Things to do in Boston that are not pax?

justbored215justbored215 Registered User regular
edited October 2013 in PAX East
So I was unfortunately only able to obtain tickets for Friday and Sunday =(. This is my first year doing PAX and I've never been to Boston. What sort of stuff should I do on Sat to keep my mind off of PAX.

Also, unrelated, last year what day was the future of online gaming panel held? If they do it again I'd like to be there, hopefully it's not on on sat.

Sorry in advance if this should have been posted somewhere else.

zerzhul on
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  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2013
    this is fine, although I'm going to edit your title to be a little more general to foster a broader discussion.

    zerzhul on
  • mahshahmahshah Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    Well, its maybe not the best if you want to take your mind OFF PAX, but you could look into some of the parties that will be announced for Saturday -- the Elder Scrolls party last year was awesome and I don't think you needed a badge to get in. Even if you did a Friday/Sunday pass probably would have worked fine.

    mahshah on
  • justbored215justbored215 Registered User regular
    mahshah wrote: »
    Well, its maybe not the best if you want to take your mind OFF PAX, but you could look into some of the parties that will be announced for Saturday -- the Elder Scrolls party last year was awesome and I don't think you needed a badge to get in. Even if you did a Friday/Sunday pass probably would have worked fine.

    I totally forgot about that. I hope they do something like that this year. I'm really bummed about not being able to go on Saturday so it would be really cool to participate somehow.

  • stardust462stardust462 Leominster, MARegistered User regular
    Here are some suggestions to get you started. If you like Italian food, be sure to check out the North End. If you like baseball, take a tour of Fenway. If you like beer, do a tour of the Sam Adams brewery. If you like history, do the Freedom Trail. If you like art, go to the Museum of Fine Arts. If you like science, check out the Museum of Science. Walk around Boston Common and the Boston Gardens. Take a duck tour, ride a swan boat. Check out Harvard Square.

  • SchmulkiSchmulki Registered User regular
    You could always go either the ebay route or swing by the convention center on Sat morning and see if there's anyone selling tix. Normally, if someone still has a ticket by then, they don't have them stupidly marked up anymore....if there are any left.*



    *Normal disclaimers about scalpers being bad and tickets possibly being fake and so on.

  • justbored215justbored215 Registered User regular
    Here are some suggestions to get you started. If you like Italian food, be sure to check out the North End. If you like baseball, take a tour of Fenway. If you like beer, do a tour of the Sam Adams brewery. If you like history, do the Freedom Trail. If you like art, go to the Museum of Fine Arts. If you like science, check out the Museum of Science. Walk around Boston Common and the Boston Gardens. Take a duck tour, ride a swan boat. Check out Harvard Square.

    Great Ideas! My girlfriend is a history major so she'll love the the freedom trail and the Sam Adams brewery and the Museum of Science sounds great! I feel pretty confident that I'll find something.

  • justbored215justbored215 Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    You could always go either the ebay route or swing by the convention center on Sat morning and see if there's anyone selling tix. Normally, if someone still has a ticket by then, they don't have them stupidly marked up anymore....if there are any left.*



    *Normal disclaimers about scalpers being bad and tickets possibly being fake and so on.
    I wish I was confident enough that I won't be ripped off to do this, but I'm not. Saturday seems to be the peek and I feel like I'm missing out =(.

  • xilxil Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    You could always go either the ebay route or swing by the convention center on Sat morning and see if there's anyone selling tix. Normally, if someone still has a ticket by then, they don't have them stupidly marked up anymore....if there are any left.*



    *Normal disclaimers about scalpers being bad and tickets possibly being fake and so on.
    I wish I was confident enough that I won't be ripped off to do this, but I'm not. Saturday seems to be the peek and I feel like I'm missing out =(.

    If i remember correctly they have a thing in the main lobby of the BCEC to check if a badge is fake or not before buying.

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  • TemigTemig East [E] North Shore - MARegistered User regular
    xil wrote: »
    If i remember correctly they have a thing in the main lobby of the BCEC to check if a badge is fake or not before buying.

    Yep. The Enforcers @ Infobooth will gladly validate a badge for you if it comes to that. If you REALLY feel like you're going to be missing out by not attending Saturday, it's certainly an option and you may be lucky enough to find someone that just wants to sell of a couple of extra passes at face value for friends that couldn't make it. Of course, if that doesn't happen you've been given a LOT of great suggestions. In addition to the Sam Adams brewery, there's also the Harpoon brewery which is only blocks away from the BCEC that you may want to consider as well. Tours/tastings are only something like $5.

    The Museum of Science is pretty great too. The Planetarium and Omni Theatre are typically good bets to check out while there (extra cost), as well as the giant Van de Graaff generator that they do shows with which are included with exhibition hall passes. I should really go there more often myself... it's been years.

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  • LuthienLuthien Halifax, NSRegistered User regular
    We went down a day early last year, went to the aquarium which was not high on my prioraty list untill we got there, it was a super cool way to kill most of an afternoon. Definatly recommend the 2 brewery tours as well.

  • macross33macross33 MARegistered User regular
    There is a ton to do in Boston and almost all of it is a train ride away for cheap money. If you have never been the Museum of fine arts is fantastic and it is within walking distance of the Elizabeth Stuart Gardener museum which is not as big but great also. From there walk up huntington to mass ave and up mass ave to Newbury street for some cool, albeit expensive, stores. Then head over to the prudential center to see more things. If you'd like to avoid shopping instead hop on a bus and head out to the civil war fort on castle island and take in the harbor view.

  • gwidiongwidion Registered User regular
    There are other things in Boston besides PAX? What kind of blasphemy is this!

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  • KythosKythos Mister. Registered User regular
    I went on the MMT (Magical Mystery Tour or some such) and it was a blast. We went to quite a few places: aquarium, science and tech museum, Faneuil Hall, Sam Adams and Harpoon Breweries, and a few restaurants. I forget some of the other places we went.

    Personally, I myself went to a few restaurants that my friends recommended. I did the Freedom Trail (with a guide) for cheap and did the rest myself (they only do so much of the trail with a guide). Checked out some of the nightlife by Copley and Prudential (nice place to people watch). Boston Museum of Fine Arts was another stop I did (Wednesdays are free after 5 or something, IIRC). Franklin Zoo hardly had any animals outside, mainly due to the cold weather at the time but it might be nice.

    On a side note, Boston University and/or Boston College might be a nice change of scenery. I tried looking for one of my fraternity chapters but failed to find it.

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  • kensborokensboro Registered User regular
    Consider a trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History; it's only a few $ to get in, and the gem/minerals room alone is well worth the trip.
    The Glass Flower room is also very cool, and their collection of Mayan/Aztec artifacts is fantastic.

  • twitchseytwitchsey Registered User new member
    Hey, so native Massachussetts resident here. granted I cant for the life of me spell my own state. Ill give you a couple of my personal recomendations.

    Things to do near the Convention Center (within like a mile or two)
    Fanuil Hall- Typical Tourist area. huge food market, and a bunch of stores/local new england stuff. historical buildings, and usually some street performers/musicians out. its a fun couple of hours to wander it. I suggest Steve's Greek if you are looking for lunch.

    New England Aquarium - I love aquariums. This one is awesome. there is a shark and ray touch tank in it. plus a jellyfish room. and there is an octopus there too. Oh, also a giant tubular tank that goes like 4 stories up in the middle of the aquarium, surrounded by pools full of penguins.

    Newbury Street - high end shopping. if you were worried about not being able to spend enough money at PAX, this is the place to go. things like an entire store dedicated to fancy handmade soaps. plus a few good sushi joints on newbury as well.

    Things to do with a bit of a hike (more that two ish miles)
    Franklin Park Zoo- Its a typical Zoo. bunch of animals, a petting zoo, and for an additional like 3 bucks you can wander a wooded path with animatronic dinosaurs. because, why not.

    Museum of Fine Arts - This is a pure gem. Seriously. Do this. its worth the 30 bucks or whatever it is. Monets Waterlillies is sitting in here, along with a whole bunch of giant paintings of people harpooning sharks (ok. there is one that I remember, but it looks awesome).

    Things to look out for

    The Allston/Brighton areas of boston have a lot of good music clubs. look at the Paradise and the Middle East to start. Sometimes the Middle East does Post PAX followup shows with some of the PAX performers.

  • purevalpureval Registered User regular
    If you have time check out the Holocaust Memorial too. It is pretty quick but powerful.

    stardust462
  • aBByNormaLaBByNormaL Registered User regular
    pureval wrote: »
    If you have time check out the Holocaust Memorial too. It is pretty quick but powerful.

    Would be interesting, I have been to Dachau in Munich it had quite an impact very somber. Almost surreal.

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  • GeekyPanda404GeekyPanda404 The Geeky Panda ConnecticutRegistered User regular
    Check-Out the Prudential Center Mall for your shopping needs, the Mall area has a GameStop, Microsoft Store, and a few other places too.

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  • ruggratruggrat Registered User regular
    The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is very short walk from the BCEC, if you are open to contemporary art. It's also a really funky building with an awesome "chill-out" room overlooking the harbor.

  • designfemmedesignfemme Registered User new member
    edited October 2013
    Red Line to Harvard Square. It's only a few stops from Park Street/Downtown Crossing (the major intersection for subways). Nice place to walk around, eat, drink, shop — and it's tourist-friendly without being overly touristy (unlike Fanueil Hall). http://www.harvardsquare.com/

    And if you have some time to check out a movie, I highly recommend visiting the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, known for art house, indie, and fun cheesy cult classics. http://brattlefilm.org/

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  • Tanjin90Tanjin90 Registered User regular
    Do not forget the museum of bad art!

  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    I live in Boston! So things to do that are a bit off the beaten path:

    Head to the Publick House in Brookline to have their amazing Mac n Cheese and try their massive Belgian beer selection (off the Green "C" line)

    Go tour the JFK Library at UMass Boston (Red line JFK / UMass station, though it is a walk).

    Check out the many Newbury Comics stores around the city.

    Head over to Cambridge at Central Square and do some shopping and eating.

    Seconding Harvard Square off the red line as somewhere you have to go as a tourist.

    Go see the Trinity Church at Copley Square, and then go across the street to see the Boston Public Library.

    If it's crazy cold spend half the day wandering the heated and covered malls through the Prudential Center.

    Walk down Beacon Hill and look at the old houses, before grabbing lunch or dinner at Figs restaurant, getting their amazing fig and prosciutto pizza.

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  • imnotalawyerimnotalawyer Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Cabadrin wrote: »
    Head to the Publick House in Brookline to have their amazing Mac n Cheese and try their massive Belgian beer selection (off the Green "C" line)

    Glad somebody else mentioned this!

    I found this place by chance last time I attended PAX (2011?) and have been thinking about it ever since. I remember their website used to be eatgoodfooddrinkbetterbeer.com but it has since gone down. I was worried the place closed!

    I can also attest to the fact that the Museum of Science and Aquarium are LEGIT.

    Minor consolation but if there is a specific panels that you have to see, I recall them streaming many of them. It sucks that you cannot participate but you don't have to miss out entirely!

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  • JobiwanKenobiJobiwanKenobi Registered User regular
    Regarding the Freedom Trail, there is a guided tour starting from Boston Common that has guides in period costume that lead the tour in character. Its a lot of fun, and I'd highly recommend it.



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  • jaxjaggywiresjaxjaggywires Sneaking up behind youRegistered User regular
    I took the trolley tour in Boston this year, and it was pretty informative. Stops at various places of interest, and will pick you up every 15 minutes (believe it was 15 minutes). Nice way to see some sights if that's your thing.

  • CabadrinCabadrin Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Cabadrin wrote: »
    Head to the Publick House in Brookline to have their amazing Mac n Cheese and try their massive Belgian beer selection (off the Green "C" line)
    I found this place by chance last time I attended PAX (2011?) and have been thinking about it ever since. I remember their website used to be eatgoodfooddrinkbetterbeer.com but it has since gone down. I was worried the place closed!

    Nope, we're heading there tonight. Still open and arguably better food than 2011!

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  • a fraking toastera fraking toaster W1TRK Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    if your into military stuff theres the uss cassin young (ww2 destroyer) that might be open to public by then.its closed now but should be open by april.i belive you can actully go on and in the ship and see what it was like to live on it.

    on a seperate note,im looking for a few people to hang around boston on saturday with if theres anyone that wants to chill.

    a fraking toaster on
  • KorvasKorvas Registered User regular
    also, just hanging around the hotel lobbies can be a fun time... I know threw my travels from the convention to my room I always saw groups of ppl playing board games, chilling with their handhelds or just hanging out, and relaxing. one of the best things about pax east is that its not really hard to find something going on outside of the main convention.

    but I do highly recommend the museum of science and the aquarium... :)

  • miker525miker525 New YorkRegistered User regular
    I believe there is the ghost trail you can check out. It's essentially a walkthrough of multiple different 'haunted' locations throughout Boston. In addition if you're interested (especially if you are a student) MIT is not far and is really cool. Even just walking around the architecture in the buildings there is really unique and very different from anything else I've seen. Also if you're a fan of the Dropkick Murphys their pub/sports bar is around town. As others have said the hotels always have stuff going on too from board game parties to just groups of friends. The nice thing about PAX is everyone is really friendly and you're sure to make friends. I was really nervous going three days alone last year but I made some awesome friends from all over the country that I still keep in touch with and can't wait to hang out with again. Overall Boston is flooded with awesome things to do not-PAX related, but if you want to stay sort of PAX related, you'll still find awesome things to do.

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  • rascrushrascrush Registered User regular
    i just posted about maybe going to a celtics game friday night so if that interest you post in that thread.

  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    If you are into hockey, there is a Bruins game in Boston Saturday afternoon (12:30).
    There's also the Blue Man Group (if you've never seen it and are into that sort of thing).
    If you have time to kill and don't mind a 20 minute boat ride, the Harbor Islands are cool; specifically, George's Island is awesome. This only works if you have good weather though.
    There are also TONS of tours of all varieties and styles.

    As said already, Boston is a walking city and there is so much around that is within walking distance no matter where you are.

    Le_Goat on
    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Also going to add in that if you are looking for something to do Sunday night (since everything PAX shuts down earlier on Sunday) and are into industrial, Godflesh is playing Sunday night at the Royale, which is near the Commons (279 Tremont St). I'm considering leaving PAX on Sunday very early to rest up for the show. Seeing as PAX wipes you out, adding a show to end the PAX festivities could be crippling, but it's Godflesh so I may just take Monday off as well.

    And then there is the new ice bar that just got built in Faneuil Hall: http://www.frosticebar.com/. It will probably be cold out, but it's something a bit different.

    Le_Goat on
    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
  • rascrushrascrush Registered User regular
    am i the only one who has never heard of godflesh lol

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Schmulki wrote: »
    You could always go either the ebay route or swing by the convention center on Sat morning and see if there's anyone selling tix. Normally, if someone still has a ticket by then, they don't have them stupidly marked up anymore....if there are any left.*

    *Normal disclaimers about scalpers being bad and tickets possibly being fake and so on.
    I wish I was confident enough that I won't be ripped off to do this, but I'm not. Saturday seems to be the peek and I feel like I'm missing out =(.

    The bulk of street sales are people that buy low and sell high off the street...so people who have decided to do other Boston-y stuff that day who sold their badge for ten bucks to the guy, who is now reselling it for forty, to make a profit. Aside from one incident at Prime a couple years ago, this is historically a pretty safe method to get a badge. You shouldn't let your worries stop you from enjoying PAX on Saturday if it's something you really want to do. Money, either...odds are anything you go to do in Boston that day will cost more than an off-the-street badge. ;)

    That said, I took a day (mostly) off from Prime this year and rather enjoyed it. Prime was four days, so a little different, but still. Was fun. Definitely look at alternative events or adventures around Boston, you may not regret it.

    Sorry, no actual specific advice for you, just words of encouragement.

  • upstateny-danupstateny-dan Registered User regular
    Great suggestions here, coming for Friday/Saturday for PAX. Wife and daughter coming to Friday. Figure we'd leave Sunday to see Boston since we rarely get out there (live in upstate NY).

    Any kid friendly must sees? Definitely going to the aquarium, anything else? I'm going to freak not being able to do harpoon, don't think they let 1 1/2 yr olds go on tastings though lol.

  • scottyb1218scottyb1218 BostonRegistered User regular
    Any kid friendly must sees? Definitely going to the aquarium, anything else?

    Definitely check out the Boston Children's Museum. It's relatively close to the BCEC and super fun for kids and parents alike.

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  • aBByNormaLaBByNormaL Registered User regular
    Great suggestions here, coming for Friday/Saturday for PAX. Wife and daughter coming to Friday. Figure we'd leave Sunday to see Boston since we rarely get out there (live in upstate NY).

    Any kid friendly must sees? Definitely going to the aquarium, anything else? I'm going to freak not being able to do harpoon, don't think they let 1 1/2 yr olds go on tastings though lol.

    Dan, travelling with my 12yr old and checked the Harpoon site see below from their FAQ

    Q: Do I have to be 21+ to enter the Visitor Center & Beer Hall?
    A: All visitors must be at least 21 years old, with the exception of infants and children accompanied by a parent. On Saturdays, the Visitor Center & Beer Hall is 21+ only. Harpoon reserves the right to deny admission to anyone under 21 at any time.

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  • Le_GoatLe_Goat Frechified Goat Person BostonRegistered User regular
    Any kid friendly must sees? Definitely going to the aquarium, anything else? I'm going to freak not being able to do harpoon, don't think they let 1 1/2 yr olds go on tastings though lol.
    Since you will be coming from the Mass Pike, stop in Springfield to/from and check out the Dr. Seuss memorial. You may enjoy it more than your daughter, seeing all the characters in life-size bronze statues. If you go, don't forget Yurtle the Turtle in the back; that one is easy to miss.

    While I agree that being insensitive is an issue, so is being oversensitive.
    upstateny-dan
  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    Something that I think would be fun would be a dinner group or something like that. I know that there is the Pre-Pax dinner, but I am thinking more along the other days during pax. My wife and I like to go to nicer or more interesting restaurants that aren't necessarily around the convention center. Since the other people in our group just like nearby convenient food we usually strike out by ourselves while they hit up Dunkin Donuts. While that is not a problem and we have not gone anyplace we don't like it might be nice to join some other like minded people for the occasional foray.

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  • BritalityBritality Registered User regular
    Don't really need to validate anyone else's suggestions but I absolutely second:

    New England Aquarium
    Museum of Science
    MFA
    Cambridge to eat and wander (And, you can cross off Newbury Comics at the Garage here, though it's one of the smaller locations)
    Publick House is amazing.

    Also, if you're into chocolate, check out L.A. Burdick, and have chocolate possibly ruined for you forever.

    schuss
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