A Boston Scavenger Hunt
January 17, 2013

My family loves letterboxing, geocaching, and scavenger hunts. We always check at every Mass Audubon and Trustees of Reservations property, or other parks we visit, to see if they offer any of these activities (and many do!). And you can do all of these activities in any weather. In that spirit, I created one of my own based in the Back Bay/Beacon Hill area of Boston.

The answers, with a bit of description about the sites, follow the clues. Try not to let the kids peek while you gently guide them in the right direction! Take a camera with you to document your adventure. Later your kids can make a scrapbook about their experiences.

Happy hunting!

Clues

1. Read Between the Lions

2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race

3. Where Three Famous Women Hang Out at the Mall

4. The Ugly Duckling was One

5. Mrs. Mallard Leads the Pack

6. Former Cow Pasture

7. Mr. Toad’s Friend

8. Where the Governor Works

9. Three Signers of the Declaration of Independence Rest Here

10. Where Boston Cream Pie and the Parker Roll were Born

Answers

1. Boston Public Library Lion Statues
Inside the library’s main entrance on Dartmouth Street
Connecting the Entrance Hall with the Main Staircase is a deep triumphal arch. The great twin lions sit on pedestals. They are memorials to Massachusetts Civil War infantry regiments: the Second and the Twentieth.

2. Tortoise and Hare Statues at the Boston Marathon Finish Line
In the Copley Square Park along Boylston Street
These statues are a tribute to all the runners who have participated in the marathon.

3. Women’s Memorial Statues
In the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, between Fairfield and Gloucester streets
The Boston Women’s Memorial celebrates Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. Each of these women had progressive ideas that were ahead of her time, was committed to social change, and left a legacy through her writings that had a significant impact on history.

4. Swan Boats
Boston Public Garden, bordered by Arlington, Boylston, and Charles streets
The 130-year-old Swan Boats have to be one of the most charming and iconic activities offered in the city. No childfails to love them, especially if he or she has read Make Way for Ducklings (see below).

5. Make Way for Duckling Statues in the Public Garden
The official children’s book of Massachusetts. The Make Way for Ducklings sculptures are within Boston’s Public Garden, where author Robert McCloskey’s book of the same name comes to life.

6. Boston Common
Bordered by Tremont, Park, Boylston, and Beacon streets
The country’s oldest park, established in 1634, was used for grazing livestock, then for hanging criminals, and now happily is just a great place to escape the city sidewalks.

7. Frog Pond and Tadpole Playground in Boston Common
In July and August, the Common’s Frog Pond becomes a six-inch-deep wading pool with a spray head fountain in the middle. In winter, it’s an ice rink. The adjacent Tadpole playground is open year-round.

8. Massachusetts State House
Beacon Street, at Park Street
The gold-domed building sits atop Beacon Hill and is the state’s capitol.

9. The Granary Burying Ground
On Tremont Street, between Park and School streets
Established in 1660, the Granary is notable as the resting place of Boston’s most famous sons. Look for John Hancock’s tomb, Paul Revere’s grave, and a plaque marking the tomb of Robert Treat Paine, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

10. Omni Parker House Hotel
25 School Street
The longest continuously operating hotel in the United States. Besides its tasty innovations, many well-known people have worked there, including Hô Chí Minh, Malcolm X, and Emeril Lagasse.

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