I’m often asked if we are happy with our choice to move to the suburbs after a decade of living a car-less and kid-free life in the city. I was incredibly sad when we knew it was time to move. I knew I would miss the Boston skyline I had come to love so much, the daily commute through Copley Square, the multitude of restaurants within feet of our home, and the salty ocean breeze.

While I do still miss Boston, I have continued to be surprised and delighted by the finds in and around our new neighborhood. On the anniversary of our move to the suburbs, I give you my favorites to date; because, as the unofficial tagline goes, “Natick — there’s more to us than the mall…”

Park Street Ice Cream Shoppe

Family owned for more than 40 years, this adorable ice cream shop right in the center of town has been a staple on our family evening walks since day one. Our daughter would drift off to sleep, and it was a time my husband and I could wind down after the work day while enjoying a cone and the beautiful golden hour of summer and fall. The first ice cream cone (and definitely not the last!) I shared with our daughter was from Park Street Ice Cream Shoppe once she figured out we were eating the good stuff! This will be a family summer staple for years to come.

Natick Farmers Market

I never knew I was someone who would love a year-round farmers market, but honestly, what’s not to like?! Farmers markets in the city were always so hard to get to because they would be in the middle of the week. Now, every Saturday vendors come from all over bringing fresh produce, meats and fish, flowers, baked goods, crafts, and some form of entertainment. I’ve picked up teachers’ gifts, fresh flowers as host gifts, delicious fresh bread, and a variety of produce to try. Even if I don’t need anything, I love walking around and sharing in the vibe of the community.

Casey’s Diner

Located in downtown Natick since 1927, Casey’s Diner is a true blast from the past. Come for the structure — a 10-stool diner car — and stay for the steamed hot dogs and classic diner menu. Casey’s diner is on the National Register of Historic Places and is filled to the brim with old photos of Natick. As an amateur historian, I love looking at old photos of our town, finding buildings that are still standing, and envisioning what the town felt like back in the day. With outdoor seating, everyone in our little family (dog included) has found something to enjoy!

Lookout Farm

Things you can’t find in Boston: a farm less than 10 minutes away from your house. Bonus points for a farm that brews its own beer and has amazing food! Lookout Farm has everything, and we’ve only begun to explore it! No matter the time of year, you can head to Lookout Farm for a meal and some drinks. In the winter, a huge covered greenhouse keeps it nice and warm with enough space for kids to run around. We’ve celebrated random Saturdays and my birthday in March there. We will be heading back this summer to enjoy pick-your-own fruit, live music, and more delicious beer and cider. As a born-and-bred New England girl, I know a good cider donut when I see one, and Lookout Farm is absolutely on my top five list of best cider donuts.

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary and Pegan Hill Reservation

I joke that my husband and dog made me a hiker, but it’s 100% true. One of the “must-haves” on our suburban hunt was to find a town that had green space close by. For Christmas this year we were gifted memberships to both Mass Audubon and The Trustees, and we have taken advantage of both as much as we can. I love that we have two hiking spots right in town, making it super easy to pop over for a quick nature bath without having to make a full day of it. 
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Sarah Aspinwall
Sarah grew up in Connecticut, but Massachusetts has always felt like a second home with extended family across the state. With a master's in public health and a lifelong passion for healthcare, Sarah moved to Boston after graduation. She is a fierce advocate for better access and reducing the complexities of the healthcare system. Sarah met her husband covered in sweat and lifting weights at a local CrossFit gym (talk about first impressions!). They adopted a rescue pup from Mississippi and welcomed their daughter in 2021. After nearly a decade of city living, Sarah and her family headed to the Metro West area to start a new adventure in the suburbs. Sarah has volunteered for Community Consulting Teams of Boston (CCT), offering pro bono management consulting to Boston-area nonprofits, and she served a three-year term on the board. She is an alumna member of the Kappa Delta sorority and has served as an advisor to the Northeastern chapter since 2014.