Visiting Spectacle Island – One of the Boston Harbor Islands

Visiting Spectacle Island – One of the Boston Harbor Islands

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten track activity in Boston that is perfect in the summer, look no further than the Boston Harbor Islands.  The 12 islands and peninsulas (plus 22 more that aren’t accessible) of the Boston Harbor Islands make up one large national park that’s a great day trip for families.

This summer the Boston Harbor Islands are offering loads of family activities, but even without a scheduled activity, the islands are so much fun.  We headed out this past weekend to Spectacle Island, which is best known for tide pools and sea glass, as well as for one of the few island beaches.

Start your adventure at the Ferry Center on Long Wharf, by Christopher Columbus park.  Ferries do sell out, so arrive with plenty of time.  Decide in advance what time you want to leave the island, because you’ll need to book your departure ferry when you get your tickets. Once on board, the trip to Spectacle Island is about 20 minutes or so, and the journey is fun and beautiful.

Spectacle Island offers a Summer Shack concession stand, running water, rest rooms, a beach, hiking paths, and more.  You can bring your own picnic too, just remember that whatever you bring on the island needs to come off the island.  We spent some time on the beach, went on a sea glass treasure hunt, and then attended the guided tour of the tide pools before heading home.  The kids had a fabulous time – they really felt we’d gone on a big trip!

Here are more pictures of our Spectacle Island adventure:

For more information, check out the Boston Harbor Islands website.

Free Baseball With the Cape Cod Baseball League

I’ve posted before about minor league baseball venues in the Boston area, which are great ways to save money while still taking your kids to some fabulous baseball games.

But, how does FREE sound to you?

The Cape Cod Baseball League is quite famous among baseball fans because of the number of great players who have come through the league.  There are ten teams that play throughout the summer at various Cape Cod venues, and the games are free.  While some teams may request donations, there are no tickets and no admission fees.

To learn more about the Cape Cod Baseball League, visit their website.

New Family-Friendly Restaurant in Chestnut Hill

When dining out with kids, sometimes you want something beyond the easy choices – the chain casual restaurants.  I’m a foodie, but it’s not worth the hassle to take my kids to a nice restaurant where they won’t feel welcome.  That’s why it’s such a breath of fresh air to experience The Cottage Restaurant (original location in Linden Square in Wellesley, second location in Chestnut Hill).  While I’ve been with my husband to the Wellesley location, it wasn’t until this past Monday that I had the chance to visit the Chestnut Hill location.

The Cottage Chestnut Hill hosted some of the Boston Parent Bloggers for a chef’s tasting, and wow, were we spoiled.  Not only did we get some delicious food, we also got samples of loads of different drinks – from nonalcoholic spa drinks to the best sangria ever.

Ingredients are generally locally sourced and are always fresh.  Everything on the menu is unique – the chef told us that they don’t offer anything that can be seen on a menu within a fifteen mile radius.  Best of all for families, there’s a kid’s menu, with some healthy options.  I’ll definitely be returning with my kids!

Disclosure: The Cottage in Chestnut Hill provided us with a complimentary tasting menu.

17th Annual Children’s Day at Boston Harbor Fest

From their website –

A FREE day of fun and games for children of all ages

Children’s Day gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate the nation’s birthday with a wide variety of entertaining and educational activities.  Join organizations like The USS Constitution Museum, Historic New England and the New England Aquarium to learn something new and exciting about Boston and its history.

Juggling and entertainment by Fly by Night,

Music by Wayne Potash and the Music Fun Band,

Dance performances by The Eleanor Rubino Dancers,

Balloon fun and more! Everyone will enjoy this festive atmosphere!

Click here for more info….

Strawberry Picking in the Greater Boston Area

We are in the midst of strawberry-picking season here in the Greater Boston area.  Hurry up though, because when they are gone, they are gone for a full year.  We went to Land’s Sake yesterday, and while the fields were open, there was definitely a limited supply.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote for CBS Boston with a few places for strawberry picking.  If I’ve missed your favorite, leave a comment here and I’ll add it next year!

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