If you are looking for fun and interesting things to do on the weekend, you may be inclined to hop to some of the more conventional and touristy spots in Boston. Although taking a walk through the Public Garden and exploring the numerous cuisines at Quincy Market or Eataly have their rightful place in the quintessential Boston experience, there are things for you to do which may not be littered with tourists and overwhelming crowds.
This list is compiled of unique and largely underrated things to do in Boston. Although some of these activities and locations may not be the cheapest, they will definitely provide you with a bucket list buster.
5. Hood Milk Bottle
Located at 300 Congress St., right next to the Boston Children’s Museum stands a 40-foot tall Hood Milk bottle. The regional New England milk brand bought the bottle in the 70s from its builder Arthur Granger to donate to the Children’s Museum. The bottle has undergone multiple purpose changes from starting out as an ice cream stand to simply serving as tourist attraction. It now serves as both, as you can buy soft serve and then snap a photo for Instagram. I personally think it’s incredibly aesthetically pleasing and just all around absurd. If you choose to visit the bottle, you are neither required to buy a Children’s Museum ticket nor buy yourself an ice cream cone; you can just go ahead and check it out for free in all of its imposing glory.
4. Franklin Park Zoo
Within Boston’s famous Emerald Necklace lies Franklin Park; within the park lies a zoo unlike many other zoos. Not too far from my hometown of Glen Rock, New Jersey, there is a very similar zoo also located in a park called the Van Saun Park Zoo. This zoo has a very community feeling to it and it’s not too large and very easy to navigate. The same can be said for the Franklin Park Zoo, as it rarely feels overcrowded and I don’t find myself having to look at a map the entire time. Among the the coolest animals are zebras, giraffes, and kangaroos. Although a zoo might not sound like such a “unique” or “underrated” way to spend your day, the Franklin Park Zoo has a special place in my heart and is worth a visit during your four years here at BU.
Boston’s Mapparium is a one of a kind attraction. Located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in the dead center of the Northeastern campus is a three-story tall globe. Personally, I am a huge geography nerd, so I am a little bias when touting such an exhibit, but even the most geographically challenged will enjoy a visit to the Mapparium. As you enter the globe, a tour guide provides you with info on the library and why the globe was built. There is also a show that lights up different parts of the world and details how the world has changed since the Mapparium was built. Admission is a little pricey, but the library offers student discounts to anyone with a student ID.
2. Candlepin Bowling at Flatbread Brighton
Bowling? With smaller balls than usually? Into candlepins? What even is a candlepin? At a pizza place? These are all appropriate questions. Flatbread Brighton is a flatbread pizza joint right by the Boston Landing commuter rail stop. Although it may seem like the restaurant’s main attraction is the pizza, it’s not. You can actually bowl here. The owners of Flatbread Brighton designed the place to have both a combined restaurant and bowling alley atmosphere without giving too much attention to either concept. Bowling here is not your traditional bowling alley experience, as you are throwing much smaller balls at candle-shaped pins on a much smaller lane. In my opinion, it’s easier and more fun for people who don’t bowl regularly, but doesn’t take away from the fun of traditional bowling. Although isn’t wildly cheap, bowling is much cheaper and you do not have to order food to get a game in!
1. Thrifting in Allston
My hands-down favorite thing to do on the weekends is to peruse Allston’s many thrift stores with my friends. There are three in particular that stand out: Buffalo Exchange, Urban Renewals, and Goodwill. You can find your niche, as all three stores are pretty different. Buffalo Exchange is a little more expensive than the other two and feels more like a traditional clothing store. Urban Renewals is a family-run thrift shop and sells itself as “a Family Thrift Center for the urban dweller.” Goodwill, a chain, is your run of the mill thrift shop, but serves its purpose. Skip the overpriced stores on Newbury Street and head west for a thrifty time!