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3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Allentown...
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3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

We will be arriving in Boston around 4:00 on Sunday 7/25. We're staying at the Omni Parker House. There are 5 adults and 3 kids, ages 6,9, and 14.

Here's a rough itinerary as of right now.

Sunday: Since we will be arriving late, I think we will just head to Faneuil Hall, have dinner, and walk around. A few questions about this--

1. Any suggestions about where to eat with kids? Durgin Park?

2. I know there are stores such as Ann Taylor, Build A Bear, etc. in this area. Are there also places where the kids can get trinkets/souvenirs?

3. Any suggestions for other evening activities such as a cruise or nice outdoor area near the water that are appropriate for kids? I know Philly has a history-themed mini golf. Is there anything like this?

Monday: morning--Freedom Trail up to Fan.Hall/Quincy Market (Do you think we should take a tour?)

afternoon--girls--explore Boston Common/Public Garden; Swan Boats; Newbury St., Prudential Center, walk through Beacon Hill

boys--tour Fenway Park (Do you think they will easily be able to get in a tour if they arrive about 1/2 hour before, or do they fill up quickly? There isn't a game scheduled for that day.)

Evening--Harvard/Cambridge for dinner. Any suggestions? Also, what is our best option for getting there?

Tuesday--morning--Whale Watch tour for 1/2 of us; John Adams tour for 3 of the adults. Any suggestions for which company to choose for the whale watch tour? Also, my brother just heard about this John Adams tour--does anyone have any info on it?

afternoon--2nd half of Freedom Trail--Paul Revere's house/USS Constitution.

evening--North End or Fan. Hall for dinner. Any kid-friendly suggestions once again?

Wednesday--will be checking out. My mother and brother are Kennedy buffs. Do you think the JFK Library is worthwhile? How about his childhood home in Brookline? We thought about stopping at these places on the way home.

A few other things--any sit-down breakfast suggestions for around our hotel? Also, I'm sure some of you will suggest doing the Children's museum, science museum, or aquarium for the kids.While I'm sure these are fabulous, I'd rather not visit them when we are so short on time.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Winchester...
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1. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Children's Museum, Aquarium and Science Museum (in order of priority) would be great for your kids on a rainy day. Constitution is great.

To get to Harvard Square you take the red line from Park Street. It's easy-peasy and a lot of fun. Might be a highlight of the trip for your kids.

Durgin Park would be good with kids. It is in Quincy Market (near your hotel). Plenty of places for the kids to find souvenirs.

Not clear to me why the girls aren't going on the Fenway tour. My sister (who lives in Oregon) liked it so much she said she wished she were a sports fan.

Not sure if you've mentioned it, but you would really enjoy the Duck Boat with that crew you've got.

Kennedy Museum is awesome.

Allentown...
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2. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

We were planning on doing the Duck Boat tour UNTIL my kids heard of the crash of the one in Philly a few weeks ago. They won't set foot on one now!

Thanks for your responses!

Winchester...
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3. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Different Duck Tour. Different company. In Boston, the Duck boats are the biggest thing on the water.

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4. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Faneuil Hall is a great place to start. Just be aware the on Sundays, the stores close early (6PM). Durgin Park is a good choice, but the kids will love the huge historic food court in Quincy Market. There will be lots of souvenir places around.

I highly recommend a guided tour. If you're just doing the Freedom Trail, there are several choices. If you want a whole city walk that includes the Freedom Trail, Beacon hill and Back Bay, bostoncitywalks.com. The adults will really enjoy the JFK Library, but I'm not sure about the kids.

Harvard Square will make a nice evening excursion. Make sure you walk through Harvard Yard. You can have dinner in Mr. Bartley's Burger Village or John Harvard Brew House. You take the Red Line subway.

Edited: 20 July 2010, 04:14
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5. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Hi!

I also agree that Durgin Park should work out well. Or just go inside Quincy Market and grab something from one of the vendors if time is tight. Plenty of places to buy souvenirs around there, but if they're closed don't worry as there will be numerous opportunities to purchase them.

I was thinking a nice evening activity with the kids would be the 90 minute Sunset Cruise around Boston Harbor, but the boat leaves at 7PM. Try and make it if you can.

http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/

I also think you should take a guided tour. The kids will probably get a kick out of the guides in period costume from the Freedom Trail Foundation. $2 off each adult ticket thru MassVacations.

http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/

Girls, swing into Beacon Hill and stroll around there. No need to include Boston Common again since you'll either start or end there on the guided tour. Then make your way over to the Public Garden. I think you girls will enjoy the leisurely stroll down the park in the center of Commonwealth Ave. Beautiful brownstone homes, statues and memorials along the way. It begins across the street from the Garden on Arlington Street. You can then take a left off of Commonwealth onto Gloucester or Hereford and you will come right up on Newbury. Take a left and wander down Newbury and eventually over to Boylston and the Pru.

The boys will be fine over at Fenway for the tour. They will take as many as makes it for the next tour. So if it's just 12 people then 12 people go. If it's 50 people then 50 people go.

John Harvards sounds good for dinner in Harvard Square.

All the John Adams info is here included the guided tours. Those who are going will take the red line marked "Braintree" to Quincy Center stop. Directions from there on the website.

http://www.nps.gov/adam/index.htm

Kid Friendly restaurant in the North End? Take them to La Summa on Fleet Street. Skip Faneuil Hall as the food in the North End is so much better.

Sit down breakfast spot near the Omni = http://www.delicatocafe.com/ a very short walk from the Omni.

Edited: 20 July 2010, 06:31
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6. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

The other responses have pretty much covered everything, but here are a few other things to note:

- The Adams National Historical Park is quite interesting, but you can only visit the houses by guided tour, and the tours fill up very quickly -- best to arrive absolute first thing in the morning, as they do not take reservations. Tours start from the visitor center which is right across the street from the Quincy Center MBTA station, so that's an easy way to go. (Don't get confused by the existence of a station called Quincy Adams -- you want Quincy Center.)

- For JFK fans, I think the library will be a much more fulfilling visit than the boyhood home in Brookline. It simply has much more space for interpretive and historical material. Also, trying to visit the Brookline home on your way out of town may be frustrating as it is in a residential neighborhood with very little (legal) parking. On the other hand, it's near Coolidge Corner which is an interesting shopping district that would give you a view of the everyday Boston that most tourists do not see.

- Some other relatively kid-friendly restaurants in Harvard Square would be Le's (Vietnamese), Wagamama (pan-Asian), Cambridge 1 (pizza), Legal Seafoods, and a number of good Indian restaurants, e.g. Cafe of India. But if you want that authentic student feel, go to Bartley's or Pinocchio's Pizza and then to JP Licks for ice cream.

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7. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Yikes!!! I'm starting to 2nd guess my endorsement of Durgin Park. I didn't realize the reviews were that bad!!! Hmm, maybe somewhere like Joe's American Bar & Grill or Bertucci's would be a better idea?

JFK is right off the expressway and would make for a worthwhile visit.

Allentown...
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8. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Wow! All of you have been so helpful! Thank you so much!

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9. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

1) As noted food court at Quincy Market, or restaurants there. See link: http://www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com/?q=node Another option would be to walk over to the North End for a nice meal.

2) Yes, plenty of touristy stuff available. As Alan stated stores close at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

3) Boston Harbor Cruises are available, Free music at Boston Harbor Hotel on Tuesday, St. Joseph Feast in North End

Allentown...
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10. Re: 3 days with 3 kids itinerary--lots of questions

Thanks again for all of your suggestions! So, the stores at Fan. Hall close early on Sundays, and I've also heard that the stores close early around Harvard Square on Mondays. My question is this--Is there still a fun, festive atmosphere at these places on those evenings, despite the stores being closed? We'd like to be there on a night when things are "hopping." Maybe that just won't happen during the days that we are there, since we won't be around on a weekend night.

Also, does anyone know if the St. Joseph's festival in the North End will still be going on Sunday night?