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There’s a reason it’s so inexpensive to travel to Boston December through February; the bone-numbing temperatures and random snow squalls are enough to keep even the heartiest tourists at bay. But there’s no reason to hole up in your hotel the entire time – just dress warmly and remember to bring an extra pair of socks! Here are five fun things to do around Beantown even when the temperature has dipped below freezing:
1. Museum of Fine Arts/Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: The MFA Boston is one of the best museums in the city, and features new exhibits and shows throughout the year. Nearby, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will treat you to scenes from centuries ago in the mansion’s various rooms. If you’re staying at nearby hotels like The Eliot, the Hilton Boston Back Bay, or The Colonnade, you can definitely brave the walk to the museums. 465 Huntington Avenue /280 The Fenway
2. Tour Fenway Park: It doesn’t have to be baseball season for you to tour the famous ballpark. Fenway Park hosts tours year-round for $12 and directly across the street from the park are some of Fenway’s best pubs and restaurants. Get a tour, then get a beer. The Hotel Commonwealth is located only two blocks from the park, and nearby Back Bay hotels like the Sheraton Boston and the Lenox Hotel are just minutes from the Fenway area. 4 Yawkey Way
3. Go where everybody knows your name. Yes, it’s touristy. Yes, it’s cliche. But yes, you know you want to go. If it’s too cold to brave the weather in Boston, brave the tourists and head to Cheers! (formerly the Bull & Finch Pub) on Beacon Hill (tip: don’t make the typical tourist mistake and go to the Faneuil Hall location). Order up a burger and Bloody Mary and watch the crowds stroll by on Beacon Hill. When you’re warm and ready for a change of scenery, take a walk down Charles Street for some boutique shopping. Nearby hotels like Fifteen Beacon and the Omni Parker House are within steps from the famous bar. 84 Beacon Street
4. Take in a show. We may not be Broadway, but we do put on some good shows. Check out what’s playing at the Stuart Street Playhouse, the Wang Theater, or Boston’s Opera House, and let someone else entertain you on a cold day. You can get half-priced tickets at BosTix on the day of the show, or your hotel concierge can get you a deal. The W Boston recently opened in the theater district, and the Park Plaza Hotel & Towers and Ritz-Carlton are just steps away from theater spots and restaurants.
5. Partake in an old-fashioned pub crawl. Boston has some of the best (and oldest) pubs in the nation so why not say you’ve been to a few? Start at the 21st Amendment in Beacon Hill then make your way to the Green Dragon in Faneuil Hall, and end at the Warren Tavern in Charlestown. Side note: make sure to eat along the way, and don’t pass up a cup of chowder at the Warren Tavern. Stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott for easy access on your stumble home from the Tavern, or hop a cab to any of the downtown Boston hotels when you’re done with your pub crawl. Make Paul Revere proud!
– Melanie Nayer of MelanieNayer.com