Memorial Day weekend begins Friday, May 28th, and Bostonians are ready to celebrate. Why not gather together with fully vaccinated loved ones (we can do that now) and enjoy all the things Boston has to offer in springtime? Here are a few activities that are up and running for 2021.
Whirl away an afternoon in Paragon Park with a whimsical ride on the carousel. The 1928 addition to the park will be reopening to visitors on May 8th, and the Carousel Creamery will throw its doors open Memorial Day weekend. The covered carousel is open rain or shine, and there's plenty of room for social distancing amid the four rows of horses. Visit the museum and shop for a deeper understanding of the carousel's history and watch artist James Hardison restore one of the iconic carousel horses. Hardison has restored 34 of the 66 carousel horses to date. The Carousel Creamery serves Gifford's award-winning ice cream from Maine, while there are also a variety of savory items such as hot dogs and gooey grilled cheese available. All proceeds from the creamery go to the continued restoration efforts for the carousel.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Outdoor fun is one of the safest ways to enjoy family time during Memorial Day Weekend. The Cape Cod National Seashore has more than 40 miles of pristine beaches to explore, along with ponds, hiking trails, and iconic lighthouses. The Nauset Light Beach is the perfect excursion guarded by the Three Sisters lighthouses. The French Cable Hut still sits on the northern end of the parking lot, the site of the 1870s attempt at laying a transatlantic cable. Check out the murals and sculptures at the Highlands Center, or grab a bite at the Herring Cove Snack Bar. There are 11 walking trails to explore and six biking trails that take riders through a variety of different natural ecosystems.
deCardova Sculpture Park & Museum
Just 20 miles west of Boston is a contemporary art lover's paradise. The deCardova Sculpture Park & Museum is a 30-acre wonderland filled with gorgeous contemporary sculptures that are constantly changing. It displays more than 60 works of art at any given time. Two exhibits are running during Memorial Day Weekend by Sonya Clark, one of which, "Heavenly Bound," honors the dangerous journeys of those who escaped via the Underground Railroad. Artists with sculptures currently in residence include Jim Dine, DeWitt Godfrey, and Nathan Mabry. There's even a fun scavenger hunt for kids to help them experience the art in a new and active way. It can be printed out or done via smartphone.
Take the whole family out to the ballgame! The Boston Red Sox are playing at home Memorial Day weekend (but not on Memorial Day) against the Marlins. Friday night, there's an evening game, and the Saturday and Sunday games will be hosted in the afternoons (7:10 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 1:10 p.m.). Experience America's pastime at Fenway Park like dozens of Bostonians have done since 1912, making it the oldest active ballpark in the country. Enjoy a Fenway Frank and come Cracker Jacks during the seventh inning stretch, readily available at the Home Plate Concourse. Youngsters can visit Wally's Clubhouse, a space for the youngest baseball fans to play and enjoy kid-friendly activities. The Marlins are a formidable rival, so the games are sure to be high-action and great entertainment for the family.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
While most Boston visitors have been to the Franklin Zoo, the more intimate Buttonwood Park Zoo is an excellent alternative for all ages. Celebrating 125 years, BPZoo helps families learn more about the natural world and engage with exciting wildlife from five continents. Get up close with cute creatures like Red Pandas, Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins, and playful North American River Otters. Nearly 40 bird species are living in the zoo, but a visit to the Bald Eagle would be patriotically appropriate for Memorial Day. If the kids are particularly drawn to a specific animal, consider adopting it. Symbolic adoption of an animal helps support its specialized care, enrichment activities and helps protect endangered species.
Cape Ann Whale Watch
Cape Ann Whale Watch guarantees you'll see whales on every tour out to Stellwagen Bank, a national preserve about 12 miles from Gloucester, MA. The World Wildlife Fund has even called the area one of the five best places to whale watch in the world. Hop aboard Hurricane II, a 115-foot vessel with 400 feet of deck space to see every breach or waving tail. Saturday and Sunday tours leave at 8:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. and Friday tours depart at 10 a.m. sharp. There are at least 85 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the area. Watch gigantic humpback, fin, and blue whales swimming in the calm Atlantic waters. The smaller minke, sei, and long-finned pilot whales are just as exciting to watch as they curiously circle the boat.