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Boston with the kids


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I'm trying to plan a trip to Boston in late May to visit some historical sites.


Is two days in the city enough? I know we want to do the Tea Party ship and the Freedom Trail.


Is Plymouth Plantation worth it? I remember going when *I* was 10 and thought it was awesome, but we live in VA now and my girls have done Williamsburg, Jamestown, etc. If Plymouth Plantation is not worth it, I'd rather skip it and save a day and quite a bit of money.


My girls are 10. They eat all this stuff up and can't wait to go. They are super good travelers, so I'm not worried about walking or anything like that.

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Since I live in the Boston area, I can't give you an honest opinion of how long it would take to truly see and enjoy the city.


I can comment on Plimoth Plantation since we visited both Plimoth Plantation and Jamestown last year. While I think it's a great museum and recently renovated (and significantly improved), I would skip it if you have Jamestown available to you.


The movie and welcome center at PP are both very good. The Wampanoag village was great and actively tended by Wampanoag tribespeople, who are very welcoming and able to answer questions about both historic and modern tribal life. I thought the settlers' village was pretty good but not well explained. The costumed people stay in character and try to be more entertaining than informational, IMO. The Mayflower II is a short drive away and was interesting. It's worth a visit IF you have time and $$ in your budget.


HOWEVER, we also visited Jamestown last year, and I thought they did a superior job with a lot of the same material and similar information. I thought the new visitors center was outstanding (we had visited prior to the renovation/expansion and considered it to be so-so). The exhibits in the Native American village were more hands-on and interactive, and the guides in the settlement were very helpful and informative.


Since Jamestown is an easy option for you, I'd forego Plimoth Plantation in favor of something that's only available here in the Boston area, say Lexington and Concord or the JFK Presidential Library. At the Concord Museum you can see the actual lantern that hung in the Old North Church to signal Paul Revere and go to the North Bridge, scene of the Short Heard Round the World. Or you can take an MBTA water shuttle across the harbor to visit the USS Constitution. It's an inexpensive way to take a little harbor tour and see the city from the waterfront.


Also, I highly recommend walking tours by Boston by Foot. The guides are volunteers with a true love of their subject matter, and they have a wealth of information.


We get out and about a lot, and DD is a huge history buff, so we've probably visited many of the sites you're considering. If you have any other questions about the Boston area, feel free to ask.

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Check the availability of the tea party ship. It wasn't available about a year ago. I remember ti would be quite some time before it was open for visitors again, but I don't remember how long.


Two day isn't enough time to do everything in Boston. You can hit the highlights though. The science museum is a day trip by itself. If you ever wanted to go on a duck boat tour the ones in Boston beat the ones in Philly and Portland, ME hands down.


The freedom trail takes a few hours to walk.

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We were in Boston twice last year. Once with our girls (11 and 17 at the time) for the Boston Marathon and once with our church youth group on a history tour. Walking the Freedom Trail was a big hit but very time consuming. Lots of interesting things to see. It took us about 6.5 hours to walk it with kids who wanted to stop and read/look at far more than I had anticipated. If you walk the Freedom Trail stop at Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street. HUGE hit! Canoli's and Gelato. Yummy. We got ours to go and ate it across from Paul Revere's house. Favorites on the trail were the Granary Burial Ground, eating at the Chipotle in the Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Bunker Hill, and the USS Constitution and museum. It was worth the time we spent. Dd 11 enjoyed going to the Boston Gardens and seeing the Make Way for Ducklings statues since we had read that for Five in a Row. We didn't take the Trolley Tour but this site http://www.trolleytours.com/boston/ had my favorite map! I got a hard copy once we were in Boston and navigated using it lol. I used this site http://www.thefreedo.../freedom-trail/ to gain information about the Freedom Trail.


If I remember correctly, the tea party ships opened up again in June of last year. It was so pricey that we decided to skip it.


We were supposed to do Plimoth Plantation on our tour but we spent so much time in Boston on the Freedom Trail that we didn't make it. We did go to Plymouth and walk down and see the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock (so not worth the time, that one!)


If you go to Plymouth, you need to visit the Matrix of Liberty a.k.a. National Monument to the Forefathers!! This is the main reason we went to Plymouth and I can't believe more people don't know about it. There is a GREAT deal of history tied up with this monument, wikipedia just gives the basics. Every single one of the kids we took loved this stop. We spent quite a while here talking about what each of the figures stood for, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Monument_to_the_Forefathers


We all loved Boston. I would like to take time to go back and spend more than a couple days (cause that is truly not enough) and really take our time to explore. I'd also like to go back up to Newburyport (we were there for some George Whitefield history) and back down to Plymouth. Have a wonderful trip!!

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I do not like Plymoth plantations. You are better off staying in the city there is so much to do there. I think after 2 days or 7 days you will leave wanting to do more there is a lot to do. We live close by and i can always think of something we havent done. Do as much as you can. Taking the tours could help you be more efficient but it can be costly. My favorite is Minuteman National Park. Go on the website and get the Junior Ranger packet. Have fun.

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Another vote for Boston By Foot!


Ditto Lexington/Concord.


I went to PP a few times and didn't like it as much as Old Sturbridge Village (1830s New England town) and so would say skip it if time is tight.


Doing the whole Freedom Trail takes a while. Plan to take breaks! Also, go to Mike's Pastries in the North End - everyone needs a break by then anyways.



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We haven't been to the newly-reopened Tea Party Museum because it's so spendy and I haven't heard great things. But I want to chime in to agree with others that the Duck Tours are a ton of fun, so if you have limited time/money, then I would choose the Duck Tour over the Tea Party Museum.


As much as we enjoy the Science Museum (and we are members and go all the time), I'd recommend that you stick to history if you only have two days here.


And I may have to dodge some flying tomatoes here, but for cannolis in the North End, I greatly prefer The Modern to Mike's. It's right across the street from Mike's -- you'll know it from the long line of locals standing on the sidewalk waiting to get in. I used to work in the North End and all the old ladies I encountered swore by the Modern and they were absolutely right. Much better.


If you're looking for lunch in the North End, the original Pizzeria Regina is an institution and lots of fun. Very small but great pizza. If you're looking for super cheap eats, there's also Galleria Umberto on Hanover Street. They have a very limited menu of pizza, calzones, arancini and they only stay open until the food runs out. This is another one with a line of locals out the door. If the weather is fair, grab something to go and head to the Rose Kennedy Greenway for a nice picnic.

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