Ideas for a 75th birthday celebration within 1.5 hrs drive of Boston
June 26, 2022 9:20 AM   Subscribe

My mum turns 75 in July, and for the actual day, we'd like to take her to a fancy lunch or tea in a beautiful location, not more than an hour and half from Boston MA. Her birthday is a Wednesday. Assume transport not an issue. We'll be a party of 10 - four 70+ adults (one with some mobility issues) , four 40ish adults, and 2 toddlers Some ideas we've come up with below the fold, but I'd love to hear your suggestions or experiences doing something similar

So here's some thoughts so far , but I'm sure there's more out there we dont know about or havent thought about. Assume we're looking at $100-200 per person (so no private jets to Martha's Vineyard)

1. Afternoon tea someplace fancy - downside is most places offer these at the weekend only, and her birthday is a wednesday. The only mid-week option, at the Boston Public Library, has a max reservation size of 6
2. Drive to one of the mansions or clifftop hotels in Newport RI, and have lunch there.
3. Hire a company that will set up a picnic somewhere gorgeous (with chairs and tables) (example only)- but we'd have to figure out food separately. Any thoughts on good locations for this?

- Must have vegetarian food options (including one lactose intolerant person)
- 2 toddlers so someplace they can also have fun is preferable
- one of the party cant walk comfortably for distances or on inclines, so nothing where we have to hike to the top of a hill for a gorgeous view
posted by darsh to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Endicott Estate?

Looks like one of the pictures is of tea
posted by bowmaniac at 9:39 AM on June 26, 2022

You'd have to check with all the specifics in terms of mobility but there is a lovely cafe at the New England Botanic Gardens at Tower Hill in Boylston MA. They have a cafe that is more lighter fare (grain bowls, sandwiches, etc) but the location is gorgeous and they seem to be up on accessibility issues (though they don't mention it on the website). If the weather is right, it's a pretty amazing experience and it minimizes travel time. Here is their group visit page. They also do room reservations and catering and it might be worth a phone call to ask about it.
posted by jessamyn at 9:42 AM on June 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

So as not to abuse the edit window: my mother used to go there with her photography club and here are some photos she took of the place.
posted by jessamyn at 9:43 AM on June 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

Again, not 100% sure about mobility, and you'll have to ask about price, but the Crane Estate is gorgeous and you can rent out the Tavern at the local fancy hotel on the grounds.
posted by praemunire at 12:28 PM on June 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't have a venue recommendation, except to suggest someplace on Cape Ann, but I'm just stopping by to say that 1.5 hours to drive to lunch or tea feels like a very long time. Especially for the toddlers but also for the 70+ contingent. I'd like to suggest you dial it back to 45 minutes, max.
posted by beagle at 3:47 PM on June 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

deCordova possibly?
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:49 PM on June 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

Just to elaborate, Decordova is definitely wheelchair accessible so it would also work well for people with strollers and anybody with mobility issues. It's a statue garden so there are lots of cool, interactive statues to entertain the kids, and there's an indoor museum as well if somehow weather doesn't pan out or you just want to see a pretty cool museum. There might be a few statues that are not accessible / you might need to walk up a few stairs to get to them. The grounds are beautiful and would make for a great photo op.
The downside is that I looked at the menu and while there are lots of vegetarian options, it seems like the menu is quite small. There are restaurants nearby, though.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 8:34 PM on June 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

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