With highlights including everything from Faneuil Hall to the Freedom Trail and some of the best places to eat along the way, the Orange Line boasts every bit as much fun as the Green Line and Blue Line. Read on for the 10 best stops for families and what kinds of activities you can find there.
1. Assembly Square in Somerville is a completely walkable waterfront shopping area featuring seasonal events, a movie theater, a fabulous French bakery to grab a hot chocolate and a pastry, and, perhaps best of all for kids, the giant giraffe and indoor Lego play space at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. The perfect spot for a fun afternoon!
2. Community College marks the north end of the Freedom Trail. It only takes a short walk to reach the Bunker Hill monument, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum is just a bit farther down by the water. If you opt to split the trail into chunks, make sure to do this leg at some point. Definitely kid-approved.
3. Haymarket boasts more family-friendly activities than we could possibly sum up in a paragraph. To cover a few highlights, it's close to all the deliciousness in the North End, just down the block from Faneuil Hall and everything it has to offer, as well as downstairs from the new Public Market. No one's going hungry at this stop.
4. State is right in the heart of the Freedom Trail, but it's also only a few blocks away from the New England Aquarium, the Waterfront, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
5. Downtown Crossing is the perfect stop to go shopping, grab a bite, or catch a show. Kids love wandering the city streets and looking up at the tall buildings here. It's also only a block away from the Boston Common, where kids can cool off in the wading pool or hit the skating rink at the Frog Pond.
6. Chinatown is pretty much my family's favorite neighborhood to eat in Boston. So many great choices! Best of all, these restaurants are perfect for keeping even the smallest diners entertained.
7. Back Bay offers many of activities for kids. From the main branch of the Boston Public Library a couple of blocks away to the shops and restaurants along Boylston and Newbury Streets to the chance of taking a long-distance train to faraway Maine or New York, this station is definitely a don't-miss hub.
8. Massachusetts Avenue might surprise those who think the only way to get to the Symphony is on the Green Line's E train. My family takes the Orange Line to the Massachusetts Avenue stop for most concerts we attend, given its proximity to Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Berklee Performance Center (a few blocks farther afield). It's also the closest stop to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and its fantastic Mapparium.
9. Stony Brook is the closest station to local writing center, 826 Boston, offering free workshops for school-aged kids.
10. Forest Hills lets families wander into nature. After only a short walk to the Arnold Arboretum, families can take a lovely stroll or attend one of their special events like Lilac Sunday each spring.