For me, the three-month span between January and March is one that I always dread. It seems as though there’s never anything exciting going on, and the bleak winter weather leaves me not wanting to travel very far beyond the radius of my home. It can be hard to suit up in your hat, mittens, and winter jacket, but I always find a productive day or new experience quite rewarding. If you find yourself in the same position, push yourself to get out there and explore some of these places to cure your winter blues.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
There’s a host of cool museums in Boston to choose from: the MFA, the Museum of Science, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum being among them. Yet, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum takes the cake for its exotic courtyard alone, which is always a sight for sore eyes in the middle of winter. If you’re into art, the MFA is a great choice, but this museum is always slightly less crowded while offering an equally immersive experience, particularly into the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner and her artwork. Gardner was a Boston native during the mid-1800s who designed the idea for this museum herself, shortly after her husband’s death. The museum is divided into different “rooms”, all with their own unique theme. Make sure you check out the chapel room, its captivating stained glass window is something you won’t want to miss!
Jillian’s Bowling and Arcade
You’ll want to grab a group of friends for this one. Jillian’s isn’t just your average bowling alley – it’s part bar, part restaurant, and it also has an expansive arcade that spans an entire floor. You could spend hours in this place without getting bored! Start by ordering a few drinks and appetizers while you bowl, and afterward take the party downstairs by exploring what the arcade has to offer. If you’re still looking for more, Jillian’s is connected to Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co., a trendy bar that offers house-brewed tap beer and a great nightlife scene. A trip to Jillian’s can be a bit of a splurge, but this spot is a great place to go for a special occasion, like celebrating a winter birthday!
For reasons unbeknownst to me, this seems to be one of Boston’s unknown hidden gems. Located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library, the Mapparium is an eye-catching display of a three-story, interactive, 360 – degree globe that will surround you as you walk across the bridge underneath it. It’s lit up by thousands of LED lights and makes for a perfect photo opportunity! Constructed in 1935, it still holds the captivation of visitors today, and is a great place to bring kids who are eager to learn about the world around them. Take the short but informative 20 minutes guided tour in order to get the most out of your visit.
If you’re really looking to try something new (and maybe let out a little aggression while you’re at it), the newest trend that’s made its way to Boston is axe throwing bars. Urban Axes in Union Square takes walk-ins, has food and drinks, and is even host to axe throwing leagues! Your experience will begin with a tutorial by a trained professional, and then you can take the reigns by stepping into an axe throwing pit to try to stick your axe to a wooden bullseye. Bring a friend or two for a little friendly competition, and leave with a newfound skill – and hopefully no injuries.
The Garment District
Looking for a little retail therapy but don’t want to break the bank? Check out one of Boston’s best thrift spots where you’ll be sure to find something you like. Hop on the T and take the quick ride over to Cambridge to find this retro-themed store. If you’ve got time to kill, the first floor is an overwhelmingly vast pile of clothes that literally covers the entire floor space. Go digging through to see what you can find before heading up to the second floor, which offers a combination of new, used, and vintage apparel.