Beacon hill

Beacon Hill Circle for Charity

For great insider insights, take a two-hour tour of historic Beacon Hill with a Hill resident and Circle for Charity member. At its conclusion, you’ll be welcomed into three exquisite private homes. Ask to see Louisburg Square and the home where the original Thomas Crown Affair was filmed (85 Mount Vernon Street, for those who are interested).

Bella Sante

Conveniently located on the first block of Newbury Street, Bella Sante spa is a haven from the summer heat and the winter snow. Head here for a treatment after a long day shopping.

ballerina in Swan Lake

Boston Ballet

Although the history of the Boston Ballet, which was founded in 1963, can’t compare to such old-world troupes as the Kirov or Paris Opera Ballet, the company has been ably led by artistic director Mikko Nissinen. Appointed in 2001, Nissinen has dedicated himself to presenting contemporary, innovative choreography as well as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, the latter of which it performs for a month every year.

park surrounded by fall colors in a city

Boston Common

This fifty-acre park, adjacent to Beacon Hill and Back Bay, is the oldest in the country. Originally used as grazing ground for cattle, the green was also the site of public hangings and served as a camp for British troops. Today, this small but peaceful urban oasis offers city residents a place to retreat and relax (and ice skate during the winter). Don’t miss “The Embrace”, a new sculpture by Hank Wills Thomas that honors Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. The Common is across the street from the Boston Public Garden.

green duck boat in boston

Boston Duck Tours

If you’ve ever visited Boston and seen oversized, vaguely duck-shaped steel buses lumbering through its narrow streets, you’ve witnessed a Duck Tour.

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busy park with a pond and a bridge

Boston Public Garden

Central to the Public Garden is a pond on which pedal-powered swan boats provide endless amusement to young visitors. Local residents transformed the lush area from salt marsh to public park in the mid-19th century, and it has since served as an extension to the Common, which is separated from the Garden by Charles Street. Fans of the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings should enter at the intersection of Charles and Beacon Streets, where the path to the pond HASs a bronze sculpture of the story’s web-footed heroes.

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Charles River Esplanade

An esplanade lines both sides of the Charles River, which divides Cambridge and Boston and winds into the western suburbs. A popular place for jogging and picnicking, the Cambridge side has views of the Boston skyline. The Boston Pops also play concerts here during the summer. The Esplanade can be easily reached from the Back Bay over the Arthur Fiedler Bridge or from Beacon Hill over the recently modernized Frances Appleton Bridge.

Exhale Spa

Just half a block from the Public Garden, Exhale is a great place to Zen out with a combination of spa treatments and fitness classes. In addition to the traditional massages and facials, therapists trained in Eastern medicine also perform acupuncture, reiki and shiatsu massages. Monthly memberships for the highly rated yoga classes are available, but drop-ins are also welcome.

View from Bar - Bleacher Bar, Boston, New England

Fenway Park

A highlight for baseball fans of all ages is a visit to the sport’s most fabled stadium, Fenway Park. Although there’s no bad time for a trip, the most exciting season occurs in the fall as the Red Sox fight their way towards the playoffs. If kids can’t sit through an entire game, take a tour of the ballpark or grab a seat by the windows of the Bleacher Bar and enjoy its views of the field.

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Exterior View - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, New England - photography by Iwan Baan

Institute of Contemporary Art

When the ICA moved from to its gleaming new home on the waterfront, both the local and international arts community took notice.

Interior View - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, New England

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Opened in 1903 by collector Isabella Stewart Gardner, this intimate museum sits in a Venetian-style palace a short cab ride from Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

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Mario Russo Salon

This stylish salon is frequented by everyone from posh Beacon Hill socialites to groovy South End hipsters. Booking time with Mario himself can be tough, but the staff work wonders in prepping hair for a night out. The salon’s nail services are also excellent. (Kobe Bryant is said to have used them for a pregame manicure when he was in town.) Russo’s line of olive-based hair and skin products is worth picking up as well.

Memorial Drive

Through mid-November, Memorial Drive is turned into a pedestrian thoroughfare where Cambridge families get their Sunday exercise jogging, biking and skating along the banks of the Charles. Closed between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street (the section closest to the Harvard campus), the 3.9 mile parkway is a great place to enjoy the crisp fall air and burn off youthful energy. Rent children’s and adults’ bikes from Cambridge Bicycle (259 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge; 617-876-6555; www.cambridgebicycle.com).

Museum at Museum of Fine Arts ,Boston, New England ,Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts

The grande dame of Boston museums, the MFA has been the city’s primary cultural institution since it opened, in 1876.

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Symphony Hall

Opened in 1900, Boston’s Symphony Hall has been called one of the world’s top three concert spaces, thanks to its grand interiors and flawless acoustics. The hall is home to the Boston Pops and to the nationally acclaimed Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Reaustaurant  at The Beehive Boston, New England

The Beehive

Always buzzing, the Beehive is a new hot spot on the Boston live-music scene

The Frog Pond at Boston Common

If you can take the cold, ice-skating on the Common is one of the ultimate winter outdoor activities for families. Skate and locker rentals are available; children under thirteen skate free.

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The Paul Revere House

The famous silversmith’s house in the North End was built in 1680 and is one of the few remaining early colonial homes in Boston. Much of the restored home is original and the wide hearths and the 18th-century decor impart a feeling of old Boston. The house is very near to the Old North Church and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, also important pre-Revolutionary sites.

Walden Pond

While your kids may not be ready to read Thoreau, they’ll love exploring his retreat near historic Concord. The 462-acre Walden Pond State Reservation includes a web of hiking trails that circle the lake (swimmable in warmer weather) and a replica of the philosopher’s one-room cabin—a simply furnished structure that will positively shock your children with its lack of indoor plumbing and cable TV. While the area is particularly stunning during the peak of fall foliage, it’s also a great place to strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis when snowy weather turns the park into a winter wonderland. Guided walks are available year-round.

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