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Our Favorite Things To Do in Boston and Cambridge: Winter Edition

The Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston.
The Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston. By Courtesy of Ian Howard / Wikimedia Commons
By Lola J. DeAscentiis, Contributing Writer

Though we may be experiencing warmer temperatures, it is no secret to seasoned New Englanders that we are in Fool’s Spring — that is, the sporadic bout of 60s and sunshine that makes Punxsutawney Phil look like a fraud until we are back to frigid temperatures in just a few days.

So, given the ongoing winter, here are some fun outings that will make you dread the cold a bit less:

Ice skate at the Boston Common Frog Pond

Whether experienced in the art of ice skating or not, every Bostonian must glide across Frog Pond at least once! Conveniently located right past the Red Line’s Downtown Crossing stop, skating at Frog Pond is a great way to make memories with friends, family, or significant others. Given the high number of college campuses in the Boston area, Frog Pond even offers a designated “College Night” every Tuesday from 6-9 PM, during which your HUID will get you a steep 50% discount on admission.

Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

If you’re looking for a more tropical indoor location, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is worth a winter visit! You’re sure to enjoy a stroll around the gorgeous, historic galleries of the Gardner Museum, all of which overlook a sunny indoor courtyard of tropical plants. Art history lovers and true crime fans alike should note the eerie sight of empty frames in the museum’s Dutch Room, the site of the most famous art heist in modern history. Admission is free for Harvard students and discounted for affiliates through Harvard Innings and Outings.

Take a Polar Plunge into Walden Pond

Feeling inspired by Thoreau? Or perhaps in need of a good adventure? If so, gather your most daring friends and head to Concord, MA for a quick dip in Walden Pond. After enjoying some Taylor Swift-style “Snow on the Beach” with a nice walk around the pond, take a polar plunge right into the water! This is sure to leave you with great memories — and perhaps a mild case of frostbite, too.

Visit the Cambridge Public Library

If you’re looking for something more local but yearn for a location beyond Harvard’s campus, the Cambridge Public Library is worth a stop. Located just beyond Harvard Yard, the Main Library will leave your jaw on the floor with its stunning architecture, rich history, and vast collection of books. The library not only boasts a castle-like facade, but also features gorgeous views of the Boston skyline from its upper levels. Grab your favorite winter read and a warm drink and stop by!

Visit Beacon Hill Books and Cafe

A visit to Beacon Hill Books and Cafe — a recent addition to the Boston area — is the perfect way to escape the Harvard bubble for a few hours without falling behind on classwork. This cozy environment — which boasts a gorgeous interior design complete with large windows and plants — is perfect for working on papers and studying for midterms. In addition to the idyllic study space, Beacon Hill Books and Cafe also offers regular events that would make for a fantastic group outing or study date.

Take a winter walk at the Blue Hills Reservation

Last but certainly not least, escape the city with a trip to the Blue Hills Reservation for a winter hike. Though it's only a 30-minute drive from campus, Blue Hills feels like another world with its gorgeous views, soaring snowy hills, and magical forests, all enhanced by a glittering blanket of snow. Bundle up, build a snowman, and head over to Milton, MA!

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