larger than four. In order to avoid using a rental car we wanted to be in the city center so our options felt limited. Having a Whole Foods nearby, we were able to have breakfast and several dinners at home.
We found Boston to be one of the easiest and cheapest cities to get around with public transport. Children 11 and under ride for free with a paying adult (up to 2 children per adult). For more information visit www.mbta.com. Our kids use backpacks and everyone carries their own luggage. In fact, they pack their own luggage.
The Value of a Side-Trip
*As a sidenote, we rented a car and took a day trip to Concord, MA to walk around Walden Pond. John really wanted to stop there, long admirer of Henry David Thoreau. It was beautiful, peaceful and memorable experience. One little tidbit we learned was that Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women frequently visited Walden Pond to have writing workshops with her contemporary, Thoreau. She lived her life in Concord and would walk to Walden Pond to get into nature with a good friend and be inspirited. We ate lunch in the downtown of Concord, which is a lovely New England town. From there we took off to Connecticut to visit friends.