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5 Cool Winter Activities to Add to Your Boston Bucket List

A literal and metaphorical chill is sent down my spine at the mention of a “New England winter.” What makes this particular season in this particular region of the country trigger such a dramatic mind/body reaction? Well, in all honesty, it’s mostly the wind. And the icy sludge on the sidewalks. Throw some single-digit temperatures into the mix. Oh, and don’t forget the freezing rain!

Despite the arrival of Mother Nature’s array of unpleasant, wintery gifts, which sometimes make me want to burrow in my dorm forever, I will not let the cold keep me from exploring the great city of Boston. I am so lucky to get to call this place home for the next four years, so I am determined to keep checking items off my Boston bucket list even if that requires braving a blizzard or two.

Here are 5 ideas for both indoor and outdoor activities that will encourage you to leave your cozy blankets behind and go out exploring!


1. Ice skate at the Boston Common Frog Pond.

Photo Credit: Boston.com

Fulfill all of your Norman Rockwell fantasies by skating on the picturesque frozen pond on the edge of the Common. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, this charming urban rink is the perfect place to put your skills to use. Once you’ve done enough twirls or fallen over one too many times, grab some hot chocolate at a nearby cafe. That’ll warm your ego right back up.


2. Visit a museum.

Photo Credit: Clarendon Square Bed and Breakfast

Escape the blistering cold outside by entering the lush, tropical courtyard in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The quirky private art collection of Mrs. Stewart Gardner proves that getting your culture fix doesn’t have to be boring. If you’re feeling extra inspired to see more incredible art, the MFA is only a short six-minute walk away from there.


3. Watch the snowfall from the top of the Prudential Center.

Photo Credit: Smart Destinations

There is something truly magical about snowflakes. The way they pile up on top of buildings and tree branches looks like someone sprinkled powdered sugar over the whole city. While the winter wonderland is beautiful to see from ground level, it’s a whole other kind of magic to see it from above. The Skywalk observation deck at the top of the Prudential Center lets you get a bird’s eye view of the delightful dusting of snow in action.


4. Meander around the cobblestones of Beacon Hill.

Photo Credit: Boston Magazine

Boston has done an incredible job of keeping its rich history alive and breathing. Evidence of this lies in the cobblestone streets and brownstones of Beacon Hill. This neighborhood is lined with Victorian and Federal-style homes lit up with the light from antique lampposts. You’ll definitely feel transported back in time with each step up its steep, curving streets.


5. Go sledding at Amory Park.

Photo Credit: Boston Magazine

If you’re more the daredevil-type who likes a little action in their adventuring, then sledding may just be the perfect winter activity for you. What could be more fun and (mildly) dangerous then zooming down a hill on a tube/tray/some other kind of sled equivalent? We might as well take advantage of the snow piling up by turning the city into a giant playground. There’s no better way to brave the storm than to embrace it!


My Boston bucket list grows longer and longer every day, but I’m not complaining. This city has so many cool and unique communities with countless activities that I can’t wait to experience. Winter is typically the season when all of the fun stuff shuts down, but that is certainly not the case in Boston. I couldn’t be happier to have this many amazing options to choose from, especially during this chilly time of year!


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Emma is a senior at BU studying Journalism and Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Communications. She's originally from sunny Los Angeles, California. She is an avid fan of local bakeries and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.
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