8 Fun Outdoor Boston Activities for Winter
1. Skiing near Boston
Less than an hour outside of Boston, you'll find a number of ski areas for downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and snow tubing. Some even have terrain parks for snowboarders and free stylers.
Go just for the day, or a long weekend. Most offer lessons and equipment rentals.
2. Ice Skating in Boston
If you're visiting Boston and staying in a hotel in the central part of the city, walk over to Boston Common for ice skating on Frog Pond.
As you'll see when you get to the rink, this is a popular winter sport in Boston for all ages and all skill levels.
No need to bring your own skates - just rent them at the rink.
Don't know how to ice skate? Also not a problem - for about $10, you can rent a device called a "Bobby Seal" (short for "Bobby the Skating Seal") to hold onto while you learn how to navigate on the ice.
You can also head to several other ice rinks in Boston and Cambridge - most also offer skate rentals and lessons.
3. Complete Guide to New England Ski Areas
Drive just 2 or 3 hours from Boston, and you'll find plenty of places to enjoy this favorite winter activity. Plus, many mountains and resorts also offer snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, and other winter sports.
Go for the day, or stay for a weekend or longer.
4. Best New England Ski Vacation Resorts
You'll find excellent accommodations, a variety of skiing options, and plenty of other outdoor and indoor activities designed to appeal to a wide range of interests and ages - ice skating, indoor swimming pools, sleigh rides, tubing, entertainment, and lots more.
And if your idea of a resort includes spa treatments, gourmet dinners, and luxurious surroundings - well, you can find that too!
5. "Frost Bite" Sailing in Boston
Winter" and "sailing" don't usually go together - but for frigid-weather conditions add to the challenge for avid sailers.
If you fall into this category, you may want to try when you visit Boston during the winter.
Many of the Boston sailing centers provide short-term rate options to make this affordable, and lots of camaraderie to make it fun!
6. Sledding on Boston Common
If your kids (or you) just want to have fun in the snow, nothing beats sledding.
Boston Common's gentle slopes and slightly steeper hills offer the perfect spot whenever freshly-fallen snow blankets the city.
Ask the concierge at your hotel about the closest place to buy a sled, or something sled-like. Simple plastic sliders cost $5-$20, and will work fine.
Boston Common's slopes offer plenty of tree-free spaces, so sledding conditions are reasonably safe even for younger kids.
7. Winter Walking Tour Itinerary for Snowy Days
Even during Boston's worst winter weather, walking around the city gives you the chance to admire the outlines of trees and buildings against the white snow-covered landscape, plus get some exercise.
If you happen to visit Boston during or after a snow storm, go out and enjoy the scenery.
Our self-guided walking itinerary cover about 2.5 miles, and lets you see a variety of lovely sites - but you can easily do just part of it if you want a shorter walk.
You'll start in the Public Garden, see a bit of the Victorian Back Bay neighborhood, cross Storrow Drive to the Charles River on a scenic overpass, and explore a bit of the frozen Esplanade before ending up back at the Public Garden.
By then, you'll be ready for a warm drink or meal - so our tour ends with suggestions about fun places to go nearby.
8. Running & Jogging in Boston in the Winter
Dedicated runners don't let a little snow stop them - but ice should, since you don't want your Boston visit to include a trip to a hospital emergency room.
Avoid the sometimes icy slopes of Beacon Hill (if in any doubt as to why, just look at the photo at the top of the page), and head instead to the relatively flat Esplanade, Public Garden, or Back Bay neighborhood for your run.
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