When I was in my early twenties, one of my colleagues from my first job out of college was from Boston, so we made many weekend trip up there throughout the years. Having lived there all her life, she shared with us all the town’s greatest attraction, and we definitely went to our fair share of Red Sox games at Fenway Park. After I left that job and started the showroom, my travels to Boston continued, as many of my clients were based in, or owned shops in the Northeast. I have wonderful memories from those sales trips, because Jason would often tag along, turning work into fun filled weekend getaways.
A few weeks ago, we returned to this historic city for the first time in over 10 years, and for the first time with all three of our children. With a large family, we’re always searching for creative ways to getaway without spending thousands on plane tickets. At just under four hours by car, Boston is ideal for kids because it leaves just enough time to be excited for the drive up, followed by long naps, which prepares them for the activities and playing tiny tourists all weekend.
Accommodations are always tricky when traveling with a large clan, so when it came time to pick a hotel, we opted for the iconic Langham Hotel. Having stayed at their NYC location earlier in the year, I knew their family friendly vibe would be just what we needed to feel at home in Boston. Booking a duplex one bedroom offered plenty of room for the kids to enjoy, while keeping our sleeping quarters separate from them at the end of our days.
The hotel offers children pint sized bathrobes, slippers, and teddy bear backpacks for their local adventures. The little teddy packs were a big hit with my children and made their way everywhere with us. These little details that welcome their smallest guests are some of things that my children will remember for years and years to come, as they still talk about our stay in their NYC hotel.
With plenty to see and do during our short stay in town, we left our room, to make the most out of our four day stay. Situated on the waterfront, the Boston temperatures were 10 degrees cooler than the recent humid New York days, which made for comfortable walks throughout the city.
During our first outing, we strolled along the Boston waterfront, where we discovered the Boston Children’s Museum. What surprised me about this children’s museum compared to others we have visited over the years were the activities offered to passerby’s, before you even need to pay the entrance fee. Ryder was given a fishing rod to fish in the harbor, while the girls were allowed touch and hold live crabs, pulled from the neighboring waters.
After the museum, we walked to the Barking Crab for lunch, which turned out to be one of our favorite restaurants for the weekend. Their covered outdoor patio was ideal for our large party, and their laid back atmosphere and picnic table seating let the kids spread out, during what was turing into one long day.
Following lunch, we stopped at The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, where we took a one hour tour, that ended with the kids actually dropping crates of tea into the harbor. As the afternoon wore on, we made our way back to the Langham so we could bathe the kids, and get ready for dinner.
Having had such a good experience with fish on the menu for lunch, we decided to go to a seafood restaurant for dinner. The concierge recommended Oceanaire Restaurant, which was only a short ride from the hotel. When it came time for us to call a taxi, we asked the concierge to call a taxi. Rather than picking up the phone, he radioed the valet to bring their in-house taxi around.
To our delight, she pulled up in the Langham’s signature pink taxi. An actual London Cab, shipped from England, the ride is offered to guests traveling to destinations that are in close proximity to the hotel property. The kids got a kick out of the car, and of course, the girls love anything pink. We were extremely grateful for all the wonderful attractions and food accommodations arranged by the Langham staff for our first day.
The next morning, we headed straight towards the Boston Public Garden for a ride on the Swan Boats. These graceful peddled boats have been cultural icons in Boston for almost 140 years, taking riders on a 15 minutes tour around the pond. After our loop in the pond, we stayed in the Public Garden for the remainder of the afternoon. The kids chased the ducks, sat on the Make Way For Ducklings Sculptures, and watched Dan The One Man Band, belting out some silly tunes.
From the park, we made our way to the North End, which could be considered the equivalent of NYC’s Little Italy. The narrow streets are lined with mom and pop Italian restaurants, run by family members spanning multiple generations. With so many mouth watering options, it was difficult to choose just one restaurant, so the first location offering gluten free dishes for Ryder was the winner. I’m sure no matter where we decided to eat, it would’ve been incredible. And before leaving the neighborhood, we stopped in the famous Maria’s Pastry Shop, which reminded me of the Italian bakeries that were around when I was a child.
Having walked all over the city, we had a pretty good sense of direction in the city. In our travels, we noticed these huge trucks that looked like boats carrying people around the city. When we asked our concierge about these massive vehicles, he told us the Duck Tours are one of the must do attractions for tourists, and even locals in the city. Regular tours just drive the streets, while the Duck Tour takes place on a WWII style truck capable of driving on land, and sailing in water. It was a great overview of the city, highlight the historical significance of the many neighborhoods that make up the city, followed by a one of a kind cruise down the Charles River, for spectacular views of the Boston and Cambridge skylines. The kids couldn’t get over that our truck actually went into the water. The driver even let the big kids man the wheel when the truck was in the water.
Sunday afternoon came to a close after a stroll down Newbury Street, browsing many of the shops and cafes, along the route. Back at the Langham, we were greeted by big bowl of popcorn and refreshments. Exhausted from our three full days of walking around town, we decided to order food to our room, and enjoy our popcorn during a relaxing movie night in our suite. The kids lounged in their robes, and tucked in for an early bedtime. What a weekend! My only regret was that we couldn’t schedule our trip during a Red Sox game for the kids to experience. Guess we will just need to plan another trip back to Boston next summer!
Thank you so much to Langham Hotels for our hotel stay and accommodations.
This post was originally published August 24th 2015