Twenty years ago, I set my sights on moving to Boston because it was such a great sports city — and that was even before the Red Sox won the World Series. In the years since, not only have the region’s teams seen an unprecedented string of successes, my career as a freelance sports writer has led me to discover that Boston’s vibrant sports history goes beyond the four major sports.
Check out our curated Boston sports itinerary, then read on for more great info on visiting Boston’s best sports sites!
WHAT TO DO
You could simply focus on the big four teams — Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins — and have a fun, interesting, and educational visit in Boston. But for older kids or history buffs, you can also do a deep dive into Boston’s rich sports history, which goes far beyond those teams’ successes.
Some of the greatest hits when it comes to Boston sports include:
- Fenway Park, where you can catch a game, or just visit for a tour of America’s oldest MLB park.
- Matthews Arena, formerly known as Boston Arena, which is rich in history for both sports and other monumental events.
- TD Garden, where the Celtics and the Bruins play currently, and where you can catch a half-mile of exhibits in the building’s Sports Museum.
- Harvard Stadium, which was designed to mimic the panathenaic stadium in Athens, Greece! This stadium is home to Harvard football, but it’s also been the spot for Harvard hockey, the Boston Patriots, Major League Lacrosse’s Boston Cannons, Women’s Professional Soccer’s Boston Breakers, and some Olympic trials and pre-Olympic matches. (It’s also the perfect place for a workout — those stairs are something!)
Want even more sports-related fun?
Swing by the DCR Steriti Memorial Rink, a rink with scenic views perfect for a public skating session or a youth, college, or adult hockey game.
Check out Boston Landing in Brighton to see the Warrior Ice Arena — home of women’s professional hockey team Boston Pride — plus Auerbach Center and the track at New Balance (plus the New Balance outlet store and fun restaurants, including Brighton Bowl at American Flatbread, a bowling alley and pizza joint).
Head south to Foxboro, Massachusetts, to see Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. (Just check to see if there is an event there before you go, as that will make traffic and parking quite difficult.) Visit the Patriots Hall of Fame, then explore Patriot Place, which is adjacent to the stadium and has experiences and shops galore.
While you’re in Boston, be sure to let your kids embark on their own athletic endeavors at some of Boston’s many amazing parks and playgrounds, like Christopher Columbus Park, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and Martin’s Park.
WHERE TO EAT
All the big sports venues have a plethora of fantastic food choices around them, including food halls and other fast-casual spaces that work great for kids. Bring your own water bottles, and you should be set. (And given that this is Boston, coffee is always nearby for your parenting needs.)
There are two options that work best for this tour: staying near Fenway Park (one great option is the Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Back Bay/Fenway) or staying in proximity to Riverside Station in Newton, MA (Boston Marriott Newton or Hampton Inn and Suites Boston/Waltham). Either take the hotel’s shuttle, drive, or take a rideshare to the Riverside Green Line MBTA station, which will get you almost anywhere you’d want to go. Hotels outside the city tend to have ample (and free or cheaper) parking, if you have a car.
Each large sporting venue will have at least one great pro shop nearby to buy T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. The multiple pro shops on the streets around Fenway Park are amazing — they have more gear than one could imagine. The Official Red Sox Store at 19 Jersey Street is definitely worth taking the time to wander around. If you choose to only visit one souvenir store, that shop is the clear winner.
Pack light: Many venues you visit will want you to have as little on you as possible, so if you can, pack light. This is especially true if you want to go to a game. Clear bags are a great idea whenever you go to a sporting event as well.
Strollers not recommended: Many of these places are not the most stroller-friendly. If you can use a foldable stroller or soft carrier for children, I recommend that. If you need a larger stroller, I would skip the Fenway Park tour and just walk around the exterior and take in the awesome scene around the park.
Sneakers, please: Flip-flops won’t cut it for this tour. Make sure you have on the best walking shoes you own (especially if you try the Harvard Stadium stairs!).