Exploring Boston’s Harbor
July 4, 2012

In the past decade or so, Boston’s harbor-front district has grown tremendously. This week will see an explosion---so to speak---of events, with the 4th of July, Harborfest celebrations, and the War of 1812 Bicentennial. Holiday week or no, though, there is always plenty to keep families busy on the waterfront.

A great way to start exploring the area is with a visit to the newly opened Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum at Griffin’s Wharf. The city lost its previous Tea Party Museum 12 years ago due to a fire. The new one is located in the same spot that American colonists, protesting “taxation without representation,” boarded three British tea ships and dumped 342 crates of British tea into the sea in 1773.

The museum is an immersive, interactive experience with actors in period costumes, holograms, talking portraits, and historic replicas of the ships (which you can tour), plus the Robinson Tea Chest, one of the only two original tea chests known to exist. From the museum, which takes about an hour to explore, you can head to the Rose Kennedy Greenway for fountains to splash in, activity carts stocked with games for kids, scavenger hunts (download one here), outdoor story hours, and more.

If you want to get out on the water, you’ll find a variety of options. The New England Aquarium offers whale-watching trips, as does Boston Harbor Cruises, which also offers other sightseeing cruises, including the exciting 40-mph Codzilla excursion.

One of my family’s favorite things to do is to meander along the Boston HarborWalk, which winds through the city’s waterfront neighborhoods and the downtown district. The full HarborWalk stretches from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River, through East Boston, Charlestown, the North End, Downtown, South Boston, and Dorchester.

For a nice overview, you can download a free audio tour from the HarborWalk website to listen to as you walk. Plenty of places to rest, let the kids play, and dine are along the route. Without a doubt, you’ll love discovering some new places and the views are always rewarding.


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Tip of the Day

Help a neighbor: Whether it’s the season for shoveling snow, raking leaves, or weeding their garden, your kids will get double benefits from being outdoors and building community.

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