Things to do in Boston

I’ve been keeping a list of stuff to do in Boston (not necessarily for the first time) for use on those weekend days when I can’t think of something to do. I figured it might be helpful to keep it on the web, so that I can always access it. I thought others might like it, too. However, keep in mind I’m (a) poor and (b) very easily amused. (When I first got here I rode the entire subway line the full length of each route for the hell of it.) If you can think of anything else I should add, please leave a comment! At least the things listed here aren’t as lame as going to “Cheers.”

  1. Boston Symphony Orchestra. Where else can you hear a world class symphony in an historic hall the size of most high school auditoriums? You can get $30 tickets to most Thursday night shows. You’ll get the worst seats in the house, but fortunately there are no bad seats.
  2. Prudential Center observation deck. I’ve been wanting to try to take a 360 degree panoramic shot from here to stitch together into a QuickTime VR.
  3. New England Aquarium. They also have a nice 3D IMAX theater, apparently the biggest in New England. (Take that, Rhode Island!)
  4. Museum of Science. No matter how many times I go here, it never gets boring. They also have a 3D movie theater, though on a much smaller scale.
  5. Wally’s jazz club. Historic club on Mass. Ave. (near the Berkeley school of music). Where a lot of jazz greats cut their chops, as the kids say.
  6. Museum of Fine Arts. Great museum, more stuff than you can possibly see in one trip. Very diverse collection; unless you’re made out of stone you’ll find something you think is beautiful.
  7. MBTA Blue Line to Wonderland beach. Preferably doing (6) and (7) in the same day. In how many cities can you take a single subway from downtown to the beach? We do a great job in Boston forgetting the fact that there are miles of beaches just north of town. I think I’m going to take the kids on an art museum/beach day, just to screw with their little minds.
  8. Isabella Steward Gardner museum. Beautiful indoor gardens and art in a building made of art from around the world. Very unique museum and worth a a visit every year or so.
  9. Armando’s. The best pizza in Cambridge, up near Fresh Pond where we used to live, founded over 40 years ago by an immigrant Cicily. Neighborhood place with decades’ worth of little league pictures on the wall, sun bleached pictures of kids who are now taking their own kids to Armando’s.
  10. Samuel Adams Brewery Tour. Do I even need to try to sell this? It’s a great tour. Take public transportation, is all I’ll say…
  11. Candlepin bowling and batting cages at Boston Bowl. Candlepin is a New England tradition, and is much more fun than regular bowling, in my opinion. Boston Bowl also has the only batting cages I’ve found that go up to 70 MPH.
  12. Pizzeria Regina in the North End. The best pizza in Boston, in my opinion, though I haven’t sampled as much as I should.
  13. MIT museum. Recently expanded, they have several interesting exhibits, the two best being the holograms and the works of a kinematic artist whose name eludes me right now.
  14. Take water taxi to old Naval Yard. Check out USS Constitution and the old dry docks. They also have a WWII destroyer you can walk through for free. While it was certainly interesting, experiencing the ship first hand also, and unexpectedly, gave me an deep appreciation for the hard sacrifice made by those who lived on it during the war.
  15. Ride Green line ‘D’ train to ‘burbs. Sometimes it’s nice to see more than three trees in one place. Waban is an expecially nice little town.
  16. Water taxi to Charlestown. Charlestown is one of the neatest parts of Boston, and is one of the most historic feeling neighborhoods, perhaps second only to Beacon Hill and parts of the North End.
  17. Sailing the Charles. Anybody in Boston can cheaply rent a sailboat at the public sailing docks near the Hatch shell. A totally underrated aspect of the city. (The Charles will not kill you! That’s just a myth.)
  18. MIT Lecture Series Commitee. Movies and cool lectures at MIT for $3 $4 in the “classy” and historic building 26 lecture hall. Open to anyone, and full of MIT culture, including yelling at the advertisements before the movie. Also, you’ve never heard people so quick to yell, “focus!”
  19. Take a Duck Tour. The only touristy thing I’d actually recommend doing. The tours, on WWII-era amphibious vehicles, are actually pretty informative and fascinating, and the tourguides are a lot of fun.
  20. Catch a Lowell Spinners game. The only live baseball you’ll be able to afford in Massachusetts. Besides, minor league baseball is the only honest sport left.
  21. Hike or camp in the harbor islands. Totally underused public “park” right off the coast, there are a dozen islands you can visit, including the only manned lighthouse left in the US. You can get there on the T (boats)!
  22. JFK Presidential Library. A great location on the water, and a beautiful building, built by I. M. Pei.

63 thoughts on “Things to do in Boston

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