Boston is an amazing place. Not only is this town one of the best cities in America for great food, you can’t turn around in Boston without running into a spot where something momentous happened, one hundred, two hundred, three hundred years ago, and more.
While Boston is an integral part of American history, this city is also a very today kind of place. From the brownstone-lined streets of Back Bay to the halls of M.I.T. and Harvard to the skyscrapers of the Financial District and the ships in the busy harbor, there are so many photo opportunities, so many things to do and see.
Most people visit Boston when the weather is at least tolerable. Winters in Boston are harsh with temperatures below freezing and lots of snow. Yet Boston can be a wonderful city to visit in December, January, and February. The holiday festivities, ice festivals, skating, sledding, and shopping are great during the cold weather. And costs are less, especially for lodging and food.
So what can you do in Boston in the winter?
1. Walk the Freedom Trail
A red brick line wanders two and a half miles through Boston. It is the marker for the Freedom Trail. Even in the cold, the Trail is fun to follow. It will take you through shopping districts and old neighborhoods to historic sites like the Old State House, the scene of the Boston Massacre, and the Old North Church. There are lots of good cafes and restaurants, boutiques and antique shops to stop at as well.
2. Catch the View from the Skywalk Observatory
Fifty stories above the city in the Prudential Building, the Skywalk provides an unparalleled vista. On a good day you can see more than sixty miles. The snow shrouded city lies below you while you examine the exhibits and displays of Boston’s heritage. And when you’ve been sated with the beauty, you can descend to enjoy the shopping in the Prudential Center.
3. Go Skating in Boston Common
Frog Pond turns into an ideal outdoor skating rink. A skating school offers lessons as well as renting out skates. If you already know how to skate, you’ll whiz around the rink, enjoying the Boston skyline. If you are a rank amateur and falling down is your best move, there are instructors to help. But wearing padded clothing is a good idea. Ice is hard. And you can take breaks, drinking coffee, tea, or yummy hot chocolate in the Frog Pond Cafe.
4. Explore the Boston Tea Party Museum and Ships
The Museum offers reproduction of the Tea Party event with live actors. It’s fun, entertaining, and instructive at the same time. The fun includes touring 18th century sailing ships. And you’ll be able to drink the same type of tea that was tossed overboard, or hot apple cider if you wish.
5. Take a tour of the Taza Chocolate Factory in Sommerville
Not far from Boston, this tour is just what you need to perk up your taste buds. Tours are available every day except Monday. Check their website for hours. This is one of the few factories left that offer tours. It is a great educational experience for children. And the chocolate is delicious.
6. Try Frostbite Sailing in Boston Harbor
The Boston Sailing Center and the Winthrop Frostbite Sailing Club both offer opportunities for you to freeze your nose off on a sailboat in the winter. Believe it or not, this is a popular sport. The view of the city from the harbor is spectacular. And watching (or participating) in the races is exciting.
7. Get on the Old Town Trolley for a Tour
The guide will tell you all about the fights, battles, tragedies, and historic events that happened at each of the stops. You can get off the trolley at any stop to explore further or to shop or eat and catch the next trolley. It’s warm on the trolley, too.
You can catch a ride on the Mayor’s Enchanted Trolley. One weekend a year in December, the Mayor of Boston spends most of his time on a trolley, riding around his city with those lucky enough to get on board. There are tree lighting ceremonies, festivities, caroling, and visits from Santa. Check it out.
8. Visit a Holiday Market
The Boston Winter Holiday Market is held at the City Plaza Government Center from the day before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. There’s food and entertainment along with thousands of unique items to buy. Other markets include the market at the Old South Church in Copley Square in early December and others.
9. Take in a Play or Musical
After all that holiday shopping, enjoy an evening in the theater. Broadway shows, musicals, dramas, all come to Boston. This is a perfect way to top off the excitement of your trip. And don’t miss the Boston Opera House. It’s worth a look.
There are so many other activities in Boston and the surrounding towns: snowshoeing, sledding on Boston Common, tree lighting ceremonies. If you’re in Boston on New Year’s Eve, attend Boston’s First Night all around Back Bay with fireworks on Boston Common.
If you bring home slush and dirt from the streets to your home, you might want to consider a deep cleaning this winter. While you keep the surfaces of your home clean and sparkling, dirt is accumulating in the baseboards and the ceiling fans, behind the mirrors and the photographs on the walls, in the air vents and the light fixtures. Cleanzen offers quality home cleaning service that will get all that dirt and make your home the clean, healthy place you want for your family, even if you’re not throwing a party on New Year’s Eve. But if you are having a party, we’ll make your house spotless.