If you're visiting Boston during the winter months when high temperatures average only in the 30s - some days are even colder - you can certainly find some outdoor activities to enjoy.
For example, you can go ice skating on Frog Pond in Boston Common, one of the large parks right in the middle of the city. The rink rents skates for just a few dollars, and also has a nice snack bar where you can enjoy hot chocolate.
But you'll also want to sample some of the many indoor events going on at this time of the year.
Not only does Boston have a lot of historic as well as new theaters, concert spaces, and other entertainment venues, it also has TD Garden, a multi-function space that serves as home basketball court for the Boston Celtics, home ice rink for the Boston Bruins, performance stage for big-name rock concerts, and occasionally even as an arena for the circus.
You'll find multiple events going on in all of these venues most of the time - and don't forget the 30+ museums right in the city, movie theaters showing everything from 1st run commercial flicks to indie films to cult classics, and even lectures open to the public at the city's many colleges and universities.
So what should you actually plan to do? Here are 6 suggestions, in no particular order:
1. Get tickets to a production at the magnificently restored Opera House (www.bostonoperahouse.com) in the middle of Boston's Theatre District. You'll find Broadway-type shows like Fiddler on the Roof, classics like Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, musical super-stars such as Dolly Parton, and entertainers like Bill Cosby.
2. Soak in a little history by visiting one of the museums on Boston's Freedom Trail. The Old State House (www.bostonhistoricalsociety.org) located in Downtown Boston has many interesting exhibits about Boston's role in the American Revolution.
3. Enjoy some laughs at one of Boston's many comedy clubs. At Improv Asylum (www.improvasylum.com) in Boston's restaurant-filled North End, an ensemble group delivers comic sketches and improvisations. Highly acclaimed Mottley's Comedy Club (www.mottleyscomedy.com) brings in local and national stand-up talent, and is located downtown in Faneuil Hall Marketplace near some of the city's historic taverns.
4. Catch a Bruins or Celtics game at the Garden in Boston's West End. Even if they're not "your" teams, you'll love the excitement of the crowds.
5. Combine music with art by getting tickets to a concert at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (www.gardnermuseum.org) in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. Enjoy classical music and then tour this spectacular museum - one woman's personal collection!
6. During the winter, you'll miss the Boston Red Sox - but you can still feel the thrill of famed Fenway Park when you stop by Bleacher Bar for a drink and a burger. In a city where we love our bars and have plenty of them, Bleacher Bar is one of the most special - a true sports bar built right under the Fenway bleachers. What's especially cool is the huge open garage door that lets you look right out at ground level onto the field. You can even smell the grass - well, maybe not in winter, but the ball park is also beautiful when covered with snow!
This is just a sample of what you can do when you visit Boston during the winter. If you're staying downtown or in Back Bay, all of these places are easily reachable by walking (bring good walking shoes!) or by subway.
Even though Boston is not a city that springs to mind when you're planning a winter vacation, there's so much to do here that you may want to return again and again.
All the best,