A Few of My Favorite MetroWest Things

After living in Natick for four years, I’ve scoured the MetroWest area and surrounding towns for places that make me feel like I’m still living in Boston.  The transition to suburbia was hard, and while I still miss city living, Natick and its surrounding areas have grown on me immensely. I will periodically share lists of my favorite places with you.  Here’s a few to get us started:

Favorite Coffee Shop: Charles River Coffee House, Natick

Mama needs her coffee, and the Charles River Coffee House in South Natick is the place to be.  It’s family-friendly, and the homemade cupcakes are toddler approved.  Steve, the owner, is friendly, engaging, and carries a wide range of global coffee blends. He also has a few games available that can keep little ones occupied while parents recover with some hot or iced coffee or tea.  They also sell a wide range of pastries, breakfast,  and lunch options.  It’s cozy setting with a “city” coffee house feel has made it one of our favorite family hangouts on the weekends.

Favorite small grocery store: Tilly’s & Salvy’s, Natick

Tilly’s, you have won my heart forever.  This family run grocery store has enough produce and meat options to cover our family’s needs for the week, and they carry an abundance of local food choices.  Rick, the owner, always takes the time to talk to my daughter, and personally gives her a free pretzel (there is always a bag of pretzels available for customers at check-out). Plus, they now carry craft beer and wine, so I can grab a quick bottle for a nice dinner.  They also sell a large selection of Christmas trees and wreaths for the holiday season. Hands down, Tilly’s is one of our favorite places to go, and my daughter asks me to go visit Tilly’s on a daily basis.

Favorite restaurant for a date night:  La Morra, Brookline

Okay, this is a bit out of my usual stomping grounds, but La Morra is our favorite restaurant to dine sans child.  Josh and Jen Ziskin, the owners, create amazing northern Italian dishes for a dining experience that will leave you satisfied, but begging for more.  Tom Brady has recently quoted their beef bolognese as his favorite dish in the area.  And MetroWesters, the Ziskins will be transforming the Sherborn Inn in Sherborn into a delightful American comfort food.  No doubt, the food will be incredible.  I’ll keep you posted once they open!

Favorite place for a kid-friendly brunch: J&M Diner, Framingham

A family run, cash only diner, the food is incredible, the menu provides a plethora of options, and they love having children as diners.  Be forewarned that the wait is long on the weekends, but if your little ones can handle it, you won’t be disappointed in the food or experience.

Favorite place for gymnastics classes: Planet Gymnastics, Natick

I cannot praise Planet Gymnastics enough.  The instructors are friendly, the facilities are clean, and my daughter has blossomed since she started taking classes there this past summer!  In the summer, you can take unlimited classes (as long as there is availability) for one flat price.  It’s been the best way to introduce my daughter to athleticism while letting her have free play and fun in a safe environment.

Favorite Museum for Little Ones: The Discovery Museums, Acton

With easy access from our house, my daughter has loved every minute of her time at the Discovery Museums, and I love not having the hassle of driving into the city for my daughter to have a fun day at the museum.  Divided into two buildings, one is dedicated to science, the other as a children’s museum, with plenty of activities and imaginative play.  The children’s museum is an old converted Victorian house, where each room has its own special theme.  Our daughter especially loves the giant play kitchen and diner room and the train.

Discovery

MetroWest moms: what are your favorite stomping grounds?  Hopefully I’ll see you around!