PAX East Magical Mystery Tour 2011!!
Join us we traverse Boston Wednesday, March 9th and Thursday, March 10th!
Get updates through Twitter: @PAX_MMT
Facebook event page for those of you who like that sort of thing: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=133734206693662
What To Bring?
A list of suggestions:
- You want shoes that are preferably comfortable and have good tread. We will be walking up and down stairs to the subway, between the T stations and our destinations, and around various sites (museums, MIT campus, etc). Boston is covered in snow right now so we may have to walk over snow, slush, ice, water, etc. Boots are suggested.
Winter Wear and Layers
- Again, Boston is covered in snow. It's winter. It's cold. Coats, hats, scarves, gloves, etc might be of interest to you. However, most of our destinations are inside and heated. And many of the subway stations can be quite warm. For this reason, layers are your friend.
- Plastic can work, but there's always a chance it won't. Cash will work even if the machines aren't working. It's also sometimes faster. Having small bills is a good idea for tipping tour guides, waiters, and the like.
- You know, in case you get lost. Or hurt. Or you miss your best friend and need to hear his voice.
My Phone #
- Did you get my PM? Write down my number, put it in your phone, somehow make sure you have it.
Water and Snacks
- Our time is tightly budgeted. While lunch is worked into the schedule everyday, there won't be time to stop at convenience stores/coffee shops/what-have-you. If you think you may want a snack or drink, bring it with you.
- Bags are handy for carrying stuff. Whether you need a place to stash your snacks, store your extra layers when you get warm, cart around your favorite game, or carry souvenirs and toys you buy, a bag is a good idea.
- Did you make trading cards for PAX? This is a good time to get in some early trading of said cards. If you didn't make trading cards, you can still bring business cards or some other sort of info cards to give out to those cool new people you just met and want to stay in contact with later.
- It could be handy to have a copy with you. The MMT trading cards have an abbreviated version of the schedule on the back, so if you show up to the morning meeting (either day), you'll have that one.
Charlie Card/Weekly Pass
- We'll be riding the subway A LOT. It will save you some money if have either a standard Charlie Card ($1.70 per ride instead of $2) or a weekly pass ($15, unlimited rides for a week). Both are available at subway stations. (More info here: http://mbta.com/fares_and_passes/subway/
) At the morning meetings, I'll be helping everyone acquire one if they haven't already.
Boston City Pass
- Buying this could save you a little money if you plan on going to the Aquarium, Museum of Science, and Harvard/Peabody Museums. It's not a big savings ($52 vs $46), but money is money. You can order one online (http://www.citypass.com/boston
) or at the Harvard and Peabody Museums when we go there on Wednesday. (If you buy online, you'll save time at the ticket counter: with the pass, you can cut the lines.) If you don't go to all 3 of places, you will lose money by buying the pass.
Pens and Other Small Items
- General things that can come in handy: pens, paper clips, bobby pins, floss, duct tape. Stuff can go wrong. And you can play MacGuyver and fix it.
A Good Attitude
- We're spending a day or 2 together. Play nice: Don't complain about things I can't fix (the walk/cold/snow/late train). Don't start fights. Don't feed the animals. Don't be a dick.
Below is a list of people who plan to attend. If you plan on attending but your name is not listed, reply to let me know! Also, if you have people coming with you, let me know so I can add +# to your name.
The Smartest Man?
bar room hero
I'll be taking over the majority of the planning and operation of the MMT this year. I'm new at it, so please be nice!
What is the Magical Mystery Tour?
The Magical Mystery Tour (MMT) takes place in the 2 days leading up to PAX (Wednesday 3/9 and Thursday 3/10). It's your chance to visit Boston and see some sights with fellow gamers. It's also a great way to meet people before PAX starts.
What are we going to see?
I don't know yet. Help me out by answering these questions:
How are we getting around? How much will it cost? I want more details!
1. Are you interested? I don't want to lead a tour of 1 (lonely little me
2. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see?
3. If you went last year, is there anything in particular you did or didn't like?
Again, it's a bit too early to know. We'll probably be using public transit to get around the city. Some may say it's not the most reliable method, but it's the cheapest, the easiest, and allows us the most freedom. Cost will vary from person to person. It will be be based on admission prices for places that make the final itinerary, how many of those things you participate it, and how much you spend on food and drink.
Voting is now live!
You can now vote on where we're going on the tour. Go to this site
, make an account and get voting. When you sign up, please check which days you plan on attending. It will be a huge help when I make the schedule! Also, if you have any physical handicaps, food allergies, or anything else I may need to take into account, please use the box at the bottom of the sign-up page to let me know. This info (as well as your contact info) will be viewable by me, but not the general public. This is not the final official sign-up for the MMT but if you enter all pertinent info now, it will save you a step later.
All this info is included on the voting site, but if you want a refresher before you go there, our potential destinations are:
(Prices listed are per each adult. Discounts are often given for children, seniors, students, and sometimes military.)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
What it is: Tour of Symphony Hall
Hours: Wed, 4pm
What it is: Kart Racing
Price: $10 for an F1 license and $28 to actually drive on the track
Hours: 12pm - 10pm
Additional Notes: must be 18+ with valid driver's license. It's a bit out of the way since it's in Braintree, not Boston, and using public transit will take us about an our to get there by bus.
What it is: The Green Monstah! 50 minute tour of Red Sox home field (I don't know sports, so if my terminology is wrong, write a post to call me out on it and flog me).
Hours: 9am – 4pm at each hour
What it is: A walking tour of historic Boston sites. Roughly 2.5 miles in 90 minutes
Price: $12 for guided tour (plus admission to some sites)
Hours: 11am - 4:30pm (specific start times depending on where we start)
Additional Notes: We can do a self-guided tour to avoid the $12 ticket price, but it's less fun.
Spots on the Trail:
Park Street Church
Granary Burying Ground
King’s Chapel Burying Ground
Benjamin Franklin Statue/Boston Latin School (Oldest Public School)
Old Corner Book Store
Old South Meeting House ($6)
Old State House ($7.50)
Site of Boston Massacre
Paul Revere House ($3.50)
Old North Church
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
Bunker Hill Monument
Gibson House Museum
What it is: Museum of a late 1800’s row house
Price: $9 guided tour
Hours: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm
Additional Notes: Museum is 4 floors and has no elevator. Cash or check ONLY, no cards accepted!
What it is: “Narrated tasting” (proper brewery tours are only on weekends)
Hours: 2pm and 4pm
Additional Notes: Since it's a tasting, it may be only 21+. The website doesn't say.
Harvard Museum of Natural History*
What it is: Another Museum (actually 2 museums). At Harvard. Including the glass flowers exhibit
Price: $9 (includes admission to Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology)
Hours: 9am – 5pm
Additional Notes: Included in the Boston City Pass. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is home of the Masked Festival of Canton Bo
which some people were interested in seeing last year.
Institute of Contemporary Art
What is it: An art museum
Price: $15 (admission price includes optional 45 min guided tour)
Hours: Wed 10am – 5pm, Thu 10am – 9pm
Isabella Sewart Gardner Museum
What it is: Art in a 3 story “Venetian-style palace” with courtyard
Price: $12 (children under 18 and people named Isabella are free)
Hours: 11am – 5pm
Additional Notes: No really, the website says if your name is Isabella, you get for free
JFK Presidential Library & Museum*
Mary Baker Eddy Library
What it is: Library/museum centered around a female writer in the late 1800’s
Price: $6 each
Hours: 10am – 4pm
Additional Notes: Home to the Mapparium
! A 3 story painted glass globe.
What it is: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Campus tours, public art collection, museum (with exhibits on robots, stop-motion photography, and other cool stuff), and more
Price: many things are free. $7.50 for the museum
Times: varies depending on what we do. Campus tours are 11am and 3pm. Museum hours are 10am - 5pm
Additional Notes: They periodically have some very cool-sounding events. Check out what will be happening when we're in town.
Museum of African American History
What it is: Abiel Smith School, African Meeting House, and an optional 1.6 mile walking tour
Hours: 10am – 4pm
Museum of Fine Arts*
What it is: Museum of Fine Arts. Can't say it any plainer than that.
Hours: 10am – 9:45 pm
Museum of Science*
New England Aquarium*
What it is: An aquarium. Look at the fish, turtles, penguins, octopi, etc.
Hours: 9am – 5pm
Sam Adams Brewery
What it is: 1 hour brewery tour with samplings
Price: Free! (suggested donation: $2)
Hours: 10am – 3pm
Additional Notes: All ages allowed, but if you want to sample the beers, you must be 21+ and have a valid ID. International people, have your passport with you!
Sports Museum (TD Bank Garden)
*Boston City Pass
You probably noticed the asterisks on some of those items. Those are things that are included in the Boston City Pass
. The city pass costs $46 and will get you into 5 attractions in the city (Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, New England Aquarium, Skywalk Observatory, and the JFK Library OR Harvard Museum of Natural History. (I don't know why you have to choose between those last 2, but you do.) We'll probably go to 2 or 3 of those places, so the pass will likely be worth it. We'll discuss it more in a couple months after we've voted on our destinations.
MMT After Hours
Most of the attractions/sites on our list shut down between 5 and 6pm. So what then? There's plenty to do on Thursday: pre-PAX dinner
, pubcrawl, and boardgame night
. But Wednesday evening is open. Do you want to do something then? How about:
Blue Man Group
What it is: A show involving music, comedy, airborn Jello-O molds, strobe lights, tons of crepe paper, and even some art (immediately after the show, maybe you can be the one to buy the painting made on stage that night).
Price: $45-$69 (see additional notes)
Hours: Wed 8pm
Additional Notes: I know it's expensive and I know you won't all be able to go. If you CAN get the money together, I promise you'll have a great time! If we can get 15 people who definitely want to go, we can get the group rate so that it's $45 per person instead of the $69 you'd pay on your own. The catch is that you would have to be able to get the money to me about a month in advance so that I can order the group's tickets. It would be fantastic if we could get a group to go. If you would seriously consider going, let me know. I'll start a list and see if we can get at least 15 people in on it.
Kropotkin is going to send me some of the Forum Badges to distribute during the MMT. If you want your name on the back (all the cool kids do!), make sure to tell me you plan on attending. I will be sending him a list of names when voting closes on Feb. 8th.