We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Topic
4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

From MD/DC area, looking for things to do with family (hubby, 2 boys 15 & 13) in Boston and it's first time. Staying in Norwood, MA for 4 days next week (M-F).

Will appreciate help in:

1. What to do with teenagers, they like History & fun. To get 3 day 'Go Boston" card is good choice or not?

2. Best way to travel from hotel in Norwood MA, Is driving by car or taking 'T' to Boston attractions better?

3. Would like to visit some college area - any recommendation?

4. planning to go to Acadia National Park - any suggestion?

Thanks for all your help!

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
6,461 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Are you definitely staying in Norwood or is that flexible? You'll be wasting valuable time travelling and you only have 4 days.

1) Go Boston card has been spoken about in a positive light if you are the type of person who go go goes. You have to weight the amount of running around you do in a day with the cost of admissions to different places. For history, The Freedom Trail is a given.

2) One option is commuter rail into Boston but that runs on a set schedule so you have to plan around that. Parking in the city can be costly, but may be well worth it to give you more time in the city.

3) Boston is full of colleges right in the city proper - BU, Northeastern, Emerson, Suffolk, and in Cambridge MIT and Harvard, to name a few.

4) Are you planning on Acadia after your Boston stop?

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Freedom Trail
Freedom Trail
14,292 Reviews
Boston, MA
Suffolk
Suffolk
East Anglia, UK
Harvard
Harvard
Massachusetts
Winchester...
Level Contributor
6,214 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

I don't really know where Norwood is except that it's one of those places somewhat near IKEA (the only reason anyone from my part of the world would venture to that part of the world), but generally speaking it will make more sense for you to drive into Boston than to take the commuter rail. I ride the train between Wedgemere and Lowell during the week and almost every day witness the shock of tourists headed for Boston when the conductor tells them how much their ticket will cost. Take your boys to the USS Constitution, the Science Museum, and Harvard Square.

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Lowell
Lowell
Massachusetts
MA
Destination Expert
for New England
Level Contributor
6,809 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

It will cost $13.75 each per day for your family to use the commuter rail from Norwood plus $4 day to park at the lot, or $60 total per day. There are student fares, but you need a weekly pass and I don't think they apply to Zone 3, Norwood's zone. Cheaper to drive in and park, but avoid rush hour. Why are you staying all the way out in Norwood? You could add the commuter fare money to your hotel budget and stay in the city. Many tourists choose to visit Harvard University, but there are many others. Are your kids scouting possible colleges or is it just a casual visit?

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Thanks for your replies! Great way to get good ideas. Acadia National park is first in the itinerary, spending two days (M & TU), coming to Boston for four days till Sunday. We are staying in Bar Harbor Holiday Inn.

It's Hampton Inn at Norwood, and we thought it is not that far, about 16 milesto Boston We live near DC the same distance and driving takes about 30 min. during non- peak hour. The review was good and we got a Federal Govt. rate for these days. However, I am trying now to go closer to Boston. College scouting is not real serious, may be we can drive by the area. But Harvard and MIT would be good to explore.

We like to use GB card for selected attractions only, though I am for Aquarium and Whale watch. Hop-on trolley and Duck tours can be convenient too. Fenway park is a must for the boys in addition to Freedom trail. Is it still worth for these things or better to go without GB?

Thanks again and appreciate your time and help.

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Thanks for your reply, considering the cost and time of commuter travel, we will drive to Boston and park. It will not be during peak hour and hope to make use of evening time to stay longer.

IKEA is not Boston attraction for us, but thanks for mentioning it.

Thanks again!

Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Thanks for your suggestion, I am trying to find a hotel but it is difficult. We definitely do not want to stay in very high end hotels. Driving is our option from Norwood and looking forward to enjoy the week in NE.

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
1 post
36 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Just finished doing our own Boston/Bar Harbor tours. Acadia National Park was one of the highlights. Depending on how much hiking you want to do, there's an option for everyone. Definitely recommend a drive around Park Loop Road. We found the eating in Bar Habor to be somewhat challenging. For a cheaper meal, we really liked Peppers Pizza. For a nicer (lobster, etc), but still affordable meal, we really like Side Street Cafe.

In Boston, I'd recommend the Freedom Trail, obviously. A cool thing that we just did that you surprisingly don't hear a ton about is the JFK Presidential Library. Admission is $12 for adults, but worth it - this is saying a lot because we live in the DC area and are used to free museums.

Also, go to Fenway! I think you said you are already planning to do this. One cool thing to also consider is taking the tour of the stadium. It's really cool and worth it when you're talking about a stadium that's one hundred years old.

Mentioned in this post
Freedom Trail
Freedom Trail
14,292 Reviews
Boston, MA
MA
Destination Expert
for New England
Level Contributor
6,809 posts
205 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

The 3 day Go Boston card would cost $120 each, or $480 total, for your family. You need to figure out a rough itinerary for each day, then add up how much it would cost if you just paid admission separately, and see whether it would be cheaper than buying the card (be sure check if the kids have a free or reduced admission). I always do this when we travel to figure out if a museum or city pass is worth it. Often, these passes include a lot of attractions that you're not interested in, and it is hard to cram enough visits into each day to make the price of the card worthwhile. The Freedom Trail, and many of the attractions on it, are free.

Mentioned in this post
Freedom Trail
Freedom Trail
14,292 Reviews
Boston, MA
Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
24,350 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

If you'd like help finding an alternative hotel, post more info and forum members may have some suggestions. What are your exact dates (prices fluctuate) and what is your target budget per night and your bedding preferences? There are lots of places where the drive will be more convenient, or you might even be able to get a place right on the T (the frequently running "subway" part of the T vs infrequent and expensive "commuter rail").

Rockville, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: 4 days in Boston with 2 teen boys- looking for a good plan

Thanks for the advice, but we are already on the road. We are going to Acadia on Monday and stay till Wednesday. In Boston, we are getting the 3 day Go Boston card for sightseeing and will stay in Norwood area. Hubby is not for last minute changes.Will update of our experience and hoping for a great trip

Mentioned in this post
Norwood
Norwood
Massachusetts