So, we spent three days here in Boston.
We stayed in a hostel called 40 Berkeley, near to the Back Bay region. Don’t be put off the word hostel, as you may initially think they attract youngsters, this one was suited to all ages. We had a private room and the use of a shared bathroom between around 20 rooms. We barely encountered anyone here, we never had to wait for the bathroom, the only time we saw people was in the mornings in the breakfast room. We paid around $60 a night for the hostel, as opposed to around $200 per night for a hotel in the same area. The price included free breakfast, which was superb and had everything you could want, also free Wifi was available in all guestrooms, as well as pool tables, a movie room and the use of kettles and a microwave in the lobby. The staff were so helpful here and loved having my daughter around. If you needed directions, taxi’s or anything they would do their best to help you out. A whole variety of people stayed in the hostel from families to older single travelers. The hostel operates a quiet policy after 10pm, so if you do have young children there is no noise to worry about. My daughter Faye was so tired each night that she went to sleep around 8pm with no problems at all. The rooms were small and we shared a double bed, which was interesting and will take some getting used to. Faye is not ideal to share a bed with, she tosses and turns all night, and if shes not kicking me, shes strangling me or cuddling me so hard i can barely breathe – luckily most of our future reservations have given us twin beds! Faye had two jobs at the hostel, she was in charge of the room key and finding a good table at breakfast, she loved being in charge of something which helps to give her more confidence. I couldn’t recommend this hostel highly enough, no it is not five star and glamorous but it is clean and safe which is what i was after.
The day we arrived we got in early afternoon, so we unpacked and went to explore the area a little to keep ourselves awake, i just wanted to get an idea of where we were so we did not waste time the next day, we ended finding a little park which Faye played in for the rest of the afternoon. The next day (Thursday) we went off to explore, the hostel provided maps and we headed off towards Boston Common. We went on the Swan Boats in the Public Gardens which was $4.50 for both of us, a cheap but nice activity for children. We then explored up to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market which we both loved. This is all free and part of the famous Boston Freedom Trail. Quincy Market has loads of different foods to try and Faye loved all the market stalls. We had to really limit ourselves with the shopping as we are backpacking and the bag is busting full already so our plan is to make up a box and ship it back to England. After Quincy Market we walked up to the North End of Boston to eat in a restaurant called Al Dente – the restaurant was lovely, reasonably priced, friendly staff and huge portions in which we both took home a doggy bag with our leftovers.
On Friday (our last full day in Boston) the weather was very grey and miserable so we went over to the Boston Children Museum. This museum was recommended to us by a friend and is definitely worth a visit. It is $14 per person, cheaper for under 1s and is open all day. On Friday nights 5-9pm it is sponsored by Target in which admission is $1 each, so if you are on a budget, it is a huge saving! It is very busy on these nights. The museum is great for all ages and is really hands on. It has climbing frames, a mini theater which puts on shows throughout the day, a bubble room, a gravity room, a construction room and so on. I would recommend this place to anyone with children, it provides entertainment all day long and also a great way for parents and children to learn together.
Unfortunately we ran out of time, but i would also recommend the Boston Duck Tours which are car/boats which go on the land and in the water as a way of seeing the City, they looked like good fun!
Whilst we are away I have invested in a camera for Faye which she loves, letting her take her own photos has kept her entertained, however, most of them are of drains, trash cans, ducks and trees, but its her way of having fun, so why not!
She has also written postcards which is another good thing for children to do, and can be a relatively cheap activity to do one evening and it helps with her writing and we talk about countries and addresses.
An interesting observation I have made is the difference of the toilets over here in the USA. Most toilets flush automatically. Faye obviously is not used to this, and everytime it flushes it scares her and makes her cry, which i did find quite amusing, cruel i know, but she’ll get used to it!!
We are now getting collected by some friends to go and stay at their holiday house in Cape Cod for a few days – hard life!