Facebook    Twitter
Chic Savvy Mama

Boston bound: A family of five takes on Beantown


This summer we took our first family road trip. With a spirit of adventure and a whole slew of movies for our trusty minivan’s DVD player, we drove from Oakville, Ont., a suburb of Toronto, to Boston in about 10 hours. I was skeptical that our family of polar opposites could vacation in harmony, but despite a few backseat brawls, that’s exactly what we did.

For the history buff

Having been to Boston before, I knew my history-buff hubby was going to be entertained. What I didn’t know was how much he would love the Lexington portion of our trip. Lexington is a quiet suburban town about 20 minutes outside of Boston — and it’s where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired 240 years ago. One of the highlights of our trip was the Liberty trolley tour, which passes by the Lexington Battle Green and the site where Paul Revere was captured by British troops. We hopped off the trolley at Minute Man National Historical Park for a quiet family picnic and to take in the preserved homes and a rifle shooting demonstrations by actors dressed as minute men.

For the luxury lover

The beautifully restored Inn at Hastings Park is everything this tired mama could ask for in a property. Each gorgeous room is designed to feel just like home, only waaaay better — it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure recently named it one of America’s most stylish hotels. Our suites in the barn were spacious and welcoming, with luxurious beds, bathtubs big enough to swim in and a little reading nook for Charlotte, my bookworm. An afternoon spent high diving at the town’s leisure facilities across the road had my children declaring they wanted move to Lexington. I’m not sure they knew that we might not be able to live at the inn.

For the fusspot

Gourmet fare isn’t seven-year-old Peyton’s thing and sometimes traveling with her can be a royal pain in my butt. I’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love cheese pizza though, and the Boston Pizza Tour of the city’s north end provided my picky eater with three slices of doughy goodness from the city’s most famous pizzerias, while we walked though this historic neighbourhood. The tour took us by several historic sights including the building where Rose Kennedy grew up, Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home.

For the smarty-pants

Eleven-year-old Charlotte devours knowledge the way other kids devour candy. She’s always got a book in her hand and an interesting factoid on the tip of her tongue. Charlotte thoroughly enjoyed the Boston Duck Tour and I could practically see her brain growing as she absorbed our tour guide’s vast knowledge. The other kids loved our guide’s funny jokes and the chance to drive a genuine World War II amphibious vehicle down the Charles River.


For the sports nut

My eight-year-old son, Carson, is a little jock and I booked our Boston hotel with him in mind. The Marriott Fenway Park is just a short walk from the iconic baseball stadium and the neighbourhood is buzzing on game days. While the boys took in a Red Sox game, the girls and I enjoyed some lazy time at the hotel’s rooftop patio and indoor pool, with an incredible view of the action. Our suite was perfect for our little family as it was reasonably priced, included breakfast and had a kitchen that saved us a lot on restaurant meals.

Where to eat

Artistry on the Green at the Inn on Hastings Park took care of my family’s culinary whims while we were in Lexington — from the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever tasted to gourmet sandwiches and chips for our lunchtime picnic. While my children enjoyed endless bowls of plain pasta with butter for dinner, I was slightly more adventurous and savoured the restaurant’s famous clam chowder (named the gold-standard in creamy chowder by the Boston Globe) and signature seared scallops.

Delicious fresh seafood and a laid-back atmosphere made our unplanned dinner at Summer Shack our favourite dining experience in Boston proper. We all enjoyed eating our weight in lobster and my children were thrilled with their plastic lobster bibs. Most importantly for me, it was noisy enough that no one cared when my kids weren’t impeccably behaved.

And we all loved Rancatore’s homemade ice cream, especially the bittersweet chocolate flavour.

Dana Dougherty Reinke is a freelance writer based in Oakville, Ont., who writes about travel, parenting and life as a suburban mama. Check out her blog at danasdomain.ca.

Date Added: February 5, 2015 | Comments (1)

1 Comment »

sounds like a lot of fun!

Comment by Cathy — February 6, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

Leave a comment

All Articles from this Category



Current Poll

When you're on vacation, can you resist the temptation of email and social media?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


The Great Wall of Chic Savvy Travelers - Send us your pics!

The Great Wall of Chic Savvy Travelers