Family Travel :: Boston

Family travel :: Boston itinerary suggestionsVisiting Boston has been on my travel wish list for a long time.  Jayce and I recently had the opportunity to tag along on a business trip with Jeff.  While the big guy was spending his days in business meetings, the little guy and I were off exploring the city.  We had a great time!  Here is a glimpse at what we did.

Day 1: Boston Public Garden

On our first day in the city, we visited Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden.  Boston Common wasn’t terribly exciting, but the Public Garden was gorgeous.  Coming from the desert, we tend to long for things that are, you know, green and living.  There were no shortage of those things in Boston’s Public Garden.  We enjoyed strolling the wide pathways, admiring the beautiful trees and reading the plaques on all of the statues.  While we were walking through the Public Garden, Jeff happened to see a man drop a wad of cash from his pocket.  He quickly picked it up and got the man’s attention.  You can imagine how grateful that man was, especially considering the fact that the cash equated to more than $200.  That wasn’t the only excitement for the day, though.  We also found the Make Way for Ducklings sculptures and stopped for the obligatory photo.

Make Way for Ducklings sculpture | Boston Public GardenAfter our trip to the Public Garden, we made our way to the hotel to check in.  We stayed at the Residence Inn Boston Harbor on Tudor Wharf.

Residence Inn Boston Harbor Tudor WharfWe couldn’t have been more pleased with the hotel.  The location was perfect–convenient to so many area attractions.  They also offered a complimentary breakfast and full kitchens in each room.

Day 2: Boston Museum of Science and the North End

On the morning of our second day, Jayce and I visited the Boston Museum of Science.  We were able to walk on a safe and pleasant path from our hotel to the museum in about ten minutes.

Boston waterfront walking pathAlong the way, there is a really nice (and quite large!) playground.

Boston playgroundWe would stop there to play several times during our stay, but on that first morning we were all about getting to the Boston Museum of Science for a fun day of exploration.

Boston Museum of Science review | Such the SpotWe spent about four hours at the museum and could easily have spent more if time had allowed.  The museum is totally hands-on; Jayce ran from here to there trying out as many of the exhibits as he could.  Both of us really enjoyed the Hall of Human Life–an area devoted to learning more about the human body and behaviors.  Oddly enough, Jayce also spent quite some a lot of time watching this huge ball machine sculpture in which pool balls cycled through an elaborate set of obstacles and spirals and staircases.  He was mesmerized by it; I practically had to drag him away.

Boston Museum of Science review | Such the SpotAt the close of our day, we made our way back along the path to our hotel and met up with Jeff.  For dinner that night we walked to Boston’s North End.  That walk, too, was relatively short–about fifteen minutes or so.

Boston's North End review | Such the SpotThe North End is awesome.  We loved wandering up and down the narrow streets, admiring fun details like flatware embedded in the sidewalk in various spots.  There are a plethora of Italian restaurants in that neighborhood, along with several gelato and pastry shops.  On our first night, we opted to eat at Giacomo’s based on several rave online reviews.  We only had to wait about twenty minutes for a table.  Once inside, we were seated at a tiny table that was jammed in a small space between several other cramped tables.  The service wasn’t overly friendly and the food wasn’t anything extraordinary–be prepared if you go–but still we enjoyed the experience because it felt like we were soaking up the Boston culture.

Giacomo's Ristorante review | Such the Spot

Day 3: Boston Duck Tour, Charles Hayden Planetarium and pastry taste test in the North End

On our second day of exploring, Jayce and I set out on a Boston Duck tour.  I opted not to lug my heavy camera along that day so I don’t have any pictures to share but I can happily report that the Duck tour was well worth the cost.  I enjoyed hearing the fun tidbits about the city that the driver shared.  Jacye, on the other hand, was thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to drive the duck once it went into the Charles River.  I highly recommend the Boston Duck Tours if you ever find yourself in the city.

Later that day, Jayce and I returned to the Boston Museum of Science.  Instead of visiting the exhibit halls again, we opted for a show at the Charles Hayden Planetarium.  They were showing a Magic Treehouse Space show.  As a big fan of the book series, Jayce thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I may or may not have slept through half of it.  Shh!

For dinner that night we headed back across the bridge to the North End, this time opting to dine at a restaurant one of my local friends, Jodi, recommended.  We went to 5 North Square and had a much more leisurely experience than the one we had the previous evening.  We were seated at a spacious table with a quaint view.

Boston family travel | Such the SpotI ordered the chicken Parmesan while Jeff opted for something called “chicken under a brick”.  Both of our entrees were very good and the service was great, too.

As an after dinner treat that night, we opted to visit two different pastry shops and buy several items for a taste test.  We went to Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry.  This is what our haul looked like:

Boston pastries | Such the SpotIn the end, we unanimously decided that Modern Pastry won the competition.

Day 4: USS Constitution Museum, Mugar Omni Theater and Fenway Park

On our last day in Boston, Jayce and I walked (about five minutes) to the USS Constitution–you might be more familiar with her nickname, “Old Ironsides”.  She’s a wooden ship that was named by President George Washington and she is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.

USS Contitution review | Such the SpotOnce clearing a painless security checkpoint, we were welcomed aboard the ship and given the opportunity to explore several decks.  We also enjoyed a free tour given by one of the ship’s sailors.  Jayce had fun checking out the canons aboard the ship as well as taking the helm.

USS Contitution review | Such the SpotAfter disembarking the ship we walked across the way to the USS Constitution museum and made a donation to gain entry.  There were several great exhibits for kids, including a simulated canon firing and a “build a wooden ship” station.  We spent a little over an hour there, learning all about Old Ironsides and what life aboard the ship might have been like in 1812.

USS Constitution Museum review | Such the SpotLater, we headed back to the Boston Museum of Science to watch an educational film on pandas at the Mugar Omni Theater.

For dinner that night we visited Regina Pizzeria in–you guessed it–Boston’s North End.  We enjoyed yummy (and inexpensive!) pizza in a super casual atmosphere.  After dinner, we had big plans that involved a certain wicked pissah–we had tickets to a Sox game!  You really can’t skip a visit to Fenway when you’re visiting Boston with two boys, right?   An unfortunate previous incident involving a sports stadium, a spilled beer and my leather purse led to me opting to leave my good camera in the room for the occasion.  I captured this with my iPhone:

Fenway park | Such the SpotAll in all, we had an amazing time in Boston and hope to make it up that way again sometime in the future.

Have you ever visited Boston?  What were your favorite activities there?

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