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Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

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Ottawa, Canada
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Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

First off, thanks everyone for your contributions on this forum - whether resident advisor or fellow traveler - I have learned so much already from reading these posts.

My husband and I are heading from Ottawa to Boston in early Sept (week after Labour Day) - a road trip with our two sons, who will be around 9 months and nearly 3 years at that time. (Are we crazy??).

We plan to arrive in the Boston area Monday around lunch/early afternoon (Sept 8th) and leave Thurs (Sept 11th), probably around lunchtime. Most evenings we'll plan to have dinner around 5-5:30 so we can get back to our hotel and get the kids to bed. They are up early though so if there are things to do at 6 or 7am, I'm open to suggestions! LOL.

The only "must do" on our list is a game at Fenway on Weds afternoon at 1pm. Yes, I realize the kids might not last and that's ok. My husband will take in a full game (alone) Tues night, we just want to be able to experience the game a bit, the stadium, etc.

Other things on our "Would like to do" list include:

- The Children's Museum

- Duck Tour

- Boston Commons/Public Garden/Swan Boats

- Walking/Exploring

- Harvard Square

Things on our "Could do/Might be nice to do" list include:

- Aquarium

- Museum of Science (we get in free to both the MOS and the Children's Museum thanks to reciprocal agreements with our local museums, since we are members, so it's ok if we only get here for an hour and then have to go)

- Boston Public Library (both hubby and I would like to see it, but obviously not much for the kids there so if it's really out of the way or a hassle to drop in, could give it a miss)

- Freedom Trail (have read about it, again, might be tricky with the kiddos?)

- A beach?

Any other ideas or thoughts on how to logically incorporate these things would be great. I was going to post about food but saw there was an AWESOME thread on that recently. I would like to plan out meals (roughly) in advance so it makes sense that we end up in the north end when we plan to eat in the north end, etc. I also want to try some local/NE faire (I'm embarrassed to admit I had to Google what a Cannoli is - I thought it was pasta!). Oh, and we are staying in Brookline near a subway stop. We are also very active and will have a double stroller for the kids, we are up for lots of walking etc. Possible to add in some of the scenic street walks (the kids might sleep in the stroller if we go for a walk after lunch...)

Thanks!

Kent, Connecticut
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1. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

How about the "Make Way for Ducklings" statues in the Public Gardens? You could read the book and then follow the duck family's route to the Gardens. After seeing the statues you could go for a ride on the Swan Boats.

Boston
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2. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

The Greenway Carousel, which has Boston animals - not a horse in sight! And the kiddies fountain and playground in Christopher Columbus Park.

MA
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3. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Since you only have a few days, the easiest beach to reach would be Revere Beach, since you can take the T. It is nearly a requirement while there to go to Kelly's for fried clams. Revere is more of a local's beach, it doesn't have hotels all along it, but has sand and ocean.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Those are great, thank you! Any thoughts on how best to put this all together in a logical order? I'm thinking something like:

Mon afternoon - settle at hotel, take T downtown, do Children's museum. Brief wander and dinner in North End (I think we could hit the carousel then?), then "home". OR... maybe just drive straight to museum, park in a garage and do the above, then drive to hotel? Might be a hassle/time-saver? Or is hitting rush-hour around 6pm heading to Brookline going to be frustrating?

Tues AM - start with Duck Tour (I think one leaves near the Museum of Science, we could get there ahead so that we're dropped off there after). Museum of Science, then lunch somewhere on the way to Boston Commons. I'm assuming we can walk from the MoS to the public gardens fairly readily, yes? Afternoon at the park/gardens/swan boats (they only run in the afternoons after Labour Day, I've learned) and of course, the Duck sculptures. Then walk around the (what's it called? the neighbourhood with the "most photographed street in America"? Having a brain fart...), maybe dinner in that area (Boylston? Newbury? Commonwealth? I really don't know what's on any of those streets). Which are worth wandering if the kids are napping?

Tues night we should plan to be back at the hotel by 6pm so hubby can get himself to Fenway for the game.

Weds AM - try to hit Revere beach? I just looked at Google Maps... if I'm looking at the right Revere Beach, it would take about an hour to get there from Brookline on the T, plus a 20 min walk from the station. That might be a bit much to get there and back by lunch. (Actually, just thinking... if we're driving down from NH we may be able to hit the beach on the way INTO Boston if we leave early Mon AM). Ok, maybe scrap the beach and focus on Boston for Weds AM.

Would it be best to head back downtown and try to hit some of Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market etc? I have also heard mention of a "skywalk" somewhere... not sure what best to do with this Weds AM.

Would like to get back to the hotel fairly early so we can drop our "gear" off and head to Fenway. It's not far, we plan to walk.

Weds afternoon - ballgame. Probably walk back to Brookline for supper - I read that Otto is a good place for pizza (however I had also thought about a stop at the famous Regina's - worth doing both? Or plan for Regina's and go somewhere else in Brookline?)

Thurs - Check out of hotel, drive to Harvard Square and take a peek around. Check out the fabulous playground. :) On our way around lunch time?

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Welcome back to the Boston Forum, lc_sar,

The week after Labor Day is very nice time to visit,  it is quiet at museums dedicated to children. The school kids are all back to school, so few families will be at the museums and even better, there will be no school field trips at the museums. The bad news, this is also the time that some of the museums might close for maintenance. I would check their websites to make sure they are open during your visit, especially the Boston Children's Museum. They may only close for an afternoon, a day or maybe two days,  but you can tweak your itinerary around it, "IF" they close!  (in 2013 The Boston Children's Museum closed for maintenance on the Monday & Tuesday, the week after Labor Day.)

For early mornings, I think the local playgrounds are your best option before starting out your day. Also, check with Boston Children's Museum about free visits. Unfortunately, they changed their policy and the ACM  reciprocal visits are now only 50% off admissions :( 

But they still honor free reciprocal visits with the ASTC membership at the Boston Children's Museum and Museum of Science, since you live more than 90 miles away from the Boston Children's Museum. They will check ID's to verify your residence. 

Not sure what you decided to do before and after your trip to Boston? I recall that you were thinking about Storyland and /or Santa's Village. I just want to suggest another stop on your way- Burlington, VT - your family might enjoy their ECHO museum, Since you have a reciprocal membership. Our family really enjoys it,  we also love the walk along Lake Champlain, too. 

For a beach, I would do this on your trip before or after Boston. Check out Salisbury Beach, MA, Hampton Beach, NH, York, ME or Ogunquit, ME they are nicer beaches than Revere Beach.

Enjoy! 

Edited: 25 June 2014, 15:31
Boston
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6. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Where are you staying? Seems like Brookline might be your base of operations. If that or anywhere Downtown, don't plan on using the car to get around from site to site. You'll drive yourself and the kids crazy. Either walk if possible or take the T. The area where Acorn Street is located is called Beacon Hill, where the Boston aristocracy lived.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Great tips, thanks Remay! Yes, our full itinerary looks something like

Day 1 - Ottawa to Storyland, try to get an hour or two in (free admission the next day), stay nearby,

Day 2 - More of Storyland, drive that evening an hour or two en route to Boston, not sure where to stay yet.

Day 3 - Monday, arrive in Boston as noted above. Days 4&5 in Boston

Day 6 - head out to Great Wolf Lodge Thurs after lunch (it's about an hour away). 2 nights here.

Day 8 - head towards Burlington, stop at Ben & Jerry's factory. Just checked out the reviews for ECHO, will certainly check that out this day or the next AM. Stay in or around Burlington?

day 9 - drive home to Ottawa

Alan - we have free parking at the hotel and definitely don't plan on driving other than to get in and out of the city on arrival/departure. My older son will likely be enthralled by the T anyway. And thank you! Yes! Beacon Hill. :)

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

I would do your beach destination on the Sunday night after leaving North Conway before Boston. Since it is shoulder season for the beaches, you should get a good deal. Check the beach locations that I mentioned above. (My favorite is Ogunquit.) Your kids might enjoy York &York Wild Animal Kingdom. The Beach is nice but the Amusement park and zoo is an older attraction and is not as nice as Santa's Village nor Storyland but kids still love it!

Enjoy!

North Shore, MA
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9. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Above you asked about the pizza at Otto in Brookline. I think it's fine, but I like Pizzeria Regina's much more. The Coolidge Corner area of Brookline is loaded with restaurants so you can easily find something else if you want. Also, since it sounds like you enjoy exploring neighborhoods, I'll add that Coolidge Corner is a great place for a walk. Once you get off the main streets (Beacon and Harvard), you'll find quieter streets and pretty homes. If you want some destinations, you could walk by the Kennedy birthplace and follow the map in the brochure linked below to other JFK sites nearby.

nps.gov/jofi/…JOFI_unigrid.pdf

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Sept with little kids - itinerary help please!

Great. Yes, we are staying near Beacon/Harvard so I'll keep Pizzeria Regina on the list and drop Otto (one pizza place per trip is probably good!). We can explore the neighbourhood a bit in the mornings before heading downtown, grab a coffee or find a little bakery. :)

So, new itinerary would be:

Day 1/2 - Storyland, travel to Ogunquit

Day 3 - beach in AM, drive to Boston. Children's Museum (it's open - great idea to double-check that, thanks! Ours is the ASTC membership so should be ok I think. At least, they're on our 2014 list.), walk to carousel, explore Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market and North End (Pizzeria Regina's for dinner).

Day 4 - Duck Tour in AM, check out Museum of Science, Lunch, walk around Boston Commons etc. Dinner at ? (Back to hotel around 6pm so hubby can get to Fenway)

Day 5 - Morning - can explore more - downtown? Freedom Trail? Stay in Coolidge Corners? Game at Fenway after lunch, dinner in Brookline.

Day 6 - pack up, drive to Harvard Square to explore before heading out of town.

Lingering Questions: Driving from Ogunquit - park near Children's museum and drive to Brookline after dinner? Or drive to Brookline first and take T back downtown, leaving car at hotel? Thoughts on this? Ideas for dinner spot on Tues (Day 4) after Boston Commons. What is there to see/how should we prioritize Newbury/Commonwealth/Boylston streets. Should we make a trip to the Pru/Skywalk?