Author Topic: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston  (Read 3329 times)

FiguringItOut

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Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« on: August 02, 2014, 11:27:33 AM »
Hi.

I want to take my two kids (10 and 12 yrs old) on a long weekend trip to Boston at the end of September.  I am trying to figure out two things: 1) what are good things to do there without dropping a bundle of cash, and 2) where is the best place to stay.

A little back ground.
We will be driving from NY (my car gets about 33mpg on highway on average).  From what I've been able to gather, we can either stay in Boston (may be able to find good deals on hotels via budget travel sites), but will have to pay for parking.  Or stay outside Boston near commuter rail and take train into the city each day.  I would prefer to stay outside the city.  This way I will not have to pay for parking and I generally hate driving in Boston itself.

I want to go for 3-4 days.  We will have Thursday through Sunday the last weekend of September. 

I am open to making stop for sight seeing on the way there or back if there is anything worthwhile seeing.

I looked a the Citypass and am trying to decide if I should get them.  They are $54 for me and 12 y.o. and $39 for 10 y.o.  Seems like a good deal since it will cover New England Aquarium (which is $25 and $18), Skywalk (regular prices $16 and $11) and Harward Museum of Natural History ($12 and $8).  Just with these three Citypass is ahead of the game by $13.  And there is also Fine Arts museum and Science museum if we choose to go there. 

I also plan to walk the Freedom trail with kids and walk around Harward and MIT campuses in addition to just walking around the city and exploring. 

Does this seem like too much to do in 4 days?  What would you suggest I include/exclude in this plan?

The second part of planning this is where to stay.  Can someone please recommend either specific hotels/motels or just areas of the city or close suburbs where I should look for the room.  Outside the city would have to be near commuter rail.

As far as food, I am planning to bring a cooler with snacks and breakfast foods with us (will need a mini fridge in the hotel for milk and such).  So I will probably need to figure out lunches and dinners while we are there.  I don't think going back to hotel for lunch will be practical, so I am not planning on this.  As for dinners, I'm not sure.  I prefer to stay away from fast food and kids don't like fancy food.  I'm open to buying stuff at farmers market and doing picnic style meal at the park or somewhere (depending on weather), but not sure where to find it in Boston.  The last time I was in Boston was about 15 years ago and I remember all vendors at Faneuil Hall being very expensive.

What else do I need to think about for this trip?

Any suggesting would be appreciated. 

Please don't suggest camping or couchsurfing. 

RFAAOATB

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2014, 03:45:54 PM »
I like going to the Kennedy museum.  Reasonable cost to learn about one of our presidents and see how inspiring he was. 

I would also recommend watching the Red Sox if you can.  Red Sox Vs Yankees on 9/26-9/28.  You can get to a game no problem, but if you REALLY want to drop money, get the travel pack. Two games and two hotel nights and a VIP tour for 3 for $842. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ticketing/destinations_schedule.jsp They may get some haterade for being Yankee's fans, but its always a nice to see things from the other side.


kimmarg

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2014, 04:27:23 PM »
The freedom trail is free! Follow the painted red line to historical attractions. Also e bunker hill monument and the USS Constituion the oldest commissioned navy vessel still in service.

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org

FiguringItOut

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2014, 06:21:07 PM »
I like going to the Kennedy museum.  Reasonable cost to learn about one of our presidents and see how inspiring he was. 

I would also recommend watching the Red Sox if you can.  Red Sox Vs Yankees on 9/26-9/28.  You can get to a game no problem, but if you REALLY want to drop money, get the travel pack. Two games and two hotel nights and a VIP tour for 3 for $842. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ticketing/destinations_schedule.jsp They may get some haterade for being Yankee's fans, but its always a nice to see things from the other side.

Thank you for the Kennedy museum suggestion.  That is definitely to consider.

Red Sox games will have to go on without us as I couldn't care less about sports. 

FiguringItOut

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2014, 06:23:27 PM »
The freedom trail is free! Follow the painted red line to historical attractions. Also e bunker hill monument and the USS Constituion the oldest commissioned navy vessel still in service.

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org

Thank you.  I know freedom trail is free, but I need to fill up the rest of trip as well. 
Don't think my kids will be interested in USS Constitution at all.  They are more of Aquarium and Natural History types.

kimmarg

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 06:48:04 PM »
The freedom trail is free! Follow the painted red line to historical attractions. Also e bunker hill monument and the USS Constituion the oldest commissioned navy vessel still in service.

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org

Thank you.  I know freedom trail is free, but I need to fill up the rest of trip as well. 
Don't think my kids will be interested in USS Constitution at all.  They are more of Aquarium and Natural History types.

In that case the museum of Science is a must. It has the worlds largest van degraff generator which they use for an indoor lightning show. There are tons of exhibits too. I'm 31 and I still love it! Can't say it's cheap but if you get that pass that covers the aquarium too it would be worth it.  The Harvard museum is ok but it's not super kid friendly, rocks in display cases, etc. museum of science is more hands on.

heartygrain

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2014, 06:54:46 PM »
I like the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  My kids like it too.

windypig

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2014, 07:11:09 PM »
Take them on a walking tour of The Boston Common and Beacon hill. Given this is MMM you may not be inclined for this but there are outfits that will give you a guided tour.

Take a walking tour of the North end (basically our version of little italy). Paul reveres house and the old north church are here. Grab a canolli at mike's pastry, pizza at reginas pizzeria

The Museum of Fine Arts and Isabelle Steward Gardener (both art museums) are basically right next to eachother, easy public transit.

Go to Castle Island in South Boston, get some ice cream at sullivan's, walk around the park / castle get here via bus from downtown in no time flat.

Take the Ferry to Boston Harbor islands, great views of the city, on island museum about the history of the islands.

Science musuem and aqurium are of course great, natural history museum too. The kennedy museum is in my opinion a real snoozefest unless you are a major history buff.

Go to the arnold arboretum, beautiful trees, olmstead park, free.

Rent bikes and ride along the charles river in cambridge.

Get seafood - I would suggest: Belle Isle seafood in winthrop, Tonys Clam shop in Quincy.

There is a Hostel (Hostelling International) on Hemenway in the Back Bay. Two years ago when I was moving here I stayed there, private rooms were in the ~100 range, and you are /right/ on the green line. (Hynes convention center stop)

« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:15:53 PM by windypig »

windypig

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Re: Long Weekend trip NYC-Boston
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2014, 07:14:12 PM »
Also, MBTA operated parking garages at the many of the stations, you can drive to the furthest out station, park your car, and then rely on public transit until you leave:

This one is $8/day and is a good location from someone coming to the city from the south.

http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/lines/stations/?stopId=10431