Tanya Edwards is a freelance writer based in coastal New England. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Refinery29, CNN, Better Homes & Gardens, Food Network and more. She knows exactly where to get the best happy hour oysters and Guinness in Boston, and beyond.
New Year's Eve dinner in Boston: best restaurants open on NYE
New Year’s should be rung in with a fine meal with great service, a special menu with lots of upgrades and a champagne toast. But we also aren't against celebrating with a group of friends at your favorite pizza spot either! There’s no one way to do the celebration, but there are a lot of restaurants open and serving celebratory feasts. We found all of the best spots, along with details about what they’re serving and hours they’re open. Be sure to make a reservation early, as seats fill up fast. And while you're at it check out all the festivities going on at Time Out Market Boston as well. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve 2024 in Boston
Boston restaurants open on Christmas
If you’re enjoying a magical holiday season in Boston, it’s easy to keep the fun and festive experience going with a Christmas feast in one of our finest restaurants (and you might need a break from the kitchen). You can deck the halls of these eateries open on December 25. For more joyful activities to make your holidays merry and bright, check out the jaw-dropping splendor of Boston’s best Christmas lights, grab some gifts at some of Boston’s winter holiday Christmas markets, or coast along the frost at one of the best ice skating rinks in Boston. RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Christmas in Boston
15 best speakeasy bars in Boston
Maybe it’s the history, rooted in the wild 1920s, behind speakeasies that make them seem so romantic and mysterious. Or maybe it’s the feeling of doing something a little bit naughty (even though Prohibition ended back in 1933) by knocking on a secret door and knowing a password. Whatever the reason, we love a good speakeasy! Luckily, our city has quite a number of discreet spots that serve legal drinks while replicating that speakeasy vibe. Below, find our guide to the best basements, nooks and hidden spots that welcome in-the-know imbibers. RECOMMENDED: See the full list of the best bars in Boston
The best Boston Christmas lights
There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than elaborate displays of glimmering holiday lights, so let’s get jolly over festive decor! We found gorgeous lights displays, tastefully decorated trees and more all around The Hub and beyond. Get ready to drink in lights in town, or take a day trip to celebrate the sparkliest season! To complete your Yuletide experience, lace up at one of the best places for ice skating in Boston, warm yourself with a cup of the best hot chocolate in Boston, check out the best holiday markets in Boston—and then enjoy these beautiful holiday light displays. RECOMMENDED: See the full Christmas in Boston guide
The best Irish pubs in Boston
Irish watering holes can be found in almost every city in the country, but historically speaking, Boston’s strong population of Irish immigrants and their descendants has meant that our city is better at it than everywhere else. We’ve got Irish pride – and pubs – to spare. Not only do the best Irish pubs in Boston offer affordable pints of beer—properly poured—and a lively atmosphere, but some also double as the best sports bars around town, with TV screens that let you and your pals gather to down a few rounds as you watch the big game. Many also serve praiseworthy comfort food and host some of the best trivia nights or live music found throughout the Hub. Grab a friend or two, order a swig of whiskey and prepare yourself for a night of pure, unadulterated fun at these spots. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best bars in boston
Best Christmas things to do in Boston
The holidays are almost here in Boston, and the season is always so special in New England. With tree lightings, holiday markets, shows and holiday events, there is so much to get excited about in Boston this holiday season. Whether you prefer to stick to tradition by seeing the Holiday Pops perform at Symphony Hall or taking a class to make your own festive wreath, there is something for everyone this winter. Don’t miss our guides to the best holiday markets in Boston, as well as where to see the best Christmas lights in Boston. The holidays are also a great time to check out the best ice skating rinks in Boston and the best hot chocolate in Boston. RECOMMENDED: See the full guide to Christmas in Boston
Halloween in Boston 2023: How to celebrate
Celebrating Halloween in Boston is a no-brainer. As one of the oldest cities in the country, this town is rife with any kind of spook imaginable—whether it’s one of our creepy old graveyards, a verifiably haunted hotel or sites of bloody massacres that would put your favorite true-crime podcast to shame. And if all that’s not enough, we’re only a quick broom ride from Salem, which boasts a whole other kind of frightening history—and real-life witches everywhere you turn! But Halloween in Boston doesn’t have to be all that spine-tingling. Keep reading for various fun ideas, including Barbie-themed dance parties in former (probably haunted) prisons, floating costume soirees and suggestions on where to get your costumes and pumpkins for the season. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Boston
14 best ice skating rinks in Boston
Winter in the Commonwealth is brisk, but if you bundle up and clutch a hot drink with your mittens, it can be charming. One of the best winter activities, hitting an ice rink, is beloved by both locals and tourists, and the Hub has no shortage of rinks fit for all levels. After a chilly skate, be sure to warm up with a mug of one of the best hot chocolates in Boston or a cup of joe from one of the best coffee shops in Boston. And for more winter thrills, check out the best spots for skiing near Boston or the best snowboarding near Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
22 best winter day trips from Boston
Bostonians take winter fun seriously, it’s an integral part of living in the Northeast. Truly, the only way to survive the winter cold is to plan fun activities that get you out of the house. One of the best ways to avoid cabin fever this time of year is to get out of the city. And, a little day trip can really lift the spirits. Explore all that New England has to offer, including quaint, historic towns and shoreline stops, as well as gaming destinations and, of course, buzzing ski towns. And if you don’t have time to head of Boston right now, stick stay closer to home and enjoy the city’s best attractions, best free things to do and best museums in Boston.RECOMMENDED: The coziest Airbnb cabins near Boston
Best Halloween events in Boston
Halloween will be here before we know it, so we have started gathering the best ways to get spooky this year. However, if you want to avoid anything scary, check out our list of the best places to go pumpkin picking near Boston for a little wholesome fun. But if you want some fun ideas for the whole family, read our guide to Halloween in Boston for haunted houses and other fun activities.RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston
Where to eat Thanksgiving Dinner in Boston
Swear off cooking for once on Thanksgiving (Thursday November 23) this year and enjoy a quiet night out with a meal prepared by one of Boston’s finest chefs. The city and its outer neighborhood restaurant are offering traditional Thanksgiving feasts for small and large parties – often prepared with a bit more flair than you might see in a home cooked meal – and they’re ready to welcome you to celebrate with them. Bonus, there’s no dirty dishes involved to tackle after. And if you still want to celebrate at home—but with takeout—check out these local eateries offering full Thanksgiving dinners to go. For other Turkey Day ideas and holiday happenings, also be sure to explore our guide to Thanksgiving in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston
14 best restaurants in Cambridge
If you live on the Boston side of the Charles, and never venture across the river, you’re missing out on some of the best restaurants in the area. Many of Boston’s best restaurants are now in Cambridge. You’ll find great brunch spots, belly filling pizza, excellent ramen and impressive fine dining. Make a night of it by pairing dinner with one of the best free things to do in Boston, or check out our guide to the best live music in Boston. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston
Listings and reviews (13)
Located in Lovejoy Wharf, Row House features instructors who will take you through a full-body, 30- or 45-minute rowing workout that will leave you bursting with serotonin—and also a little exhausted. You’ll build endurance and strength in this group workout that’s low impact (your knees will thank you). First class is $10.
The popularity of indoor cycling has yet to wane, and B/Spoke offers one of the most engaging rides with locations in Boston, Wellesley and The Cape. The studio's signature R/DE is a full-body workout consisting of intense cardio, towel arms and core work set to pumped-up playlists and packed into a 45-minute session.
This award-winning fitness studio in Downtown Boston specializes in trampoline (bounce), barre and dance classes that are challenging, but also so much fun. Our favorite class is not in the studio—it’s at Bijou nightclub every Thursday and features a DJ, club lighting and multiple instructors. Grab your gang and check it out. Classes are $12 for first-timers.
Title Boxing Club
Sign up for a boxing workout at Title Boxing, and you’ll get an intense upper body and cardio workout in one. These addictive workouts (you can start with 30 minutes and work up to 75) throttle up the intensity of the world's oldest sport. Title also offers kickboxing, if you want to really move those feet.
Boston Ballet School
Ever dream of performing Swan Lake on stage, but things just didn’t work out for you in ballet class when you were a kid? Relive that excitement in a beginner dance class from the renowned Boston Ballet in Boston or Newton, while strengthening your core and gaining flexibility. In person classes start at $25.
If you think treadmill workouts are boring, this studio will change your mind. People hoping for some training to help them run faster and longer can try a straight Stryde class, which will have you running with a group to high energy music. You can also combine it with strength training or boot camp for a total body workout.
More than just a workout, TRILLFIT is on a mission to decolonize the wellness industry and promote radical self-love. Hit the studio in Roxbury for a super positive hip-hop dance workout that combines HIIT, core work, pilates and body weight exercises. You can join in person for $140 a month, or try an at home digital membership for $40.
Boston Body Pilates
With Boston locations in the North End and on Newbury Street, as well as in Brookline, Natick, Belmont and beyond, Boston Body Pilates caters to locals around the city and ’burbs alike. The studios offer small group classes and one-on-one instruction, with results that will leave you feeling stronger and leaner.
The Boston Bouldering Project
Climbing is one of the best full body workouts, and while bouldering outside in the city proper is a tall order, you can check into Bouldering Project (formerly Brooklyn Boulders) in Somerville for a climb. The studio currently offers climbing classes, yoga and other fitness classes. Try it out with a 30-day trial pass for $79.
Specializing in Jiang Nan style noodles and small bites, this homey, family-owned spot in Brookline has a short menu with a lot of flavor. Try the signature steamed chicken dumplings swimming in spicy Sichuan sauce, delightful dan dan noodles, scallion pancakes and out-of-this-world wonton soup.
Tucked away in Brookline Village, in a sophisticated, airy room, is some of the best Sichuan cuisine in the Boston area, like Dan Dan noodles that will make your tongue tingle and braised beef with napa cabbage. However, what truly elevates this spot is Blossom Bar, the in-house cocktail bar that leans heavily into rum-based, tiki-style drinks, which delightfully complement the Sichuan food.
Winsor Dim Sum House & Bar
Locals know that if you can’t get to Chinatown, the place to find a variety of Asian cuisine around The Hub is Quincy. With dim sum delights made to order all day, it’s hard to beat Winsor for classic siu mai dumplings, BBQ pork buns and shrimp and chive dumplings.