Get to know South Boston by visiting Castle Island! Castle Island is the perfect place to spend your day when the weather is nice.Watch the boats move along the Boston Harbor and take a walk along Carson Beach. Take a stroll through the park and look at all the kites flying in the sky. If you visit between Memorial Day and Colombus Day, you can snag a free tour of historic Fort Independence built in the 1800s.
My childhood always consisted of exploring Castle Island and spending hours at the park, but my favorite memory of this place as I got older was spending New Year’s Eve there. This past year, my best friend and I packed up a bunch of blankets (because the winter on the water in Massachusetts is frigid) and plenty of snacks and waiting for the clock to hit midnight. We watched the fireworks explode over the Boston Harbor in celebration of the New Year.
If you do not wish to have a picnic at Castle Island, Visit Sullivan’s Restaurant! Try some seafood by the water for under $20 or something from the grill for under $10. On a hot day enjoy some ice cream too!
The adventures are endless in this 52 story tall building, however I have narrowed the adventures down to the cheapest and most worthwhile places to check out!
The Skywalk Observatory is by far the best view in Boston. From this spot you can see roughly 100 miles away. You can see sights such as the John Hancock Building, the Charles River, and Fenway Park. Tickets are $14 for students carrying their University I.D. and that price includes the Dreams of Freedom Museum, audio tour, and movie theater. *Do not go if you are afraid of heights. You will be 700 feet up*
Do some shopping in the Pru’s mall at Kate Spade, Vineyard Vines, and Street Talk. Take advantage of the college student discounts with up to 20% your purchase!
A new adventure awaits every time I visit the Prudential Tower. There have been many days where I have spent hours in the Pru going through every shop and kiosk, even if I was just window shopping. There’s no better way to finish the day than to take the elevator up to the top of the tower and view the entire city ad beyond. My friends and I like to quiz each other’s knowledge on the city by naming places and seeing if they can find it. It’s almost like a giant game of “I Spy”.
Grab a healthy lunch at Sweet Greens! Sweet Green has a variety of salads and warm bowls. I recommend trying the seasonal options!
The Harvard Film Archive plays films every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night in the Carpenter Center. With your luck, you may end up attending a screening with the filmmakers who are there to talk about their art! This adventure is free for students who attend Harvard University and is only $7 for other students with their student I.D.s. The Archive is currently showing Time and Tide. A Tribute to Peter Hutton, Story of Judas, and An Evening with Brigid McCaffrey, among many other films.
Adventure #2- Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is comprised of 16 exhibitions including Arthropods: Creatures that Rule, Birds of the World, Evolution, Glass Flowers, Sea Creatures in Glass, and Great Mammal Hall. The museum is widely popular for its historical exhibitions as well as the ever changing exhibitions. The museum is only $10 for students with their student I.D.s and free for students attending Harvard University.
Of all the museums in Boston (and there are a lot) the Harvard Museum of Natural History is by far one of my favorites. Although I find all of the exhibitions to be interesting and educational, my favorite exhibition of that of Glass Flowers. I could spend hours looking at all of the over 800 different species of flowers crafted entirely out of glass. I think they are beautiful and each are so unique. If you cannot commit a lot of time to an all-day adventure, I recommend visiting this “blooming” exhibit at the very least.
Hungry? (and Adventure #3)
Take a short walk from either The Harvard Film Archive or The Harvard Museum of Natural History to the very unique SQUAWK! coffeehouse. Stop by on a Thursday night to listen to a variety of poets, bands, and singers share their art. Entry is free although the coffeehouse asks for a $3 donation.
For more information on the Harvard Film Archive, visit here.
For more information on Harvard Square and the adventures within it, explore here.
The Franklin Park Zoo lies in Mattapan just outside of Boston. Visit the over 100 species of animals that live in the zoo. The Franklin Park Zoo has exhibits ranging from the Tropical Forest, Serengeti Crossing, Outback Trail, Kalahari Kingdom, Franklin Farm, Butterfly Landing, and many more.This adventure will most likely take an entire afternoon given the travel time and time it takes to tour the entire park. Tickets are under $20 and discounts may be available through your local library.
This past year, I visited the zoo three times because I am a huge animal lover. Every time I visit the zoo I look forward to visiting the Butterfly and Farm exhibit above all others, yet I always find myself discovering new animals that catch my eye as well. I love reading the boards outside of each exhibit that give information about each animal, including where they live, whether or not they are endangered, and their eating habits. The fun facts about each animal never fail to surprise me.
Take a short Uber or Lyft drive from the zoo into The North End for a variety of Italian restaurants, pubs, cafes, and bakeries. For more information on specific places to visit in The North End and prices, visit here. I personally recommend visiting Al Dente for dinner and try a cannoli at Bova’s Bakery.
Wander the numerous exhibits of the Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibits are always changing so I recommend looking up which exhibits are at the museum currently and possibly look up any upcoming exhibits. The museum showcases art in a myriad of forms such as photographs, paintings, quilt work, sculptures, and artifacts. As of right now, the MFA has Martin Johnson Heade paintings, Islamic Art, Gerald Roy Quilting, Paul Pilgrim quilting, Japanese Photography, and Etruscan artifacts, among others.
The first time I went to the MFA, I was drawn to the mummy exhibit. I remember marveling at all of the decorated tombs and looking into the stories portrayed on the pottery on the ancient world. Although the other exhibits were beautiful too, I kept finding myself wandering back to the mummies. I believe that everyone that visits the MFA will find an exhibit that speaks to them and teaches them about the world through a new lens.
Walk less than a half a mile from the MFA to Chicken Lou’s on Forsyth St. Choose from steak, burgers, and chicken on the grill, sandwiches, salads, and chicken plates all for under $10.
Follow the brick trail and the stops it leads to! Visit places such as the Massachusetts State House, the Park Street Church, the Granary Burying Ground, the Old South Meeting House, the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s house, the USS Constitution, the Bunker Hill Monument and many more sites. Each site will give information about what happened there and why it is significant. Every stop is unique and has its own story to tell. Taking a self guided tour is completely free and some stops on the trail are free to enter as well.
A few years ago, I went into Boston with my parents. We all knew that Boston was the heart of early American history, but had never taken advantage of all of the historic sites around us. We started on the trail of bricks, which took us to the old post office, inside Paul Revere’s house, and across the Tobin Bridge to the USS Constitution. We spent the day fully immersed in the history surrounding the American Revolution and the founding of our nation. I found it much more interesting to learn about history that directly affects my life every single day by experiencing the sites in person rather than reading about them in a book.
Grab lunch at Quincy Market Place in Faneuil Hall, which is right off the Freedom Trail. Choose from a wide variety of food-from seafood, to burgers, to Mexican- there is something for everyone. Take your food on the go while you continue on the trail or sit in the two story dining area.
A Red Sox game is fun for everyone, whether you are a huge sports fan or know close to nothing about baseball. There is nothing like the atmosphere that die hard fans bring to the ballpark, and whether the Sox win or lose, it is always an exciting time. See the famous Green Monster and some of the charm that comes with the oldest ballpark in the MLB (such as Ted William’s red chair which represents the farthest home run ever to be hit at Fenway, or Fisk and Pesky’s poles). Join in during the 7th inning stretch to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (remember its ‘root root root for the Red Sox’) or during the middle of the 8th inning for the sinning of “Sweet Caroline”. End the game by walking down Yawkey Way and looking into the myriad memorabilia shops. The Red Sox offers student tickets that start at $7 at redsox.com throughout the year.
I went to my first Red Sox game this past summer with two of my best friends. Both of my friends love baseball, but I knew very little about the game. Although I do not enjoy watching baseball on the television, there is nothing like witnessing a game in person surrounded by a stadium full of enthusiastic fans.
Grab dinner at Max & Leo’s on the corner of Brookline Ave and Lansdowne Avenue! Share an artisan pizza with you pals for under $15 or try their burgers or wings. View the menu here.
For a trip right on the Boston harbor, visit the New England Aquarium! The aquarium has thousands of species of animals including penguins, eels, sting rays, and seas turtles, among a myriad of fish from all over the world. The aquarium has numerous exhibits including a shark exhibit and a giant ocean tank, so there is something to catch everyone’s interests. Check with your local library to see if they have passes so that you can get the tickets at a discounted price.
I have visited the New England Aquarium countless times, starting when I was a toddler. Every time, I am always drawn to the giant ocean tank in the center of the aquarium. I always keep an eye out for the sea turtles and sharks as I make my way up the spiraling ramp around the tank. It always amazes me how large some of the fish in the tank can be compared to the extremely small creatures in some of the other exhibits. Another favorite exhibit of mine is the sea lion exhibit. It is an outdoor exhibit so you get to look at the beautiful harbor and watch the sea lions swim about their pool.
Head over to the Quincy Marketplace for lunch. Once you exit the aquarium, take a right and head towards Faneuil Hall. Quincy Marketplace is a long tunnel of countless food booths, many of which have been featured on the Phantom Gourmet. I recommend trying any restaurant that serves New England clam chowder. You can eat your meal inside of the tunnel or at tables outside in the middle of Faneuil Hall.
Spend the night at the Lawn on D! Grab a group of friends and hang out at this outdoor pavilion right on D Street. When the sun goes down, swing on glow in the dark swings or play an assortment of games on the lawn such as ping pong, Jenga, cornhole, or bocce. The Lawn on D invites new entertainment every week, so enjoy music provided by various DJs and other artists. The calendar will tell you who is scheduled to play and when. AND IT IS FREE! The overall vibe of this adventure is very trendy and hip. When you visit The Lawn, you are surrounded by art, whether it be the unique architecture of the swings or the concerts held on weekends. It is very much a party atmosphere and there is never a dull moment when you are there.
My friends and I had seen The Lawn on D advertised over this past summer and were very intrigued by the images of people swinging on the colorful “O” shaped swings and decided to travel into Boston to spend our night there. I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable trips my friend group took because there was something to do everywhere we went. We spent hours there and probably would have stayed longer if The Lawn had not closed for the night. We loved the overall high energy of the location and had a blast.
Food trucks are located near the lawn and serve a variety of food and drinks. In addition, the Lawn on D has concession stands with all food and drinks under $10. The menu includes burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, popcorn, ice cream, and much more!