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Old 02-05-2011, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Fabletown
40 posts, read 98,727 times
Reputation: 24

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Our family will be in Boston during the summer, where my husband needs to be at Harvard every day, while I'm looking after our six year old son. Hot summer days in the middle of a large city is not my favourite, so I hope someone can help me to find a good place for us to stay. Is it possible to live close to a beach without my husband having to commute for hours to get to Harvard? If not - what area should we stay in so that my son and I could have a good time?
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:22 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,508 posts, read 33,474,047 times
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There are many great museum options. The Childrens Museum, Science Museum, MIT Museum plus the MFA and Gardener Museums. Most are air conditioned. Then there are the parks which are well shaded. And two zoos, the Franklin Zoo and the Stoneham Zoo. For beaches, there's the Revere Beach and many others. There are also boats that go out to the islands in Boston Harbor. Most of all I've mentioned are accessible with public transportation. And there is also the option of signing up for a Zipcar membership.

When I was six, my family lived in Manhattan. The best times were just hanging out in Central Park looking for four leaf clovers and bugs. And my parents would also read books to us while at the parks. But my sisters and I also really enjoyed going to all the museums. The Natural History Museum was probably my favorite one, but also the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We used to go to Jones Beach, but honestly, I didn't care for the beach on really hot days.

Nowadays, I would not recommend taking a young child to the beach on a really hot sunny day for fear of them getting a severe sun burn.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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You could try to find something in Cambridge, Watertown, Belmont or Arlington and be close to Harvard. It's 15 minutes on the bus from Harvard Sq to Watertown or Belmont. See MBTA.com > Official Website for Greater Boston's Public Transportation System

There are pools in these towns. In fact, many towns have pools or swimming areas for free or for a fee. Belmont has sprinklers at Beaver Brook Reservation, which is free. Artesani wading pool is free and good for a 6-year-old; it's very popular. Watertown has the Dealty pool which is free.

See Department of Conservation and Recreation

Concord has Walden Pond, which is popular for swimming, so you could also try to find temporary housing there as well. We had so much rain last spring that there wasn't much of a beach at Walden Pond, but still my 4-year-old enjoyed it and your 6-year-old would too. Concord is on the MBTA commuter rail and takes about 30 minutes to Porter Sq in Cambridge.

If you live in these towns, you could take the MBTA commuter rail or drive to area's beaches. I recommend Crane's Beach in Ipswich. My son was 4 years old last summer and loved the tidal pools there, which can get quite warm. Of course, Cape Cod has fantastic beaches. Visit Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

I'd also highly recommend the beaches in RI - Sand Hill Cove (Roger Wheeler) and Scarborough Beach in Port Judith are excellent for kids and very popular. Block Island is fantastic too. The best part about RI beaches is that you can bring your boogie board and go surfing, which my 4-year-old loved. RI beaches have better waves than MA beaches and can be warmer as well.

See Visit Rhode Island :: What to Do :: Beaches

Can you guess I'm a bit of beach dudette? Just writing about these beaches are making me anxious for the summer, Crane's Beach, Cape, MV, BI, and RI beaches. I would kill to go surfing at Scarborough now (if it were summer and hot). Can't wait for summer!!!
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:12 PM
 
234 posts, read 521,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miu View Post

Nowadays, I would not recommend taking a young child to the beach on a really hot sunny day for fear of them getting a severe sun burn.
Then would you go to the beach? I bring my kids to the beach on hot sunny days, but they are lathered with sunscreen and they (boys) wear long sleeved UV blocking shirts- it's all about how you dress and protect yourself.

I would echo what some others have said, which is find a place close to Harvard and take advantage of everything around there, get out to the beaches when you can/want. There are many playgrounds that have water features, and pools as have been mentioned. The playground on Cambridge Common is awesome and you can always go down to Boston Common to the frog pond. The playground next to it also has sprinklers, and the fountain at the Church of Christ Scientist is fun, as are the new ones down on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. There's tons to do in the city in the summer, lots of water fun to be found.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:50 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
16,508 posts, read 33,474,047 times
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I'd go to a beach on a milder but still warm day. That way, the child could be more clothed. We'd go barefoot and walk along the waters edge or build sand castles. For swimming, I'd stick to a pool. And there's a park along Soldiers Field Road with a sprinkler spray area for kids set up. I just wouldn't have a child in swimgear exposed to the sun on a very hot day. Maybe on a very hot day, we'd go to a library and enjoy their air conditioning.

I wouldn't raise a child to be a sun worshipper, someone that later on would frequent tanning salons thinking that they look better with a tanned skin.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:56 PM
 
199 posts, read 811,147 times
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Totally agree with proudestmonkey on everything (beach, location to live, playgrounds, etc.). I slather my son with highest level sunscreen, put the UV sunblock shirts on too, and a hat. We try to stay in the shade when possible.

Cambridge Commons playground is excellent. No bathrooms though.

I'd also say that each city and town sets its policies and rates for the town pool or pond in terms of access and parking. Nonresidents can usually buy a season pass or day pass. In Lexington, for instance, a nonresident can purchase a pass for the town's pool and, I think, the pond. You'd have to check a town or city's Parks & Recreation to see what they offer to nonresidents.

You can buy a nonresident season parking pass for MA and RI parks and beaches, which may pay off if you frequently visit them. You can also buy a parking pass for non-state beaches, such as Crane's Beach in Ipswich.

If you don't have a car, yes, there are some beaches which are accessible via public transportation.

There's a book - Fun With the Family in Massachusetts. It's good if you want some tips and suggestions on where to take your son, even though some of the details on the shops and restaurants may be out of date. Boston.com has a calendar section which you may find useful on where to find family-friendly places and events.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,544,824 times
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I'd say live on Beacon Hill. You can take the little one to play at the Frog Pond splash pool and tot lot in Boston Common every day. It's absolutely wonderful, the very best place in town. There's children from the neighborhood and from every corner of the world there every day. My kids absolutely love that place. There is also a Red Line Station right there that hubby can take directly to HVD every day.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Fabletown
40 posts, read 98,727 times
Reputation: 24
Thank you, all of you! Great tips!
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