BOSTON COMMON CAROUSEL
Mount a Bradley and Kaye horse and take a spin on this artful, classic carousel featuring oak floors, beveled glass mirrors and standard pie top. Tickets: $3. Open Su-Th 10 am-6 pm, F-Sa 10 am-8 pm. Boston Common Frog Pond.
CAPTAIN JACKSON’S HISTORIC CHOCOLATE SHOP
History buffs with a sweet tooth can stop into this interactive living history exhibition located on the Old North Church campus. The store interprets the history of chocolate, focusing on how it was made and consumed in Colonial America. Hours vary by season; full schedule online. 21 Unity St. 617.523.4848.
Boston merchant Peter Faneuil had this building constructed in 1742 and gave it to the city of Boston. It became known for being the breeding ground of the American Revolution, and thus called “The Cradle of Liberty.” Today, Faneuil Hall remains a symbol of freedom and houses a visitor center, the Great Hall and an armory museum. Free admission. Open daily 9 am-6 pm. Financial District, 617.523.1300.
Five-bastion Fort Independence has been the site of Boston’s sea defense since 1634, although the existing structure dates to 1851. The pentagonal fort was primarily used for training local soldiers and confining prisoners of war as early as the American Revolution. Today, you can go inside the National Historic Site on free guided tours, or explore the grounds on your own. Seasonal tours (meet at entrance to fort): Sa-Su noon3:30 pm. Twilight Skyline Viewing Th 7 pm-dusk. Castle Island, Day Boulevard, South Boston, 617.727.5290.
FORT WARREN & GEORGES ISLAND VISITOR CENTER
This Civil War-era fort occupies most of Georges Island and is open to visitors. Daily ranger tours offer facts about the fort. Visitor center features exhibits and a short film. Open daily. Georges Island, 617.223.8666.
THE FREEDOM TRAIL
Focused on the American Revolution, from the Colonial period to the War of 1812, this 2.5-mile, red-painted and bricked path connects 16 historic sites, each of which has its own story. 617.357.8300.
GRAND LODGE OF MASONS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Did you know Paul Revere was a prominent Boston Freemason? Built in 1898, this Grand Lodge is the third on this site. Today, the magnificent building shows off exterior glass mosaic panels that symbolize Masonic themes, interior exhibits of Masonic ephemera and other treasures, and a research library, which is open to the public. Tours depart M, W and F-Sa 10:30 am-2 pm. 186 Tremont St., 617.426.6040.
Harvard Square pulses as the heart of Cambridge, Boston’s sister city here in the Hub. The square is noted for its great people watching, dozens of specialty book stores, eclectic shopping options, and also music clubs known for regularly hosting legendary talent. 617.491.3434.
KING’S CHAPEL BURYING GROUND
King’s Chapel Burying Ground is Boston’s oldest cemetery, founded 1632, and is full of retiring famous Colonial folk, like Mayflower passenger Mary Chilton. Notable features to look for:
Joseph Tapping’s headstone, and William Dawes’ tomb that bears his name but not his body. Open daily M-Sa 10 am-4 pm, Su 1:30-4 pm. Tremont Street at School Street, 617.523.1749.
LAWN ON D
Let the kids loose at this twoplus-acre art-filled playful outdoor green space in the Seaport District. There’s always something going on, from Swing Time (circular swings that change color when you move) to classic lawn games, live concerts and ever-changing oversized art installations. No pets. Open daily 7 am-10 pm. 420 D St.
LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTER
Kids ages 3-10 go absolutely crazy for this place, and its Assembly Row entrance marked by a giant yellow LEGO giraffe. Not only can children build to their hearts’ content they can tumble, climb and slide in LEGO City Play Zone or catch a movie at the 4D Cinema. Tickets: $18.95-$29.95. Open Su-Th 10 am-7 pm, F 10 am-8 pm, Sa 9 am-8 pm. 598 Assembly Row, Somerville, 866.228.6439.
Literally, Boston’s longest wharf. In the 18th century, John Hancock had his offices on the dock (which you can visit while dining at Chart House restaurant). Today, yachts, ferries and tour boats weigh anchor here.
Beacon Hill address that’s been home to some of Boston’s richest residents like Louisa May Alcott and the Kennedys. Many of the Greek Revival row houses remain single-family homes and surround a private, gated green. Between Pinckney and Mount Vernon streets.
MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS STATUE
String of bronze statues in the Public Garden created by local artist Nancy Schon. Celebrates the duckling family in Robert McCloskey’s children’s book “Make Way For Ducklings.” Public Garden.
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
This preeminent bastion for higher learning focused on the practical application of technology, science and research for the 21st century extends over 168 acres along the Cambridge side of the Charles River Basin. The Great Dome of Barker Library is perhaps the school’s most iconic structure, but a premium has always been placed on the entirety of the campus’ architecture, with sleek and modern buildings designed by the likes of Alvar Aalto, I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry. Visitor Center, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617.253.1000.
NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM
Explore the world’s waters from the Amazon rain forest to the Gulf of Maine. Come see the Giant Ocean Tank, a Caribbean coral reef environment boasting 2,000 sea creatures! Admission: $18.95-26.95. Open M-F 9 am-5 pm, Sa-Su 9 am-6 pm. NEAq’s IMAX Theater screens films daily; tickets: $7.95-9.95. 1 Central Wharf, 617.973.5200.
Newbury Street is a hot destination for shoppers. Part posh (the lower end of Newbury features luxury brand boutiques from Chanel to Valentino) and part hip (the upper end of Newbury boasts independently owned
shops and international flagship stores). Newbury Street at Arlington Street; Newbury Street at Massachusetts Avenue.
OLD CITY HALL
This decadent structure was built 1862-1865 as one of the first buildings in the French Second Empire architectural style in the U.S and is now one of the only ones that survives. This is actually Boston’s third city hall, and it saw the service of 38 mayors through 1969, including Josiah Quincy and James M. Curley. 45 School St., 617.523.8678.
OLD SOUTH MEETING HOUSE
Built in 1729 as a Puritan meetinghouse, this site is well known as the place of mass protest gatherings that led to the Boston Tea Party. Famous former congregants include Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Admission: $1-$6. Open daily 9:30 am-5 pm. 310 Washington St., 617.482.6439.
Deep in the South End lives SoWa, a portion of the colorful, historic Boston neighborhood that is, quite literally, “south” of Washington Street. Its high concentration of galleries, working artist studios and design spaces built into restored mill buildings make it a hot spot for creative types searching out crafts, contemporary and experimental art. Frequent, regular events, like First Fridays (collective open studios on the first Friday of each month) and SoWa Sundays (a gathering of openair markets, from May through October) are widely attended, and they’re free. 450-500 Harrison Ave.