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Boston Vacation - What activities should we do?

Sunshine10

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Hi,

We are driving to Boston for a family vacation the first week of September, for 5 nights. We are a family with 2 kids, ages 8 and 10. We're looking for suggestions of activities to do, and how best to do them. Costco sells the 3 day Go Boston Card. Has anyone had experience with it, and is it worthwhile?
Are there any other discount cards or packages we should be considering?

the aquarium is definitely on our to do list.

all suggestions appreciated. Thanks!
 

Bee

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I think your kids would enjoy visiting the Tea Party Boat. Kids get to play parts in reenacting the Tea Party. If you use the hop on/hop off bus you can get free tickets.

Also the kids and you might enjoy the Ghost & Graveyard tour.

Don't miss the Freedom Trail.

Bee
 

Icc5

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City Bus Tour

When in Biston as in many of the famous cities we did and enjoyed the City Bus Tour. We were able to see where several of the famous places are, get on/off and spend time learning about and enjoying the city. We do this first thing and then can plan easier. It also gives you the city layout, transportation systems,what to see and what to avoid.
Have a great and enjoyable trip.
Bart
 

jtp1947

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Beginning June 9, Constitution will reopen to the public and remain open throughout the restoration with tours scheduled:
* Tuesday through Friday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.
* Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (closed Mondays).
Visitors will see something remarkable - an active shipyard with craftspeople including, blacksmiths, wood workers and others, working to make sure USS Constitution remains ship shape for future generations.
Also, the Sox are in town that week if you want to catch a game. You can also tour the park during the daytime.

http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/tour.jsp
 
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Beaglemom3

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Please do a search here on Tug using the word Boston.

You'll find a lot of helpful suggestions and information.



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Sunshine10

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Thank you all for the additional suggestions.
and I will do more searches on TUG for other threads of information / suggestions!
Thanks
 

Beaglemom3

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Thank you all for the additional suggestions.
and I will do more searches on TUG for other threads of information / suggestions!
Thanks

After you do your search, please post your questions and we'll help.

Get a good Boston tour book online or from your library.

May I ask where you're staying ? Asking as many hotels have good concierge services.

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Sunshine10

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thanks for the suggestion and link to the swan boats.

we are staying at the Westin Copley Place (they were one of the few Starwood hotels that had availability using SPG points).

From the searching i've done so far on the internet and TUG, it looks like the 3 day Go Boston card maybe a good deal - it has a lot of the activities we are interested in doing. has anyone had experience using the card? In Boston or any other city?

thanks everyone!
 

lvhmbh

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Hah! I used to live a block from the Public Gardens and couldn't come up with the correct name :wall: Used to walk there every day as well as up Commonwealth Avenue (the center has statues, etc.). Beauty in the spring summer and fall and squirrel feeding in the winter.
 

mbh

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Will love the Boston Children's Museum
 

theo

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Boston Harbor trip out to Little Brewster Island & Lighthouse

There is a boat trip out to Little Brewster, one of the "outermost" Boston Harbor islands, most of which (with a few exceptions) are now under the aegis of the National Park Service as "Boston Harbor Islands National Park". You get to see and pass many of the other Boston Harbor islands during the boat trip as well. We took the trip one Sunday morning during a recent weekend visit to Boston and really enjoyed it. Suitable weather and seas are always a factor whenever boats are involved, of course.

Once delivered to Little Brewster, you can actually enter inside and take the (76) spiral staircase stairs to the top of the lighthouse where the (150 years old) lighthouse lens and gear room are located. It might be fascinating (or completely boring, I dunno which :shrug:) to kids. I also do not know if they have a minimum age for people to enter the lighthouse and climb its' stairs. There is also some ladder climbing involved to enter into the gear room (optional) and lens room --- this is definitely not a suitable activity choice for the claustrophobic or the mobility-challenged.

I believe these trips (a well informed NPS Ranger narrates some very interesting history on the way out) run only on the weekends, maybe Thursday through Sunday.
One trip (40 people maximum per trip) leaves at around 0930 and returns around 1 p.m. The second trip leaves at 1:30 p.m. and returns around 4:00. It's interesting, but not cheap; tickets are $40+ per adult; I have no idea about children prices. Further details can surely be easily found in a search on Boston Harbor Islands tours.

P.S. Fwiw, I predict that this particular lighthouse tour will stop allowing entry into the lighthouse in the not too distant future. The U.S. Coast Guard is concerned about liability and about people touching and leaving fingerprints upon the old, very delicate (and apparently irreplaceable) 150 year old Fresnel lens of the light. USCG very much wants to completely exclude actual entry into the lighthouse, but for now the tours (with lighthouse entry allowed) go on...

P.P.S. No food or water on the boat or on Little Brewster --- plan to bring your own. Only one unisex marine toilet on the boat --- and no "facilities" on the island itself.

P.P.P.S. There are always the "duck boat" tours --- shorter, less expensive, with some time on land and some time in the water. All of the seemingly mandatory audible "quacking" by the tourist passengers seems a bit undignified (...even foolish) when you see / hear them tooling on by, but to each his / her / their own, I guess...
 
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taterhed

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The hop-on-hop-off bus is great.
It's on the go card.
I've used the go card (boston? can't remember). It's great. Read the rules carefully though. They are inflexible.
Aquarium, Ironsides, park, North Church and Revere,

Also, do Cheers. Yes, it's a drinking est. but they serve food. The kids will see it on TV and go WOW we were there.

I'm really the one that wanted to go, but kids got the 'TV show ' part of it.
 

Beaglemom3

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Thank you all for the additional suggestions.
and I will do more searches on TUG for other threads of information / suggestions!
Thanks

Sunshine,

Please give us an idea of what your likes are when vacationing.

We have great museums (science, art, children), parks, day-out coach trips to Plimoth (spelled correctly :)), local train trip to Salem, harbor and island cruises as suggested by taterhed & Theo, the Freedom Trail, etc http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/freedom-trail/ Brochure: http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/pdfs/Freedom Trail Foundation Official Brochure 2015.pdf

Oh, we have sports and you're in walking (or a short Green Line hop) distance to Fenway Park. Our Sox aren't doing that well, but the Park itself is a classic. There is a tour of the park itself if you're interested in baseball. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/tour.jsp


Day out coach tours: http://www.viator.com/Boston-tours/Day-Trips-and-Excursions/d678-g5

So, if your children are in need of writing a history report at any time, you've come to the right place.


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raygo123

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Let me tell u about the hop on hop off bus experience I had in new York. I have a bad back, witch hopefully was fixed with surgery last week. First if you buy the total package upgrade, the bus and boat stops are not even by each other, must walk blocks. On our north trip around central park we had to get off one bus to another stating that's as far as they go. So we did. Have to mention the buses on this route only have second level seating.

We transferred to another bus, and about three minutes later it started to rain, one of those short showers. The guide started yelling down to the driver to pull over, and did at which time the guide started to scream off the bus everyone off. A
L got off and we asked what we were to do. His response was " I don't care go to the next stop or find your way back, take a cab. We were at about 65th St and the next stop was at 110th. Buy a bus pass once you figure out the system, u decide where to get off and on.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

Beaglemom3

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Let me tell u about the hop on hop off bus experience I had in new York. I have a bad back, witch hopefully was fixed with surgery last week. First if you buy the total package upgrade, the bus and boat stops are not even by each other, must walk blocks. On our north trip around central park we had to get off one bus to another stating that's as far as they go. So we did. Have to mention the buses on this route only have second level seating.

We transferred to another bus, and about three minutes later it started to rain, one of those short showers. The guide started yelling down to the driver to pull over, and did at which time the guide started to scream off the bus everyone off. A
L got off and we asked what we were to do. His response was " I don't care go to the next stop or find your way back, take a cab. We were at about 65th St and the next stop was at 110th. Buy a bus pass once you figure out the system, u decide where to get off and on.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Ah, but Boston is not New York. We're smaller = more compact ( and a lot cuter) .

The on/off Trolley is good. http://www.trolleytours.com/boston/ You'll save a lot of time.

The Duck Tours are good, too.


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taterhed

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Let me tell u about the hop on hop off bus experience I had in new York. I have a bad back, witch hopefully was fixed with surgery last week. First if you buy the total package upgrade, the bus and boat stops are not even by each other, must walk blocks. On our north trip around central park we had to get off one bus to another stating that's as far as they go. So we did. Have to mention the buses on this route only have second level seating.

We transferred to another bus, and about three minutes later it started to rain, one of those short showers. The guide started yelling down to the driver to pull over, and did at which time the guide started to scream off the bus everyone off. A
L got off and we asked what we were to do. His response was " I don't care go to the next stop or find your way back, take a cab. We were at about 65th St and the next stop was at 110th. Buy a bus pass once you figure out the system, u decide where to get off and on.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

I was on the Boston bus.... it was nothing like you describe. Neither was D.C. or London.

Maybe it's just New York.
Boston, with some 'square edges,' was a delightful town and a great family visit.
 

raygo123

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I'm sure your right and duck tours are good. But I could never deal with a company that would strand people like that, disabled or not.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 

Beaglemom3

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I'm sure your right and duck tours are good. But I could never deal with a company that would strand people like that, disabled or not.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Agree. You had one very bad experience.

I've been all over the world and once had a rude and unreasonable bus driver in London. A real Class A - jerk. He was finished with his day and made a whole busload of people get off as he was going home. But just that one time and I don't let that experience color my world. Note: I've been to London 15+ times.
On the other hand, I have had the most kind and compassionate London Tube employees assist me when I used my cane after breaking my leg. Once, on the Tube, one employee made sure that I was able to get off the train and then helped roll my luggage to the escalator. Many other good experiences as well.

There's good and bad in all, everywhere.

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Beaglemom3

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I'm sure your right and duck tours are good. But I could never deal with a company that would strand people like that, disabled or not.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

Good idea, don't deal with them. They're not the only game in town.

Report them and find another company with good reviews.


=
 
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Sunshine10

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Wow - thanks everyone for the responses! Very helpful. I have a lot more reading / research to do on the various options!

We are in Boston from Aug 30 to Sept 4, for 5 nights. unfortunately, we'll miss the Labour Day long weekend and fireworks. But from the looks of things, there certainly is a lot to do in the city.

I anticipate my family will split up into two, to do different things most days to accommodate the different interests of my kids. one is very flexible and will enjoy anything and everything. the other is inflexible and becomes impatient very quickly (For example, he and I will likely do the aquarium in record time, while the other two will be able to get hours of enjoyment out of it).

I appreciate the variety of choices we'll have - Boston looks to be both very entertaining, and educational.
 

JT

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We just got back from Boston.

We purchased the 5 day go card. We used for hop on hop off, Charles river cruise, Boston tall ship, U.S.S. Constitution, acquarium, revere house, fenuil hall, old state house, gray line tour to Maine. Fenway park tour.

On our own we did the Boston tea party reinactment, cheers, Lego discovery center, and 90% of freedom trail.

Restaurants we recommend include reginas pizza, giacamos, modern pastry in north end, the union oyster house downtown,

Pubs the black rose and green dragon.

We did this with 2 kids 11 and 8.

Kids under 12 are free on the T. You can purchase a Charlie card for 7 days unlimited use for adults $19 per.
 
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