I’d totally go if I was given a chance, but I’ve never really been in the vicinity of one. Sure, there’s always LEGOLAND, but that’s more for the kids – and I’m a big kid. I mean, adult.
An (A)dult (F)an (O)f (L)EGO, specifically – an AFOL.
That’s me on the far right – in the sleeveless, black shirt. I’m all happy because… okay, that’s not really me. I’m not a minifig – not even close.
I stand about 5’5″ tall, which is one inch too tall to be considered proper minifigure scale. Maybe next year I’ll be short enough to ride this ride.
It’s been awhile since we last wrote about travel tips, as sent in by our community members. We asked months ago for you to send us the top ten places to visit in your hometown. So many of you responded that we are STILL trying to get them all posted! Today we’re going to talk about Boston. We may end up with more than ten things to do, since three of you sent in your ideas. Thanks to Mike, Robert and Charmain for letting us know what great things there are to do in Boston, Massachusetts!
- USS Constitution – Better known as Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution was a prominent ship during the War of 1812. Tour the ship or visit the museum, which is full of over 150 interactive displays.
- Harvard Walking Tour – After taking this tour, you’ll be able to say you’ve been to Harvard! Tour the famous campus with a student leader, and learn of its history and prestige.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Campus Tour – Regularly scheduled student-led campus tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM and at 3:00 PM.
- Institute of Contemporary Art – For more than a half century, the ICA has presented contemporary art in all media – visual arts, film, and video, performance and literature – and created educational programs that encourage an appreciation for contemporary culture.
- Bunker Hill Monument – In this first major battle of the American Revolution, the outnumbered American militia flew a red, white, and blue flag bearing the pine tree emblem of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Today, you’ll find a 221-foot granite obelisk marking the site of the famous battle.
- Fenway Park – Fenway is the home of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. It’s a gorgeous stadium, and one that you’ll enjoy visiting… even if you’re not a baseball fan!
- New England Aquarium – Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. The Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year, and a major public education resource.
- The Public Garden – The Public Garden was created in 1837, Boston Common in 1634. What a difference two centuries made. From its inception, the Public Garden was decorative and flowery, the Common pastoral and practical. The Common’s walkways were for crosstown travel, the Public Garden’s paths for meandering. The Common was America’s first park, the Public Garden its first public botanical garden.
- Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum – This is a comprehensive museum dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution. It is scheduled to re-open in the summer of 2010 (after renovations are complete), and will undoubtedly be a huge hit.
- Boston Children’s Museum – The Boston Children’s Museum exists to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. As an early museum experience for children, the environment is informal, but the purpose is serious. The exhibits are geared towards children ages 2 – 10.
- Boston National Historical Park – The Boston National Historical Park is an association of sites that showcase Boston’s role in the American Revolution. It was designated a national park on October 1, 1974. Seven of the eight sites are connected by the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of downtown Boston.
- Boston Duck Tours – You’ve never toured Boston in anything that comes close to Boston Duck Tours. The fun begins as soon as you board your “DUCK”, a W.W. II style amphibious landing vehicle. First, you’ll be greeted by one of our legendary ConDUCKtors, who’ll be narrating your tour. Then you’re off on a journey like you’ve never had before.
- Arnold Arboretum – The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world’s leading centers for the study of plants. It is a unique blend of respected research institution and beloved public landscape.
- Whale Watching Cruise from Boston Harbor – Boston Harbor Cruise’s Whale Watching cruise is both an unforgettable and educational experience. The guides, who are researchers from the Whale Center of New England, will teach you about everything from whale behavior and migration patterns to the local ecology. You’ll also be able to get amazing photographs of the area – and the whales!
- Franklin Park Zoo – Franklin Park Zoo is a 72-acre site nestled in Boston’s historic Franklin Park, long considered the “crown jewel” of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park System. You’ll find hundreds of exhibits, and enjoy hours’ worth of fun.
It sounds as though there is no shortage of fun – and educational – things to do around Boston! There seems to literally be something for everyone!
Elan has lived in Boston all his life. He loves his city, and it shows in the email he sent to me recently. Elan listed all of his favorite must-see places that you don’t want to miss if you ever find yourself in Boston.
- MIT Museum – They have collections of old computers, exhibitions featuring robots, and much more.
- Fenway Park – Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox. The park itself offers tours on a regular basis. Game tickets are pricey, but well worth the cost to be there in person for a game.
- Freedom Trail – The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, every one an authentic American treasure. The Freedom Trail today is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.
- New England Aquarium – They have all sorts of great shows, and exhibits. They also have an iMAX Theater. You can also go whale watching.
- Faneuil Hall Marketplace – This is the seat of American history and the site of one of America’s most famous shopping and dining experiences. For over 250 years, the marketplace has played an integral role in the life of Boston’s residents. So if you are ready to see, taste, and touch a true Boston experience, visit the historic and exciting Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
- Museum of Science – The museum has hundreds of unique and fun exhibits. They also feature an electric light show, which is awesome.
- Boston Apple Store – Even if you don’t own a single Apple product, this particular store is a must-see. The tall glass building is much like the one found in New York City, and there are a ton of Apple products on hand for you to try out and play with.
- Duck Tour – This awesome tour takes you all around historic Boston, and ends in the river at the Boston Harbor. The ConDUCKtor will give you interesting and fun facts about all the sights along the way. Often, these are things that you’ll never read in any history book. It’s a lot of fun, and educational as well.
- Sam Adams Brewery – Taking a tour of the Brewery is a lot of fun, and you’ll learn everything there is to know about brewing Sam Adams beer. At the end, there is a tasting room where you can sample many of their beers for free. People under 21 are welcome on the tour, but will not receive free beer!
- Georges Island – Seven miles from downtown Boston, Georges Island contains a large dock, picnic grounds, open fields, paved walk ways, a parade ground and a gravel beach. Guided tours of historic Fort Warren are offered. Georges also has a snack bar.
Boston definitely sounds like a place where one can find any number of fun and educational things to see and do! What about where you are from? What are the best places to visit?
When I asked all of you to send in your list of places to visit in your area, several of you responded with lists for New York City. As I read through them, I noticed what I call the “old standbys”. We already know we should try to check out the Statue of Liberty and Times Square if we get to NYC. However, I also noticed that most of you listed a couple of “out of the way” places… things that most of us would have never thought to see and do. I compiled the following list of ideas from several different NYC submissions. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to visit some of these places if you ever find yourself in New York. As for me… I want to eat on Mars!!
- Ellis Island Immigration Museum – The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offers visitors a fascinating look into the immigrant experience. Interactive exhibits, walking tours and movies reveal the hardships and challenges faced by immigrants passing through Ellis Island.
- American Museum of Natural History – Since opening to the public in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has evolved and grown. In addition to the Rose Center planetarium and regular exhibits, the American Museum of Natural History hosts a revolving series of new exhibits, so there is always something new to see.
- Madam Tussauds Wax Museum – The wax figures are all of famous actors, actresses, TV show hosts, and other celebrities. They actually look life like, so the art work done is quite impressive.
- Mars 2112 Restaurant – This is a restaurant with a unique atmosphere. When you walk inside the door, you are still on the planet Earth. You are then told to get inside a simulation ride that brings you to Mars. While you are on Mars (the actual restaurant), you will have an experience unlike any other, including aliens that come and hang out at your table!
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art – This is one of top art museums of the world. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Museum’s two-million-square-foot building has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world.
- Grand Central Terminal – Grand Central Station is obviously very well known – but not well understood. It is the largest train terminal in the world (by number of tracks), and one of the most ornate as well. The main concourse with its ceiling painting of the cosmos is very amazing to look at. There are shops and restaurants located throughout the terminal, as well.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – Named the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in honor of its founder, is known as much for its building design as it is for its content. Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of modern architecture is home to the world-renowned Guggenheim collection of modern and contemporary art.
- The Chrysler Building – This building is itself a sight to behold. At the time it was built, it was the largest building in the United States, and the architecture is beautiful. Inside, you’ll see much of the decor based off of automobile parts, which is unique and fun to take a look at.
- St Patrick’s Cathedral – The Cathedral is the largest gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States and has been recognized throughout its history as a pre-eminent center of Catholic life in this country. Over five and a half million visitors each year come to visit and pray. The Cathedral has come to represent for so many a place of peace and tranquility. It is an absolutely beautiful place.
- NY Federal Reserve and Gold Vault – This is likely one of the coolest spots in New York City. You can take a one-hour tour through the building and its gold vault. Be prepared to show up a half an hour early to get yourself through security screening, though.
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a list for New York City! If you wish to send me a list of top places to visit in your area, make sure you list things that aren’t considered to be “the usual”. You may just see your post here on my blog!
Imei has been fortunate to see some of the world’s best museums, and Paris is a destination city for them. Most tourists don’t spend a lot of time in museums, but they have no idea what they are missing. Here’s herParis Museum Crawl list, in no particular order.
- Musee Louvre. There is more to see than the Mona Lisa. Be sure to get a map of the entire museum, make a strategy on how to see each piece, and give yourself at least four hours minimum.
- Musee d’Orsay. Make an afternoon of visiting this museum, and don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to browse books about your favorite installation. The installations are often provocative and/or whimsical.
- Musee de Quai Branly. It was first called the“ Museum of Primitive People, but after some complaint, that title was dropped. It houses an impressive collection of aboriginal and ancient cultural artifacts, including textiles, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and paintings, with some modern and interactive installations attractive enough for young kids.
- Musee National d’Art Moderne. Two levels, over 1400 pieces of art. About half is permanent, and the other half is split over 1960’s- present day art and temporary installations.
- L’Orangerie. You like Monet? That’s where you’ll see his huge waterlily works, but see #6 for the collection from his son.
- Musee Marmottan-Claude Monet. Get your official Monet fix from the collection of Monet’s son. This is considered the world’s finest Monet collection.
- Musee Rodin. If you are going to visit the 18th century Hotel de Invalides for its beautiful architecture, you need to see this Rodin museum as well. You’ll see his extensive sculpture collection, as well as Rodin’s personal collection of Van Gogh paintings.
- Jeu de Paume. Like contemporary art? Not only is it in a 19th century tennis court, but it constantly changes its installations in this beautiful space.
- What’s a museum crawl without Salvador Dali? Check out this cool underground museum.
- Musee de l’Exotisme. With over 2000 artifacts tastefully presented, you’ll certainly be titillated with this museum.
What other museums would you recommend in Paris, France?