Cheap fun activities to do in Malden, MA (Boston) this week
December 20, 2009 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I am traveling to Boston (Malden, MA - to be precise) this week and will be there for a about 2 1/2 days. What would be fun but not too expensive activities for two people (1guy/1girl) without a car in this weather?

I have read many of the previous posts on Boston travel on askme but I will be in Malden instead of Boston and wouldn't have a car and am dependent on public transportation. I'm looking for activities I could do where we don't have to travel too far away as I don't know how it would be traveling via public transportation if it snows most of the time.

After going through the previous threads, I have thought of museums, watching some movie, ice skating, visiting the mall, any Christmas related event, duck tour?, etc am open to anything which sounds like fun and specific things as recommended by the hivemind.

(I might be able to book a zipcar for a few hours though but not for too long. No animal related activities please.)

posted by bbyboi to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Where in Malden are you staying? I don't know if this eases your anxiety about public transportation, but there are two subway stations in Malden that'll get you downtown in fifteen minutes, which'll give you access to all that stuff in the previous Boston questions. Potential snow might affect the bus system, but it's of little consequence to the subway unless it's catastrophically bad. Compared to going into the city, there isn't a ton to do in Malden or the surrounding area without a car. Malden is where that particular branch of the rapid transit line ends, and from there on out it's all buses or commuter rail if you're going further north. There are buses that'll take you further out into the suburbs, to shopping centers, etc., but it'd probably take longer and be more complicated than just taking the T into the city.
posted by Kosh at 5:20 PM on December 20, 2009

Response by poster: @Kosh, Thanks for your reply. I will be staying near the McDonald Stadium so yes, I am pretty close to the Malden Center T.
posted by bbyboi at 5:41 PM on December 20, 2009

Best answer: If you avoid the lines that are above-ground, you should be pretty good to go regardless of the snow situation. They're very good with clearing the lines, too. Mostly, try not to go on the Green line. That keeps you from the symphony, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Newbury Street, and an assortment of other things, but the Red line can get you to a lot of interesting places in Cambridge (Harvard, MIT, Porter and Davis Square) and Downtown Crossing in Boston which is your central commercial shopping/drinking/movies/theater spot.

However, do your very best to have shoes with really excellent traction. The ice can be killer.
posted by Mizu at 5:53 PM on December 20, 2009

FYI - it's supposed to be sunny and warm ("warm") all week up until Friday. The only thing you'll really have to worry about are big puddles and ice at night.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:00 PM on December 20, 2009

If you like Chinese or Ethiopian food, there are two restaurants (Fuloon and Habesha, excellent and pretty good respectively) in Malden Center that are well worth trying.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:19 PM on December 20, 2009

Best answer: As a Malden native, my advice is to take the Orange Line in to Boston. Ruggles station puts you a ten minute walk from The Museum of Fine Arts and the incomparable Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum. Mass Art and the Museum School are right there as well, often some cool shows to see there as well.
posted by Scoo at 6:21 PM on December 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Take the orange line to Haymarket and walk around Fanieul Hall and the north end (the italian section, lots of cafes, restaurants, and pastry shops)- as long as it's not unbearably cold, it's quite pretty in the winter! Also, you can get off at Downtown Crossing and go ice skating on Frog Pond on Boston Common- it's cheap to rent skates and very fun. There's a big Loews movie theater near the common, as well.
posted by emd3737 at 6:38 PM on December 20, 2009

Oh god, the Gardiner Museum was the very first thing I thought of when I saw this, and is something you really really shouldn't miss. I've only been in the summer, but I hear they sometimes have chamber music in the winter...
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:13 PM on December 20, 2009

Best answer: I just went to the Gardner Museum a few weeks ago. It's great. It's a little expensive [$12?] and if you go when they're playing chamber music and you'renot paying for chamber music, parts of the museum are closed off until the music is over and the place is mobbed. If either of you [or someone you're staying with] is local you should really check to see if there are any museum passes that you can get. The local library systems have a reservation system online [example for Belmont MA] and if someone has a card you can reserve passes and save money on admission [I think for us we each paid $4 instead of $12] to there or a few other neat places around the area. I also went to the JFK museum/library [expensive but you can get a pass] and the Commonwealth Museum [across the street from there and free] which are both accessible by T and in a sort of neat-view part of the city.
posted by jessamyn at 8:00 PM on December 20, 2009

Best answer: Mizu, I'm not sure that I agree with this advice:
"Mostly, try not to go on the Green line. That keeps you from the symphony, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Newbury Street, and an assortment of other things...."

The green line up to the Symphony stop is underground, and in general the green line isn't so bad. I wouldn't want to have to commute on it, but for general toursity activities, it will be ok. And even with that, the T has a cool trip planner feature that can tell you the routes and times you need to get anywhere the T goes.

I also love Google Maps' transit overlay.

Have fun!
posted by reddot at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for great posts everyone. I have started going through more of the previous threads after @Kosh mentioned I don't need to worry too much about traveling to Boston.

The Gardiner Museum was recommended in almost all threads - I'll definitely check that out. :)

@emd3737 - plan sounds good, thanks!
@jessamyn - Thanks for the tip about the museum pass. My friend is a local but doesn't have a membership - but $12 should be fine I guess :)
@reddot - The google maps transit overlay is so cool! I have been checking out places on google maps and its definitely more helpful trying to find easy-to-travel places now.
posted by bbyboi at 5:42 PM on December 21, 2009

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