Boston was a part of our 2 week road trip of New England and Canada.
We flew to Boston direct on Southwest. Unfortunately, our flight was quite delayed so we didn’t arrive until very late. We were staying with some family friends in Belmont who were very generous to wait up for us.
The title of this blog post hearkens to a children’s board book written by Martha Day Zschock. We had purchased this book for Kiddo a couple weeks before our trip and read it often to get him excited. Strangely, it was a great way to plan for the trip. We tried hard to hit all of the sites that were mentioned in the cute rhyming story!
Things We Did
Quincy Market and Fanuiel Hall
We were able to get a ride from our hosts to Alewife Station and then took the T into downtown Boston. We started by grabbing lunch at the iconic Quincy Market. There were an amazing amount of choices for food and it was quite crowded. After a short wait, we were able to grab a seat while Eric enjoyed a clam chowder and Della went for pizza. Kiddo had some munchies and a large glass of milk! We then went across the street to check out Fanuiel Hall. It was under construction from the the outside, so not too interesting to look at. But the inside was beautiful. We enjoyed checking out the hall itself which has held meetings, protests, and debate for 275 years!
We walked north from Fanueil Hall on the Freedom Trail through the North End. The Freedom Trail is a fun red brick path that you follow through the heart of Boston that takes you to several interesting, historic sites.
The next stop would have been Paul Revere’s house. We were interested to go in, but the line was awfully long and it didn’t look like it would easily accommodate our stroller so we continued on.
Then we were on to the Old North Church of Paul Revere “One if by land, two if by sea” fame. It is also the oldest church building in Boston, built in 1723. There is a lovely shaded park in front of the church that we hung out in for awhile, letting Kiddo run around. He enjoyed splashing in the fountain and then staring in wonder at the statue of Paul Revere.
We decided at this point to turn around and head back south on the Freedom Trail, but first we needed to refresh ourselves with a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. Delicious!
Next we headed to the Old State House. The Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony in 1776. We enjoyed looking at the lion and unicorn statues on top. These two animals appear on the British Royal Arms. The lion represents England and the unicorn Scotland. We also looked at the monument on the pavement in front of the Old State House to the 5 people who were killed during the Boston Massacre.
We checked out the Old Corner Bookstore which is one of the oldest brick structures in Boston (1712). It is now a Chipotle!
Up next was the Old South Meeting House which is a church where those who planned the Boston Tea Party departed from.
We saw a monument to the Boston Latin school which was the oldest still operating school in America! It was started in 1635! It was no longer at this location, but we enjoyed the monument.
Next, we took a minute to get out of the hot Boston sun by stepping into King’s Church. We enjoyed looking at the enormous pews and reading about various people who had purchased each one.
We walked into the Granary Burial Ground in which many famous people are buried including 3 signers if the Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere, and relatives of Benjamin Franklin.
Finally we were to the Boston Common and the State House. Boston Common is the oldest public park in the US! It was created as a common space for grazing cattle and for people to meet. We mostly just took a little time to rest and do a failed jelfie.
At this point we had completed the majority of the Freedom Trail! Kiddo slept in our new reclining stroller from after we ate cannollis until we arrived at the Boston Common.
Boston Public Garden
Our next stop included a statue of the the ducks from the children’s book Make Way for Ducklings. Kiddo was awake now and ready to enjoy the time in the park. He is a big fan of ducks, though he was a tad scared of the statues. He liked watching the real ducks and seeing the big swan boats go by.
Commonwealth Mall to Copley Square
We next wanted to head to Copley Square where we knew there was a statue of the Turtle and Hare (thanks Hello, Boston book!) We walked through the beautiful Commonwealth Avenue Mall. It is 32 acres designed in the French Boulevard style and it is lovely, shaded, and has many statues lining it. We spent a little time in the sunny, crowded Copley Square checking out the statues before deciding to head back toward our lodging.
We stopped at Harvard on our way back out to Belmont. We were a little tired at this point, so we just walked around Harvard Yard and read about some of the buildings. We laughed quite a bit when Kiddo said a huge “Wow!” right as we entered the quad. He doesn’t talk a lot yet, but something about Harvard clearly impressed him!
On our second day in Boston, the weather was a tad dreary. We also had a few social activities planned – meeting up with the family of our hosts, and enjoying a lovely lunch with college friends! Our friends work at Boston College and Della’s father attended there, so we decided to do a walkabout on campus. We enjoyed the tour by our college friend and trying to take pictures of things that Della’s dad might remember from his days there. Kiddo napped in our reclining stroller while we enjoyed chatting with our friends!
We had a busy final day in Boston. We met up with different college friends for brunch and then rushed through the JFK Presidential Library before heading back to the airport. We started getting into Presidential Libraries in the last year and were excited to add another one to our growing list. We really wish we had more time as the library was well laid out in a creative way. Unfortunately, kiddo wasn’t really into being in his stroller at the time. We had hoped he would nap, but he never really was able to relax. Therefore, we missed out on most of the videos which would have really enhanced the experience.
Traveling with Kiddo (Lessons Learned)
As mentioned above, using children’s books (even board books) can be a good way to get kiddos excited about travel destinations. They can also be useful in helping you plan out good kid-friendly activities and sights for when you get there!
We’ve mentioned above and in other posts how the reclining stroller is a game changer.
We struggled with which car to rent when traveling with Kiddo. We ultimately booked a compact car which we may have been able to fit in. However, we got upgraded when we picked up to a full-size we think and it was probably much more comfortable. Also- driving in Boston is insane!! Not even just in downtown, but everywhere! The streets make NO sense and have no discernible pattern. We realized quickly that you need a full time navigator AND google maps step-by-step driving instructions to get anywhere.
There is a ton to do in Boston and, like many places we’ve visited, we wish we had more time to explore. We look forward to visiting again when Kiddo is older.