...to do with a toddler in Boston.
A year ago, if you had asked me if I'd ever want to live in Boston I would have said something like, "I'd love to! But only for a little while - not forever." Well, I still can't believe that we were blessed with those exact circumstances! Over the last three months we've gotten up close and personal with one of our favorite cities, and familiarity has only made us love it more.
That said, getting to know a city with a child in tow is so different than getting to know a city without a child. For example, in the past we would explore a new city by eating our way around, but at this stage in Michael's life it's not always enjoyable to eat in the "nice places". We're all for teaching him to behave in restaurants, but there are times when we all need an atmosphere of pure fun, without the pressure to sit still and use indoor voices. Hence, this list is full of activities that involve good food, yes, but allow for (and even encourage!) food-spilling, running-around, yelling, and general toddler shenanigans.
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1. Have a picnic at Christopher Columbus Park. This is one of our favorite things to do, and we've repeated it several times because it's so easy and fun. We like to grab food in the North End (we love the sandwiches here and the pizza here) and then walk to Christopher Columbus Park on the Boston Harbor. We love it because it's a beautiful spot to sit and eat by the water. Michael loves it for the boats, people-watching, and the chance to run and play with all the friendly dogs.
2. Play in the fountains at The Rose Kennedy Greenway (picture above). In my opinion, this is one of the best summertime spots in the city for kids or adults. Pack a picnic (or have a bite here first) and bring a blanket so you can lay on the soft grassy lawn. The park is enclosed by a garden on one side and a fountain on the other, so it is a great space to let your little one run around and play. Be sure to bring dry clothes and a towel because on a hot day it's impossible to stay out of the water. We love it because it's a peaceful little oasis in the North End. Michael loves it because splashing around in a fountain with other little kids is totally allowed.
3. Walk and play on The Esplanade. More water, more boats, more puppies to pet. The Esplanade runs along the banks of the Charles River and gives some really beautiful views of the city. We started this outing with the best pizza in the city here, then walked through the gorgeous Beacon Hill neighborhood toward the river. There are public landings perfect for watching sailboats on the river, and an awesome playscape. Bring snacks or grab an ice cream cone at the Esplanade Cafe near the Hatch Shell. We love it because this is how we always imagined Boston. Michael loves it because he's never seen so many ducks in one place.
* Honorable mention *
The New England Aquarium - huge sea turtle, penguins, seals, and a tank where you can pet rays and sharks (if your mommy will let you).
Boston Public Gardens (in April) - swanboats, ducks to feed, and the prettiest tulips your toddler will ever sniff.
Freedom Trail to Boston Inner Harbor and Bunker Hill Monument - footbridge over the Charles River, lots and lots of boats, a big grassy lawn around the monument and great views of all the airplanes coming in and out of Logan.