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The best winter activities in Boston

Enjoy the coziest time of the year with these brisk things to do in Boston in the winter

Boston Common Frog Pond
Photograph: Shutterstock/Kwanbenz Boston Common Frog Pond
By Gerrish Lopez |

There’s no need to hibernate in during the winter months - Boston has plenty of things to do to enjoy the snowy season. Outdoor enthusiasts can ski, snowshoe, or sled. There are plenty of ice skating rinks in Boston, and several only-in-the-winter events. Cold temps offer an excuse to drink some of the best hot chocolate in Boston or the best spots for afternoon tea in Boston. For other ways to warm up after winter activities, check out our guides to the best ramen in Boston, best coffeeshops in Boston, and Boston restaurants with fireplaces. If winter weather isn’t your thing, check out our list of the best indoor activities in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Best winter activities in Boston

Boston Common Frog Pond
Photograph: Shutterstock/Kwanbenz
Things to do

Take a spin on the ice

Boston has plenty of ice skating rinks, from outdoor options like the Frog Pond to cutting edge indoor rinks like the Warrior Ice Arena. Whether you can triple salchow or are a bit wobbly, lacing up a pair of skates and hitting the ice is a winter must. Find your rink on our list of the best ice skating rinks in Boston.

Boston Common in the snow
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jana C.
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Go sledding on the Boston Common

icon-location-pin Boston Common

For a taste of winter sports without the extreme speeds, hit the gentle slopes of Boston Common, once a few inches of snow have accumulated. It’s BYO sled, of course, but any old sled will do. Otherwise, just take a good roll down a hill and then make snow angels. Tip: It’s also a good place for friendly snowball fights.

Arnold Arboretum in the snow
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Adam S.
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Enjoy a quiet walk at the Arboretum

icon-location-pin Jamaica Plain

The Arnold Arboretum is open year round, and after a good snowfall it’s a peaceful winter wonderland. Listen to the snow crunch beneath your feet and breathe in the cold air. Even trees without leaves can be beautiful!

Blue Hills in winter
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Katie R.
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Go to Blue Hills for cross-country skiing

Just outside of the city is the 7,000-acre Blue Hills Reservation. While avid skiers won’t be wowed by the modest downhill runs, there’s plenty of opportunity for cross-country skiing. More than 100 miles of trails allow plenty of opportunity to enjoy a heart-pumping trek through snowy forest. There are loops of varying degrees of difficulty, from 1-4 miles, so skiers of all levels can enjoy.

Harvard Square Taste of Chocolate
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Nicole Y.
Things to do

Sample more chocolate that you can handle

Chocolate lovers rejoice: a highlight of winter is the Harvard Square Taste of Chocolate Weekend. Throughout the weekend, restaurants in the area add chocolate appetizers, entrees, desserts, and cocktails to their menus. Retailers offer chocolate treats. The free Chocolate Tasting Event in Brattle Plaza features chocolate creations from some of the best restaurants in the Square.
Jan 26-28

Gore Place
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jonathan P.

Go snowshoeing at Gore Place

When there’s enough snow on the ground, head to Gore Place where you can rent snowshoes. The estate has 50 acres to explore. It’s fun for all ages, and a great workout.

The Langham Snowflake Tea
Photograph: Courtesy The Langham/Sonya Highfield

Enjoy seasonal sips at Snowflake Tea

icon-location-pin Downtown

For a wintry take on high tea, head to the Langham for Snowflake Tea. The lobby lounge will be transformed into a winter wonderland, and tea will include seasonal variations on classic sandwiches, cakes, scones, and teas (like Holiday Ham, Snowball Truffles, and Frosty Peppermint Cocoa Cupcakes). A children’s menu is also available. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Snowflake Tea will feature seasonal songs performed by a pianist.
Nov 24-Feb 7, $55pp/$35 children 5-12

Skywalk Observatory
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Marina O.
Attractions, Towers and viewpoints

See the snow from the Skywalk Observatory

icon-location-pin Back Bay

When it’s too cold to trudge around in the snow, you can still experience its beauty… while staying warm inside, 750 feet above the city. The Skywalk Observatory atop the Prudential Center offers 360-degree views. If it’s a clear day, you can see as far as 80 miles away. Enjoy beautiful views of the snow-covered city and the frozen Charles River without catching a chill.

Boston Sailing Center
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Boston Sailing Center
Shopping, Sports gear & clothing

Try Frostbite Racing

icon-location-pin North End

For sailing enthusiasts who refuse to quit in cold temps, or for people who just love the feeling of frozen extremities, the Boston Sailing Center offers Frostbite Racing in the winter. Fleet racing is held on Saturday afternoons from November to March. After a long day of racing, there’s hot chili to warm up.

Fenway Park in the snow
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Pam Z.
Things to do, Sport events

Take a tour of Fenway Park

icon-location-pin Fenway/Kenmore

Though the Sox are on hiatus, you can still feel excitement of a game on a Fenway Park tour. Tours are held year-round, even in the snow.

Hot chocolate
Photograph: Pixabay

Warm up with hot chocolate

There’s no better way to warm up after playing in the snow than a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Fortunately there are plenty of places around the city where you can enjoy this rich treat. Whether it’s classic hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream at LA Burdick, a spicy, chile-tinged cup at Flour, or a French-style, melted chocolate version at Thinking Cup, you’ll find a variety of ways to warm up with our list of the best hot chocolate in Boston.

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