When the cold temperatures move in and the snow starts to fall, it can be easy to start staying indoors. But as nice as it is to hibernate the winter months away, that’s not how it has to be. If you’re starting to crave some outdoor adventure, Boston is full of winter activities that can make this season a little more enjoyable. So put down the warm cup of cocoa, get out from under the down blankets and head out to these spots for a little winter outdoor adventure in Boston.
The Boston Common Frog Pond
84 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108
The Frog Pond at Boston Common offers outdoor ice skating for the entire family. Not only are skate rentals available for all age groups at an affordable price, but college students, with I.D., will find several discounted days and times to skate as well. And if you’re a skating newbie, never fear. The Skating Club of Boston Skating Academy offers lessons from beginner to expert. It makes it very easy to start skating for the first time, to rediscover skating if it’s been a few years or to brush up on your skills no matter what your skating level.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Enjoy more than 250 acres of as close to wilderness as you’re going to get in the city. Trees, plants and wildlife abound. And, come wintertime, it is the perfect backdrop for your winter adventure. The Arboretum has miles and miles of snowshoeing trails and a friendly staff to make sure you have the maps you need to traverse them safely. You’ll also find a variety of exhibits to help you learn about the evergreen plants you’ll be seeing while out on the trails.
Larz Anderson Park
15 Newton Street
Brookline, MA 02445
There are a surprisingly large amount of decent sledding hills in and around Boston. But Larz Anderson Park is usually considered among the best spots to sled. This one park offers several hills, small hills perfect for the kids and larger hills for the less faint of heart. The city of Brookline takes its sledding a little more seriously than most and does a fair amount of grooming to the park’s sledding hills. In fact, you can turn a trip to Larz Anderson Park into an all-day winter adventure as it also offers an ice skating rink and a snack bar.
If your idea of winter activity extends beyond an afternoon of sledding or skating, look no further than the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is the single best resource for those who want to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. For a small tax-deductible membership fee, a wide range of resources will open up to you as a member. This includes a wide variety of excursions ranging from winter hikes to rock climbing, some in Boston and some outside of the city. If you aren’t already familiar with the kinds of excursions the AMC takes, it also offers many classes to help beginners get comfortable before they head outside for a long trek.
Boston Harbor Islands
Boston Harbor Islands Partnership
15 State St. Ste. 1100
Boston MA 02109
Just because summer has come to an end doesn’t mean the Boston Harbor Islands are done. The same places you love to hit up in the warm weather for hiking, beaches and swimming also offer a range of winter activities. In previous years, this has included winter cruises around the islands and gorgeous snowy trips to Fort Warren on Georges Island. Check the Boston Harbor Islands Facebook page or website as the winter carries on for updated announcements about upcoming events.
Renee Mallett is the author of several books about art, culture, and New England. She was the owner and director of an art gallery and has written about arts and entertainment on a national level for several print and online journals. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.