Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Boston Quick Scoops, part two

No matter which baseball team you root for, you have to admit the oldest ballpark in the country is pretty magical. Fenway Park is open for tours every day (they run 60 minutes), and you can easily get caught up in the enthusiasm of the latest World Series Champs. Even if you have some non-fans in your family, it's still a lot of fun to see the field from the Green Monster perspective. Tickets for tours are available on a first come first serve basis at the Gate D ticket booth, open from 10-5. Adults are $16 each and kids 3-15 are $12 each.

If you've got a little time before your tour, head over to the Hotel Commonwealth (also a C&G favorite hotel) in Kenmore Square for some food and drinks that don't involve sports themes. Eastern Standard is the hotel restaurant and quite the swanky looking bistro, but I'm sure it would be family friendly during the day. We haven't tried it yet (the Saturday of the Red Sox parade was NOT the ideal time to pop in for a drink) but it's at the top of my list in that neighborhood. Or for a quick, good but cheap burger head across the street to Uburger, another place we haven't tried but it's very similar to a Five Guys. And sometimes your crew just wants a cheap (but not fast food, very anti-C&G) burger.

The little C&Gs have long since outgrown the Boston Children's Museum, and it's too bad because it's one of the best kids museums in the country. There are three cavernous floors for running, jumping, building (and knocking down of course), experimenting, blowing bubbles and making noise.

It's best for kiddos ten and younger, Little C&G would still get a lot out of it but it isn't as much fun when your older brother stands around looking like a bored pre-tween. It can get a little nutty in the Children's Museum (thankfully there's Purell everywhere) so be sure to take a break outside and breathe in the fresh salty air along the water.

Queue up with all the other frazzled families around the corner at Flour Bakery when your troops get hungry. The line may be long but I promise you their delicious sandwiches and bakery treats are totally worth it. I still dream about the homemade pop tart I had there years ago. Nothing like that has ever come out of my toaster at home. Seats turn over quickly but you can also take lunch to go and head back to the benches in front of the Children's Museum.

I'm not a fan of the New England Aquarium, but it's a must-do at least once. Tickets are expensive ($25/ages 12-adult, $18/kids ages 3-11) and I always find it's very crowded, no matter what time of year we go. Their website boasts of a new redesign for the giant center tank and surrounding exhibits which should help with the flow of people. The little C&Gs were more interested in the stuffed animals in the gift shop than anything they saw swimming by under their noses.

Faneuil Hall is a destination all on its own when you've finished up with the fishes at the Aquarium. There are enough sights, smells, and novelty carts to keep you busy for an entire afternoon. If we're in the neighborhood we always stop in for a cheap lunch and some fun people watching. Everybody can get what they want from the various food stands and we meet back in the middle to track down a table or head outside if the weather is nice. Noodle favorite Wagamama has an outpost in Faneuil Hall if you're looking for something a little quieter and more organized.

Very tempting views at the Boston Harbor Hotel
Drinking in and around Faneuil Hall is for beer swilling amateurs. Instead I'd let the kiddos run around the new Columbus Waterfront Park for a bit and then head over to the Boston Harbor Hotel for some snacks and much deserved cocktails while nestled in comfy overstuffed chairs. But be careful, after a Beacon Hill Bellini or two you might find yourself at the check-in desk handing over your credit card. . .

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