A Day of Boats in Boston

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Sunday Jun 26, 2011 Under Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, Revolutionary War Sites, Travel

We had a wonderful day in Boston. I enjoyed Boston more today than the first. I think it was combination of slightly better weather, knowing our way around,  and less traffic.  I realized on the drive to Maine that it was the day on boats – no wonder I liked it.

We started the day with what Claire wanted to do which was the Swan Boats. When we made the hike from the harbor to the Public Garden, we realized the swans where not what we expected. In our Boston Go Card book, it looked like you pedaled individual boats. As you can see it was a much larger boat and someone did the work for you. Claire decided that was still okay and we had a beautiful relaxing ride in a small pond. It was her favorite activity of the day.  The boats have been operated by the same family for 130 years . It is also the cheapest admission in Boston so don’t miss out. We walked around the park for a little while and it is quite beautiful much better than the commons. There are some beautiful flowers and some nice statues one is in honor of                                                                  the book Make Way for Ducklings which is set in Boston.

Our next stop was the Old State House where we looked at some exhibits and went on a tour. We did not do the audio tour that is included with admission. They have John Hancock’s red velvet coat on display and some other interesting artifacts. They have three small areas hands on activities for kids. Claire enjoyed where you get to be the bird in a cuckoo clock. The tour was an overview of the history of the State House and government in Boston. I thought it was good but the kids did not like it much. I don’t think it had enough revolutionary history for them. They liked the tickets the best because each one had a different person on it. Bruce was a British spy which they thought that was cool. The tour ended with an interesting story about a cane on display. We had lunch at the hotdog stand outside- again. Great hotdogs!

 

After a quick shopping trip for Cobey, we got on the  45 min. Harbor Cruise Tour that makes a stop at the USS Constitution. This tour is free with most of the trolley tours and I highly recommend getting out in the harbor on some sort of boat. The narration was only okay when I could understand and hear it. It was THIS view from the ferry when I first really appreciated the beauty of the Boston skyline. Unfortunately, we did not have time to get off at the stop but it was a nice ride.

 

We hopped off the ferry boat and got on a tall ship. We had booked the Boston Tea Party cruise with Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships. The kids helped hoist the sails and steer the boat. There was a costumed patriot on board that led the reenactment of the town meeting and the tea party. He also told a great  ghost story about a fort we passed. I would have enjoyed just a sailing without the extra but it made it very exciting for the kids. They loved it. It is only $5 more dollars than the other cruises. You have to pay $10 more if you have a Boston Go Card. Don’t ask me why. This was one of my favorite things we did. I think this, the Duck Tours and the Walking Tour are my top three picks for Boston.

 

Bruce headed for the airport by water taxi and we headed for a very quick stop at the Aquarium. It is not the best aquarium I have been to but it is good. It has a large penguin exhibit. It has a two different touch tanks. It also had some very nice tanks with some fish and sea creatures I had not seen before. There is a cool exhibit where you have to listen to find the hidden fish- teaching the kids about echolocation. You could easily do the aquarium in two hours. We only had an hour and were a little rushed.

 

 

 

I would have liked to have seen the USS Constitution and Museum and the Art Museum but I feel like we saw a lot in two days. The Boston Go Cards ended up saving us money. I saved $186 on my admissions, the kids saved $62 each of theirs, and Bruce saved $56 for a total savings of $366. Bruce had a 3-day card and we had 7-day. We purchased them at a discount price. There were a few things we may not have done if we did not have the card but I still think we would have come out way ahead.

If I was planning my first trip to the area again, I would have 3 days in Boston, 1 in Salem, 1 in Lowell, and 2 in Lexington/Concord. If I get a chance to come back, I will do a day in Salem, Boston and Lexington/Concord.

We spent the last four nights at a Homewood Suites in Andover. The hotel was in great condition and decorated nicely. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It took us almost an  hour to get to Boston on Friday and about half that on Sunday. It is closer to Lowell and Lexington/Concord. The really  nice thing about Homewood Suites is they serve dinner for free during the week. They serve a hot breakfast each morning but not cooked to order. It was less than half  the price of the hotels in Downtown Boston so you can consider it a great option if in the area.

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