My wife and I and our two daughters, aged 14 and 12, took this tour. We are so glad we did. We opted for the extended tour option two (check out Ben's website for the various options). A walking tour is so much better than taking a bus - you can take the time to stop along the way, as well as get some exercise. Even better, on this tour the walking was broken by a stop for morning tea and lunch; more about that later. Ben was kind enough to meet us at our down town hotel and we caught the subway for a short ride to the start point at Boston common for our 9.30 start.
Ben's knowledge of Boston was unsurpassed. I could see that he knew his stuff and had a passion for what he was talking about. After the Boston Common we visited a grave yard or two, a nice touch being the pointing out of the graves of some of the signatories of the declaration of independence and getting the children involved in pointing out their signatures on a replica declaration that Ben was carrying with him (he was carrying quite a few exhibits with him that he used in an interactive way so we could better understand what we were viewing).
Whilst not taking you through the entire itinerary (take a look at Ben's website to see the highlights) it was then on to Kings Chapel, an interesting and quaint place of worship, with a very interesting place in the history of the American Revolution. At mid-morning we stopped at the "haunted" Parker hotel. This was an unexpected highlight that we really enjoyed - enjoying Boston cream pie on the table next to the table where JFK proposed to Jacqui and taking in the historic ambience. The Paul Revere house was also an interesting stop along the way, as was the attraction where they were printing the declaration of independence on an old printing press and demonstrating the making of chocolate - not something that would typically interest me, but it was so well done you can't help but enjoy it.
What I thought was very good was how Ben kept the children engaged with questions about what they had seen and were about to see, the objective being to score sufficient points for them to win a prize.
For lunch we stopped at the historic Union Oyster House, oldest restaurant in Boston. We sat in the secluded "JFK booth" where JFK used to often each lunch. Company and historic interest excellent, food average.
Then it was on to the USS Constitution, where we had two excellent short talks from serviceman from the US navy on the ship and its history. To round the tour off we headed off to Bunker Hill. Having viewed the museum we viewed the battle site. The children then insisting that they climb what turned out to be the 294 stairs to the top. Great view, but not for the unfit ! It was a good sign that notwithstanding that is was now 18h00 the children had enjoyed themselves and still had enough energy left to climb 294 stairs. Ben says that by the end of the tour not many families tackle the 294 steps, but you should seek to equal the achievements of the Davies family and do so !
The children didn't once get restless and were very interested about the stories being told. I asked the children what they liked - their response was "the questions / games, nice and interesting guy, the personal insights . Me? I really liked everything, but especially the Boston Cream Pie at the Parker hotel!!
Ben, your tour was excellent and gave us a real appreciation of old Boston in a short period of time. We have no suggestions as to how it could be improved and would highly recommend it to others.
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