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Old 07-19-2017, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post

Where are you coming from? It may help to cross some things off the list and suggest alternates. For instance I think the Franklin Park Zoo is pretty underwhelming compared to other zoos around the world.
We are coming from Dallas, TX. And believe me, I dont compare places as it kills the fun of traveling to new destinations. Every city has its own strong & weak attractions to offer. We have seen Zoos in San Diego, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, DFW and a few safaris too. Revisiting is fun but visiting something the very first time has its own surprises and seem even more fun, but opinions are all relative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by porterhouse View Post
I would consider adding the Boston Tea Party Museum to your itinerary. Visitors we have hosted have universally loved it. It is also right near our fine Children's Museum making for an easy and fun day for the kids.
We would definitely look into this. Keep it coming! Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:05 AM
 
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I know the area you are staying at - Fairfield, Holiday Inn, or Marriott right?

If you rent a car at the airport, you'll have to pay a toll leaving and entering the airport unless you use back roads (1A north, to Rt. 60 north, 1 North, 95/128 south to Woburn.) If you rent a car at the Airport, use Waze and select avoid tolls.

Or you can take the Logan Express bus outside the terminal to Anderson Station in Woburn (green bus - $12 per adult) and then grab a cab/Uber/hotel shuttle about a mile away to your hotel.

There is an Enterprise location on Mishawum Rd. within a half mile of the hotels. You can rent a car there.

Any of the Boston/Cambridge activities can be done via public transportation from the commuter rail station in Woburn ($13.75 round trip for adults - kids are free) but schedules are limited. You could also drive to Wellington Station in Medford and use the Orange line to get into Boston. Buy Charlie Tickets for the adults - kids free. You will have to pay to park at the train stations - AFAIK, there isn't any free parking at the T stations you would be using.

The only things on your agenda that will require tolls is Six Flags - you have to go out on the Pike which only accepts EZ Pass transponders. The rental car company will pillage you with fees for using theirs. If you have an EZ Pass, bring it and add the rental car.

IMO, you are cramming in too much especially with such young kids - 2 events per day should be enough. Cape Cod Canel is a 70 mile drive each way. Plan a beach day on Cape Ann or the NH Seacoast. The Museum of Science will take almost an entire day with kids. Consider the Children's Museum as well. For your last day, consider just hanging at the pool if the hotel has one. If not, the Red Roof right around the corner has a "pool club" you might be able to join for the day.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:19 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciscogeek View Post
Since you mentioned T at Oak Grove, I tried exploring it. Discovered even riding T will require paying a parking fee $6 for the day. Arent there any free "park & ride" locations? And if $6 is worth it, are there any days on our itinerary where T makes the most sense than riding car all the way?

Secondly, what if, we want to wander and explore, do you recommend going towards downtown? And what are the best cost effective options to park in downtown b/w 6pm-midnight?


Well, you could get lucky and find a metered spot. I think meters expire at 6 or 8, not sure which, varies from community to community.


I don't know about free park and ride spots, personally.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:12 PM
 
Location: East Coast
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Are you sure you want to spend one of your days at Six Flags? Aren't they all kind of similar? And they have them in Texas. Plus, with a 3 year old, personally, that wouldn't be fun for me. I'd do a day trip doing something more uniquely New England-y - another day at a beach or seeing Maine or Vermont or the cliff walks and town in Newport, RI. Or just breaking up some of the other stuff and enjoying basic Boston things like hanging out more at the Common/Garden, walking around a bit on Newbury Street or Faneuil Hall and North End (grabbing some Italian food - meal, and gelato or pastries), or going to one of the Harbor Islands, or even taking the ferry to Provincetown and spending the day there.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
Are you sure you want to spend one of your days at Six Flags? Aren't they all kind of similar? And they have them in Texas. Plus, with a 3 year old, personally, that wouldn't be fun for me. I'd do a day trip doing something more uniquely New England-y - another day at a beach or seeing Maine or Vermont or the cliff walks and town in Newport, RI. Or just breaking up some of the other stuff and enjoying basic Boston things like hanging out more at the Common/Garden, walking around a bit on Newbury Street or Faneuil Hall and North End (grabbing some Italian food - meal, and gelato or pastries), or going to one of the Harbor Islands, or even taking the ferry to Provincetown and spending the day there.


I think that this probably came with the pass they purchased, and those things you suggested, while I agree, probably would be added costs and it is clear this visitor is very price conscious (nothing wrong with that).
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:43 PM
 
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That's a very ambitious schedule, with a 3 year old as well. Lots of driving, and rushing to make it to all locations. By day 3 or 4 I'd be looking for an off day to rest by the pool.

I think they are refloating the Constitution the week you arrive. Might want to see the schedule for that as it may change your visit. Great thing to see. EDIT: They are refloating it from dry dock on the 23rd

In lieu of Franklin Park Zoo, perhaps a drive down to Providence to see the Roger Williams Zoo? Perhaps make a day of it with other activities in Providence? The children's museum down there is pretty decent, although much smaller than the one in Boston.

I'm just not thrilled with Franklin park. Honestly, the Stone zoo would probably be a potential alternative as it would be closer to you in Woburn and allow you to get the zoo visit done quickly. But really...I think you can fill this spot with something a bit more interesting.

Legoland.....it's ok. Not something I'd do if I was a tourist to the city, but I understand the kids will like it.

If you need something the kids would enjoy, this might be worth checking out. Again, not exactly a touristy sort of activity, but the drive here isn;t too bad and it's a pretty good day for the kids.

https://davisfarmland.com/

Last edited by BostonMike7; 07-19-2017 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:45 PM
 
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OK now that I have more time to respond, see my responses in red (some things to consider).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciscogeek View Post
Dear Fellows!

Day-1:
Arrive by noon. Nothing scheduled or planned for that day but we were hoping to hit any fun beach. Constitution, Natasket, Wingaersheek, or Silsbury. Suggest anything if you know any with fun rides. Or we might want to explore downtown area that day. How should we travel? Car vs public transport?

What kind of beach are you looking for? Very few of the local beaches have much for "rides" anymore, other than Hampton Beach in NH. Most beaches will be packed on a Saturday. Keep in mind that the water north of Boston will be very cold.

Day-2:
Canobie Lake Park, New Hampshire (mostly all day)ÖI donít know if we will have to go through tolls or are there equally fast alternate routes to get to it.

Go straight up I93, free all the way.

Day-3: (Monday)
i) Franklin Park Zoo
ii) Cape Canal Cruise
iii) Concord Museum

As has already been noted, the Franklin Park Zoo is nothing to write home about. I might just head to the Stone Zoo which is right near where you are staying, then maybe do Concord that same day.

You could also maybe do a day trip to RI, which is about an hour drive. The Roger Williams Zoo beats any of the two Boston area zoos, and the beaches (like the Cape) are warmer.
a
Or you could do one of the Cape beaches combined with the Canal Cruise. Scratching one of those off, you could also do Plymouth (Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II) that same day as well.

Keep in mind that with all this you will have to plan for traffic. Avoid all Boston area roads from 6am to 9:30am and from 3:30pm to 7pm. From Woburn you will be dealing with Rte. 128, which is a nightmare.

All roads to those places are free, and there shouldn't be any parking charges other than at the beaches.

Day-4: (Tues)
i) Insitutue of Contemporary Art
ii) Sky walk observatory
iii) Whale Watch

Sounds like quite a bit, maybe play it by year when you head into town. Like I previously said, I think your best bet would be to ride the Commuter Rail in from Mishawum.

Day-5: (Wed)
Six Flags (mostly all day)

Do you really need to do 2 theme parks on this trip? Don't you have any around Dallas? I would pick one or the other. Six Flags is the larger of the two, but also more than twice as far and you WILL be dealing with tolls on that route. Skip a day and relax with badly needed down time. Maybe you could do Concord on that day, it isn't very far.

Day-6: Thursday
i) Legoland
ii) Charles River Cruise
iii) Museum of Science

Again, isn't there a Lego Land in Dallas? The other 2 sound doable, ride the train in.

Day-5: Fri
i) New England Aquarium
ii) Liberty Ride
iii) USS Constitution

Skip the aquarium. The other locations you can park pretty easy, but keep in mind that traffic is especially bad on Fridays and typically starts early in the afternoon.


Day-6: Sat
i) Harvard walking tour
ii) Harvard Museum of Natural History
iii) Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Sounds fair. I'm not sure about parking there. I might drive to the Alewife Station and ride the T in a few stops. Last time I was there, I think I paid $7. But being a Saturday, I parking right at Harvard might not be an issue IDK,

Day-7: Sun
i) Hop-on/Hop-off bus
ii) Boston Children Museum
iii) Swan boat

It's probably safe to drive in on a Sunday, traffic is fairly light and you can usually find free street parking somewhere.

Day-8: Mon
This is the day we depart Boston but we still have all day until 4pm. Feel free to suggest any good place we missed.

Is your flight at 4 or do you have to be at the airport by then? Maybe see if you can check you luggage in early, ditch the car and take a harbor cruise or whale watch.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: East Coast
2,769 posts, read 1,571,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
I think that this probably came with the pass they purchased, and those things you suggested, while I agree, probably would be added costs and it is clear this visitor is very price conscious (nothing wrong with that).
Do Boston are attractions passes include Six Flags? OP might have a season pass to Six Flags and just wants to use it here. If that is the case, and Six Flags holds particular appeal, then great. But, if it's just some kind of low cost place holder, and this is the first time visiting Boston/New England from Texas, and it's unlikely to be a vacation they'll be able to do repeatedly, I think it would be a waste of a day. Sitting on a beach costs relatively little (it might be $20 to park the car, but most of the beaches don't have a fee for people to sit there) and I think would be a better use of vacation resources (that is both time AND money).

Especially since, in this case, home is Dallas, which isn't particularly close to a beach, I personally would find beach time to be time well spent on a vacation. I understand, though, that not everyone likes the beach. If that's the case, I'd still spend more time doing things that are more unique to the Boston area, since this is, after all, a vacation, which IMHO, is a good time for seeing things that are different from things that are at home.

(We always have a rule when we travel - no eating in restaurants we could eat in at home.)
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:04 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
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Wow, I can't imagine you can get to 1/2 those attractions with a 3-year old and a 7-year old! How about some more relaxation time? Time spent on a beach or by the hotel pool? Weather could be a big limiting factor for your activities too.

I think, at best, you can plan on one big activity per day (whale watch, Museum of Science, for example) or two smaller activities (Children's Museum, swan boats).

If you are focusing primarily on Greater Boston my suggestion would be to ditch the rental car entirely. Stay at a hotel closer in to Cambridge or Boston and use Uber or public transportation to do activities. You can skip the Cape Cod Canal cruise and Six Flags entirely; both have little appeal for your children. Canobie Lake is OK and a short drive but not worth getting a rental car for.

If you want to spice up your trip a bit, stay in the Boston area for only part of it and then get a rental car and travel up to North Conway, NH, via 95 and route 16. Stay at the Red Jacket and enjoy the pool and water park, visit Story Land in Glen (which your kids will love) and drive back to MA via the Kancamagus Highway and 93, taking in beautiful mountain vistas. That will give you a better taste of New England!
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:06 PM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
Do Boston are attractions passes include Six Flags? OP might have a season pass to Six Flags and just wants to use it here. If that is the case, and Six Flags holds particular appeal, then great. But, if it's just some kind of low cost place holder, and this is the first time visiting Boston/New England from Texas, and it's unlikely to be a vacation they'll be able to do repeatedly, I think it would be a waste of a day. Sitting on a beach costs relatively little (it might be $20 to park the car, but most of the beaches don't have a fee for people to sit there) and I think would be a better use of vacation resources (that is both time AND money).
)


I pretty much agree with you, just throwing it out there as a possibility since the six flags seemed weird considering how budget conscious they are (worried about $5-10 parking), so I was just guessing they had pass/coupon/something.
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