Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Boston Quick Scoops, part one

It always feels like the kiddos are never in school for the full five days in a row in the months of November and December. Between conferences, holidays, travels, and potential bad weather days, you're going to need some quick and easy ideas to get you through the weeks ahead.

The Museum of Science is always a favorite and we could easily spend the entire day going from the exhibits to the planetarium to the IMAX theater without ever coming up for air. Be sure to break up your day with a walk outside (get your hand stamped on the way out) and head across the bridge into Cambridge for lunch. You'll be amazed at how just a small change of scenery can rejuvenate your little adventurers.

ArtBar in the Royal Sonesta hotel (the first left after you go over the bridge) has a surprisingly innovative and creative menu, some great cocktails, and a special kids menu complete with goldfish or veggie stick starters. Try and grab a table next to the window and sit back and enjoy the view of the Charles River.

Bambara in the Hotel Marlowe hotel (the second left after you cross the bridge) is an elegant place to go for dinner, but lunch and their weekend brunch is much more accessible and kid friendly. We've stayed at the Hotel Marlowe a few times and it's a great family friendly hotel. Be sure to hang out on the giant couches in the lobby (and enjoy the roaring fireplace) before you head back to the museum.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge is one of the little C&Gs favorite places to explore. The minerals and gems room is where they first came up with their iPhone iSpy game, which easily took up 45 minutes of their morning. Brightly colored beetles, butterflies, and birds fill the other rooms, along with bones, skeletons, and all varieties of stuffed mammals behind glass.

A short walk back towards Harvard Square will bring you past the classic burger joint, Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage. Just don't be disappointed if you find them closed on Sundays or during school (college) vacation weeks. Grafton Street Pub is just a few doors up Mass Ave from Bartley's (and it's a good backup) and has a great brunch on the weekends, along with some pretty tasty cocktails. Closer to the T stop is Russell House Tavern, head downstairs for their fabulous brunch and classic drinks menu. We always save room for a quick trip to Cardullo's shop for some international candies or head across the street to Sweet Cupcakes bakery for their decadent cupcakes.

Tucked into an uncommonly traveled part of Cambridge is the MIT Museum and definitely worth a few hours, especially if your kiddos are into robots and science. The highlight of the collection is Kismet, a furry robot built at MIT to have artificial intelligence, and the NOVA video they show is incredibly interesting. Even the little C&Gs sat through the whole thing.

Be sure to stop by Area Four (from the MIT Museum head out on Windsor St. and turn right onto Main Street) for the largest sticky bun ever, completely smothered in sugary frosting goodness. Or grab a table at the restaurant in back and order one of their delicious super thin crust pizzas or salads. Their cocktail list is very impressive (Mr. C&Gs fav Boulevardier is on the menu) and the food is delicious. Plus there's a small green park next to the restaurant if you need to send the kiddos out to burn off all that sugar. 

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