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Things to Know Before You Go: Visiting Boston in Winter

By Viator, February 2018

4.5 1941 Reviews | Add your review

For a true taste of New England, head to Boston in winter. Cold weather gives Beantown a special charm and often brings falling snow and freezing temperatures—perfect for cozying up indoors or perhaps braving the winter chill. Here are some tips for making the most of a low-season visit.

Get cozy with a Boston brew
Nothing says “Boston” like a good brew on a blustery winter day. The Samuel Adams brewery is perhaps the city’s most iconic spot, known for its rich Boston Lager and well-stocked brewery taproom. In the waterfront Seaport District, visitors to the Harpoon Brewery can warm up with freshly made pretzels and craft beers in a German-inspired beer hall, while clientele at Cambridge Brewing Company can enjoy fresh, handcrafted beer in Boston’s oldest brewpub. For an in-depth experience, get to know the city’s thriving beer scene on a brewery tour. 

Take advantage of indoor attractions
Boston is famous for its museums. At the Museum of Fine Arts, visitors can admire works from around the globe, including one of the richest Edgar Degas collections in the world and a 13-foot (4-meter) statue of the Roman goddess Juno—the largest Roman-era statue in North America. For families with kids, Boston’s Museum of Science is an educational playground, with more than 600 interactive exhibits, plus the world’s largest lighting bolt generator and the vast Mugar Omni Theater. The New England Aquarium is also a great family spot, where highlights include penguin presentations, sea otters, and the 4-story Giant Ocean Tank. Save yourself the hassle of driving by visiting the Museum of Science and New England Aquarium on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour, or get free entry to all three museums with a Boston Go Card. 

Bundle up and brave the chill
Travelers who brave the outdoors will be rewarded with picturesque winterscapes and peaceful, uncrowded streets. Bundle up for a walking tour of the city’s famous red-brick Freedom Trail, which features historic sites such as Beacon Hill, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House. When the trail takes you to Faneuil Hall, head inside Quincy Market for a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and stop off for ice skating at the Boston Common. If the weather is right, skiers and snowboarders can hop on the Boston Ski Bus and head out to carve up the slopes of the Sunday River ski resort in nearby Maine. 

Enjoy winter festivities
In December, Boston’s Festival of Lights at the Museum of Fine Arts features musical performances, tours, and free museum admission, while the borough of Somerville blazes with lights and house decorations crafted by its residents. History buffs can join a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Dec. 16, and sports fans can cheer on Boston college hockey teams at the Beanpot on Feb. 6 and 13. On New Year’s Eve, the city’s First Night Celebrations involve ice sculptures, live entertainment, fireworks, and discounted admission to local attractions.

Tours & Tickets

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Salem Witch City Day Trip From Boston, Boston, null
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Salem Witch City Day Trip From Boston

4 star rating: Recommended 235 Reviews

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Salem Witch Trials on this sightseeing day trip from Boston. Visit Marblehead -- the birthplace of the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $56.00
Go Boston Card, Boston, Day Trips
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Go Boston Card

4.5 star rating: Recommended 126 Reviews

Explore Boston your own way with the flexible Go Boston Card. Do as much or as little sightseeing as you like, at your own pace while saving precious vacation ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: Varies

From USD $59.00
Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Boston, Sightseeing & City Passes
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Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 78 Reviews

Step back in time and see how the Boston Tea Party changed American history! This Boston museum details the series of events leading to December 16, 1773, and ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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North End Pizza Tour, Boston, Museum Tickets & Passes
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North End Pizza Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 92 Reviews

Treat yourself to some of the best pizza in Boston on this walking food tour. Explore the city’s oldest neighborhoods and visit historic sites along the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

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Boston Brewery Tour plus Lunch or Dinner, Boston, Food Tours
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Boston Brewery Tour plus Lunch or Dinner

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

Indulge in Boston's brewery scene on morning and evening tours that include upwards of 15 beer tastings, lunch or dinner. Learn about the history and mechanics ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Newport Mansions Small-Group Day Trip from Boston, Boston, Beer & Brewery Tours
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Newport Mansions Small-Group Day Trip from Boston

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Escape to the lovely coastal city of Newport, Rhode Island, on this day trip that includes both a guided tour and free time. Explore The Breakers mansion, the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

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Boston CityPASS, Boston, Day Trips
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Boston CityPASS

4.5 star rating: Recommended 43 Reviews

Most famous attractions at one amazing low price with plenty of time to see it all! And with a leisurely nine days to use all of the tickets, you can take ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: Flexible

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Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour, Boston, Sightseeing & City Passes
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Boston Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1050 Reviews

Discover Boston at your leisure with a one or two-day ticket on the Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour. Create your own itinerary to see the most popular sights of ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: Flexible

From USD $41.95
New England Aquarium Admission, Boston, Hop-on Hop-off Tours
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New England Aquarium Admission

4.5 star rating: Recommended 42 Reviews

Discover thousands of marine animals at the New England Aquarium! Meet green sea turtles and blue penguins, and watch seals and sea lions at play. See the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: Flexible

From USD $27.95
Boston Pizza and Taverns Tour, Boston, Attraction Tickets
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Boston Pizza and Taverns Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Raise a pint to the spirits of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and George Washington as you relive more than 375 years of tavern history in Boston. This informative ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.00

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