Coming to Boston for a conference or tradeshow during the holiday season? Lucky for you, you’re in the right spot! There is so much to do and see in our upbeat and busy metropolitan city of Boston.
Boston has it all and we have made it easy for you by listing the “Top 5” things to do and see while staying here during the most wonderful time of the year.
GO SKATING ON BOSTON’S FAMOUS FROG POND
Boston’s Frog Pond is located right in the center of Boston Common Park. Boston Common Park is one of the oldest and most prized public parks in all of America. The Frog Pond transforms into an ice rink in the winter where you can enjoy a day of skating. When you are done, don’t forget to grab your hot cocoa at the Frog Pond Café!
GET ALL YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING DONE
Boston is your one stop spot for all of your holiday shopping! Enjoy an all-weather shopping experience at The Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Shops at Prudential Center located in the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay. They offer more than 175 elegant stores and restaurants and are connected to the Hynes Convention Center. Boston's Newbury Street offers everything from high-end retailers to local boutiques in a unique outdoor setting that captures the neighborhood spirit of Boston. Also check out the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market where you will find over 30 vendors selling crafts, jewelry, housewares, and more.
GO SEE A HOLIDAY SHOW
This is the season to go enjoy many of Broadway’s favorite classics. The Nutcracker is back in Boston with all new sets and costumes. Considered Boston’s #1 Holiday Tradition, Boston Ballet will put on a performance you will never forget.
EXPERIENCE A TOUR OR TWO IN THE CITY
In the winter, the famous Freedom Trail Tour is transformed into a historic holiday classic that will bring you back into the Charles Dickens times. Understand how Christmas and the holidays evolved in Boston. At the end of the tour, try the famous Boston Cream Pie. History is all over Boston, and also at the Sam Adam’s Brewery Tour. Experience the entire brewing process along with samples of the many different flavors of the famous Sam Adam’s beers.
ENJOY THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is another must see. During the holidays, historic Symphony Hall is transformed to one of the most magical theatres in all of Boston. The Boston Holiday Pops is a show that Bostonians wait all year to see. If world class performing music is your thing, then purchase your tickets now!
The thrill and excitement of Boston’s attractions do not stop there. There are limitless activities all around the city. Visit our website to find out more options. Boston is one of the best cities to explore; we can guarantee you will want to come back for more!
Frog Pond on Boston Common Park
The Freedom Trail
| Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
, which was struck by lighting and destroyed in 2001, has been renovated and has even been expanded! The grand opening will be this coming Monday (June 26).
The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns and operates the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center, has been the major contributor to the renovation project.
This new floating museum will tell the story of the Boston Tea Party with a combination of state-of-the art interactive technology and live historical performance with actors. The renovated museum is two and a half times larger than the original one and has two ships, the Eleanor and the Beaver. A third one, the Dartmouth, will be added in 2014. These replicas will represent the full complement of the ships that took part in the original Boston Tea Party event on December 16, 1773. In addition to the historically restored ships, visitors will be able to experience their tea chests, which include the Robinson Half-Chest, one of the two remaining tea chests from the original event.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the multi-sensory documentary “Let it Begin Here” in the museum’s theater. The Abigail’s Tea Room will offer the five types of tea that were thrown from the ships. The museum also includes a reconstructed 18th century tavern serving delicious fare characteristic of the period. Best of all, at the end of the tour, guests will get to recreate that historic night by throwing the tea crates overboard onto the same harbor as 239 years ago!
The museum, with its 360-degree views of the Boston Harbor and the surrounding cityscape, is also a unique venue for your events. It accommodates 125 people for a sit-down dinner and 300 for a cocktail reception.
Help your attendees travel back in time and experience the most important event that lead up to the American Revolution! It’s an educational, entertaining and enlightening experience that they will remember. Find other Boston attractions on our website.
Summertime in Boston for conference attendees—it just doesn’t get any better! The city is alive with museum exhibits, outdoor concerts and performances, al fresco dining, walking tours, ethnic festivals and harbor cruises. From the hip to the historic, Boston has it all and there is so much to do. To make it easy for you, we narrowed it down to 10 top things to do and see:
See Boston Landmarks and Dive into the Charles River
Taking a Boston Duck Tour is a fun way to see highlights of Boston in 80 minutes. The "DUCK" is an authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicle. After seeing the main Boston’s landmarks, the DUCK goes right into the Charles River for a breathtaking view of the Boston and Cambridge skylines, the kind of view you won't get anywhere else!
Take a Cultural and Historical Walk
Put your walking shoes on! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads to 16 nationally significant historic sites including museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, ships, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. Another great stroll is the Boston Harborwalk, a 38 miles long continuous walkway along the waterfront, which passes by museums, parks, restaurants, cafes, and more. It’s a beautiful walk with scenic harbor views.
Take Advantage of our Maritime Heritage
Cape Cod Maritime Days (May 13-June 10) and the Salem Maritime Festival (Aug 3-2) are celebrations of Massachusetts rich maritime history. The annual celebrations feature events and activities including lighthouse and walking tours, free harbor cruises, live music, traditional craft demonstrations, nautical art exhibits, outdoor theatres, lectures, boat-building exhibits and kayaking excursions.
Mix in with the Jugglers, Clowns, Magicians, and Musicians
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the seat of American history and the site of one of America's most famous shopping and dining experiences. Walk through the marketplace and people watch, grab a bite and take in the beautiful architecture that surrounds the area. The street performers are entertaining and the place is as lively by night as it is by day. Don’t forget to go inside Faneuil Hall itself. The hall is impressive and historically significant. There is a lot to see and do within a 5 minute walk in any direction.
Enjoy Boston by Bicycle
The Hubway bike-sharing program allows residents and visitors to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. Most of the 61 docking stations are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and near the convention centers and hotels. They are close to each other so users can easily drop off their bike at any other location. Fun guided sightseeing bike tours are also available with Urban Adventours.
Watch a Movie under the Stars
The Intrigue Café, located on the water side of the Boston Harbor Hotel, hosts a summer movie series called Movies by Moonlight. Customers and pedestrians can watch movies on a large outdoor screen set up on the side of the gazebo. With a location right along the harbor, the atmosphere is upscale and nautical. This year’s programming includes classic movies like Pink Panther and An Affair to Remember.
Take a Summer Cruise
Boston offers a variety of cruises during the summer. Music cruises have 3 floors of entertainment with live bands, DJ, and large top deck for dancing under the stars. There is even a Summer Harbor Salsa Cruise Series for Latino music lovers. Elegant dinner cruises in the Boston Harbor or on the Charles River deliver a delightful combination of dining, entertainment and spectacular views. Or board a whale watching high-speed catamaran to find the biggest creatures of the ocean.
Check Out the New Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
The new museum (opens on June 25) tells the story of The Boston Tea Party with a combination of interactive exhibits and live historical performance. Visitors will be able to experience three historically restored ships and their tea chests, watch a film, and sample the five types of tea thrown from the ships while learning about the proper brewing technique. The museum also includes a reconstructed 18th century tavern serving delicious fare characteristic of the period.
Enjoy Outdoor Performing Arts
Shakespeare on the Common (July 25-August 12) is a Boston tradition. Watch a free play by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on the Boston Common, the oldest park in the country. Listen to the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell (July 3-4). The Hatch Shell is a bowl-style outdoor stage located on the Esplanade, which is the park that extends for 3 miles along the Boston shore of the Charles River.
Cheer for our Legendary Boston Red Sox
How about laying back, enjoying the sun, a beer and a hot dog? Even better, go see a Red Sox game in the majestic Fenway Park! Generations of cheering, bonding, heartbreak, and triumph are part of every brick and beam of this ballpark, which is one of the best-known sports venues in the world. Baseball season runs from April to early October.
Find Art on the Beach
The Sand Sculpting Festival in Revere Beach (July 13 & July 17) is an annual contest that attracts famous sculptors from all over the world. The artists must follow strict rules during the contest. Each sculptor is given 10 tons of sand and is assigned an 18’ x 18’ square exhibit area. The sand sculptures are evaluated using four categories: degree of difficulty, originality and creativity, quality of sculpting, and overall visual impact.
Last Tuesday, the plaza in front of the Boston Public Library was packed with bicycling advocates and riders as Mayor Menino kicked off the second season of New Balance Hubway bike-sharing program with an inaugural speech. It was a beautiful spring day and all I could see around me were smiling faces. People seemed so excited to ride their Hubway bike again.
“The first season for New Balance Hubway was a great success, and we expect season two to be even better,” Mayor Menino said. “As warm weather returns and more residents and visitors are spending time outside, it’s great to see so many people eager to explore our great city through Hubway. It’s a pleasure to be able to say that we are well on our way to being a world class cycling city.”
The 61 docking stations across the city include new locations such as the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Seaport Hotel. Most docking stations are still concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are close to each other so users can easily drop off their bike at any other location. Downtown stations can be found within walking distance from the Hynes Convention Center and major convention hotels.
Boston--already known as “America’s Walking City”—is ideal for cycling and has now 50 miles of bike lanes. It is a compact city with easy access to restaurants, shops and landmarks. There is a rich variety of things to do and see without having to travel great distances.
The program allows residents and tourists to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. In addition to annual memberships, the program offers casual 24-hour and 3-day memberships, which are perfect for visitors.
Bikers can locate stations near them by visiting Hubway’s website. The interactive map tells them how many bikes are at a particular station and how many remain for use at any given time. A free Spotcycle mobile app that helps users navigate the system in real time is also available.
Promote the program to your attendees! They will enjoy the green and fun option of hopping on a bike after their conference to go back to their hotel and explore the historic districts of Boston.
Mayor Menino's inaugural speech in front of the Boston Public Library
The Hynes Convention Center welcomed its second restaurant last fall when The Capital Grille opened on Boylston Street. The restaurant moved from Newbury Street to its new site, which is nearly double the size of the old location.
“The Capital Grille is an icon of the Boston restaurant scene, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome it to the Hynes,” said James E. Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. The Capital Grille is a fine-dining restaurant known for its dry-aged, hand-carved beef selections, fresh seafood, award-winning collection of 350 wines, and professional service. Waiters in tan jackets, bow ties, and white bistro aprons warmly welcome you and expertly anticipate your every need.
The décor is upscale and elegant using mahogany, brass, and dark reds and greens giving the space both a romantic and masculine vibe. The main dining room features paintings of hunting parties and beautiful Art Deco light fixtures.
Routinely recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine, the restaurant also recently received the America Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence Award” and was a guest favorite on Open Table’s “2010 Best American Cuisine Winners – Top 50 Restaurant List.”
The Capital Grille introduced a “Plates” menu from which you pick a soup or salad, a sandwich and a side for $18, including items like porcini bisque, mini tenderloin sandwiches, and truffle fries. This is a great option for convention attendees looking to enjoy their lunch in an upscale and sophisticated atmosphere without breaking the bank. They also have a well priced mid-day wine list if you are in the mood for it!
Features include patio seating, five private dining rooms, and a more spacious bar and lounge. For private functions, the restaurant can accommodate up to 60 people for a sit-down dinner and up to 80 people for a cocktail reception.
The Hynes has two restaurant spaces on Boylston Street, one on each corner of the building. The Capital Grille shares this prime location with the trendy Towne, Stove and Spirits restaurant, which opened in 2010. In addition, Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood offers numerous restaurants with a variety of cuisines and private function rooms to support your event.
Find more information about dining options at the Hynes on our website.
Boston's food trucks offer both delicious and healthy on-the-go meals. The program was launched last summer and has since then exploded in popularity. Mayor Thomas M. Menino had announced back in July that the new food trucks would serve “wicked good food” and they have delivered!
Boston has dedicated 17 sites in the city where food trucks can be found on a rotation basis. They are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are conveniently located near the Hynes Convention Center, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and downtown hotels.
As part of the Mayor’s Healthy Food Initiative, food trucks participating in the program must include at least one healthy menu option that does not include fried foods, trans-fats or high fructose corn syrup. The healthy menu option also has to include at least three of the following: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and grilled or broiled lean meats. Mayor Thomas M. Menino said: “Food trucks are fun, fresh way for people to enjoy a variety of food, much of it healthy and locally produced.”
For convention attendees new to the food truck scene, here are five to try out, recommended by Eric Wilbur of about.com:
Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese
A participant in Food Network’s "Great Food Truck Race," this popular grilled cheese outfit serves up specialty grilled cheese options like the Green Muenster Melt (including homemade guacamole and applewood bacon), hand cut truffle fries, and a grilled cheesecake for dessert.
The highly-regarded Somerville barbecue restaurant offers both lunch and dinner options. Dining options include St. Louis ribs, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, and an $8 daily special.
These delectable treats include the Green Monster (a chocolate cupcake with a beer ganache center topped with Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting), cookie dough, and the mojito.
This seafood truck offers a rotating list of tantalizing specials updated each week.
This gourmet truck serves up Vietnamese-inspired food including noodle salad, sandwiches, and rice bowls.
The trucks serve a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner foods from 6PM to 11PM. A specific truck can be found on any given day by checking the schedule on the City of Boston website. Users can filter through trucks based on day, time, and neighborhood.
Boston’s Food Truck Program is a good reflection of the Boston dining scene, which is marked by exceptional diversity, ethnic variety, and proximity to the convention centers and hotels. Find out more about Boston Dining.
You are coming to Boston for a conference this fall or winter! During your visit, we hope you will explore Boston’s wide range of cultural and historical attractions.
There are so many things you can do. Looking at a guidebook can get overwhelming, so, to make it easy for you, we narrowed it down to 10 top things to do and see.
LISTEN TO WORLD-CLASS MUSIC
Boston Pops Holiday Concerts & Boston Symphony Orchestra
In December, historic Symphony Hall is transformed into a magical place for all ages as Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops perform the most beloved holiday music. bostonpops.org. The Boston Symphony Orchestra brings together some of the world’s finest conductors and musicians. This season, the orchestra’s programming features some of the greats: Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven. bso.org
ICE SKATE OR WATCH A BRUINS GAME
Frog Pond located on the Boston Common transforms into an ice skating rink in the winter. cityofboston.org. Or go for the real deal! Catch a Boston Bruins hockey game at the TD Garden. The Boston Bruins are ready for another season of surprises and high adrenaline. bruins.nhl.com
GO SEE AN IMPRESSIONIST MASTER
“Degas and the Nude” at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston
The exhibit is co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée d’Orsay in Parisand features paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, and sculpture. “Deeply absorbing, illuminating, very dramatic” wrote The New Yorker. mfa.org
TAKE A TASTY TOUR
Boston Chocolate Tours & Boston Brewery Tours
Treat yourself with one of our decadent chocolate walking tours. An expert guide will whisk you off into a world of exotic imports, closely guarded recipes and intimate tasting. bostonchocolatetours.com. Learn about Samual Adams Brewery history and then drink it! Experience the entire brewing process, taste and smell the special malts and Hallertau hops used to brew the beer. samadams.com
PLAY WITH THE SHARKS
New England Aquarium
The Shark and Ray Touch Tank is now open at the New England Aquarium. Also enjoy sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, seals, seadragons, giant octopuses, moon jellies, and much more. Go on a whale watch cruise or enjoy a 3D movie at the IMAX theater. neaq.org
DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING
Enjoy an all-weather shopping experience at The Copley Place Shopping Galleries and The Shops at Prudential Center. They offer more than 175 elegant stores, galleries, salons and restaurants and they are connected to the Hynes convention center. AdvantageBOSTON.com
TAKE A CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL WALK
Historic Holiday Stroll – The Freedom Trail
Costumed tour guides in 19th century Dickensian costumes will lead you along the historic Freedom Trail and tell you the story of how Christmas and holiday traditions evolved in Boston. thefreedomtrail.org
DON’T MISS THE LATEST EXHIBIT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
“In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy, The White House Years” at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum
Sealed for 47 years and published in September 2011 is a series of conversations with historian Arthur Schlesinger, in which Jackie Kennedy reveals her thoughts and impressions on topics spanning John F. Kennedy's early campaigns to the Cuban Missile Crisis. jfklibrary.org
ENJOY AN EVENING OF JAZZ
Listen to live jazz at variety of venues including the Beehive, Les Zygomates, Regattabar, Ryles jazz Club, Top of the Hub and Wally’s Café. Jazz is happening all over Boston all the time and is performed by world-class artists, young musicians, residents, or out-of-towners.
TAKE A GHOST TOUR FOR HALLOWEEN
Ghosts and Gravestones of Boston & Haunted Boston Ghost Tours
These two 90-minute tours, on foot or on a trolley, will take you through historic and haunted Boston in search for the countless ghosts rumored to haunt the city. ghostsandgravestones.com/boston, hauntedboston.com
EXPLORE BOSTON’S SURROUNDINGS
Boston's surroundings offer the coast of Maine, the mountains and lakes of New Hampshire and Vermont, the gaming resorts of Connecticut, and the world-famous mansions of Newport, Rhode Island.
For more options, visit bostonusa.com. If it's your first time in Boston in the fall or winter, we guarantee we will see you again!
Frog Pond on Boston Common
New England Aquarium
Boston Chocolate Tours
Boston Bruins Hockey Game
The new hot spot in Boston is on the stunning and newly developed waterfront, just a few minutes’ walk from the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Liberty Wharf provides a wide range of new restaurant dining options. They include the upscale Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, the trendy Temazcal Mexican Restaurant, which presents its menu on an iPad, Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grill, and Legal Sea Foods Harborside featuring three floors and three different concepts.
The city and ocean views are spectacular. The atmosphere is at the same time peaceful and energetic. The Liberty Wharf complex includes three buildings featuring exotic woods and breathtaking views showcased by balconies, roof decks and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Over the summer, the lines to these new waterfront restaurants were out-the-door and pedestrian traffic often rivaled that of Newbury Street, also known as “Boston’s 5th Avenue”. People of all ages have raved about the ambiance. When I had dinner there, it felt like being on the San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront.
After dinner on Liberty Wharf, I recommend taking a stroll on the wooden promenade and following the nice pathway along the waterfront, which passes by the Institute of Contemporary Art, the New England Aquarium, and Columbus Park. It’s a great walk with scenic harbor views.
The waterfront welcomes thousands of people every day not only to the restaurants but also to businesses, museums, hotels and our bustling Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse can accommodate 115 people for a cocktail reception and 88 people for a seated dinner. Legal Harborside can accommodate 225 people for a cocktail reception and 150 people for a seated dinner. Visit our Venue Finder page to find many more off-site venues for your Boston event.
Jerry Remy's Sports Bar & Grill
Temazcal Mexican Restaurant
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
Last month, Boston launched its new bike-sharing program with 61 docking stations across the city and 600 bicycles.
The bike-sharing program allows residents and tourists to use bikes throughout the city for short term rentals. In addition to annual memberships, the program offers 24-hour and 3-day memberships, which are perfect for visitors.
Every day, I walk by the docking station in front of the Boston Public Library and I see families, tourists, working people, even professionals dressed in suits using the bikes. They all seem to be having a great time.
Bike stations are concentrated in the historic downtown areas and are close to each other so users can easily drop them off at any other downtown location. They can be found within walking distance from the Hynes Convention Center, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and major convention hotels.
Boston--already known as “America’s Walking City”--is ideal for cycling. It is a compact city with easy access to restaurants, shops and landmarks. There is a rich variety of things to do and see without having to travel great distances.
Bikers can log onto the program’s website and find a station near them through the interactive map. The map will even tell users how many bikes are at a particular station and how many remain for use at any given time. A mobile phone app that alerts users when stations are full or empty is also available.
Promote the program to your attendees! They will enjoy the green option of hopping on a bike to explore the historic districts of Boston.