Newton, MA is forever earning accolades for being an amazing place to live. This is doubtlessly related to its great property values, public schools, historic homes, and close proximity to Boston. But it also has a lot to do with the many parks, museums, historical sites, and other things to do in Newton, MA. Try spending your next free day visiting one of these Newton landmarks. Then, when it comes time to buy property or rent an apartment in Newton, MA, turn to Newton Pads.
Have a picnic and a dip at Crystal Lake Park.
Picturesque and massive Crystal Lake claims 33 acres of Newton Centre and is mostly surrounded by private homes. But, there is a lovely public park on the lake that draws revelers all summer. Come spend the day picnicking at one of the public tables between dips in the water. There is a bathhouse nearby, so you can stay until dinnertime. Kids can also enroll in swim lessons at the lake over the summer. With beautiful, clear water over a scenic natural landscape, and excellent public facilities, Crystal Lake Park is one of the best things to do in Newton, MA during the summer.
Step into history at Durant-Kendrick House and Grounds.
Durant-Kendrick is more than a history museum. This restored and renovated 1734 home takes visitors of all ages through the centuries with interactive exhibits. Different areas of the museum tell detailed stories about the real families who lived there and invite guests to enjoy a hands-on experience of eras past. It is a creative and engaging way to learn about history whether you are 3 or 103 years old. And, in the spring and summer, the grounds and gardens are a lovely place for a stroll. Living history at Durant-Kendrick house has got to be one of the best things to do in Newton, MA.
Cheer on the marathon runners at Heartbreak Hill.
Heartbreak Hill is the notoriously most difficult stretch of the Boston Marathon, one of the most notoriously difficult marathon races in the country. The hill comes about 20 miles into the course, the last of four hills in Newton. It does not look too steep, but that far into the race, many runners say they “hit the wall,” meaning they run out of glycogen stores in their muscles. You can help by turning out on race day to offer fruit, water, and encouragement. It only comes once a year, but it is among the most fun and kind things to do in Newton, MA.
Experiment with the acoustics at Echo Bridge.
Built in 1877, this historic bridge stretches across the Charles River in the Hemlock Gorge Reservation. Aside from being an architectural gem surrounded by lovely trees and natural life, Echo Bridge hides a delightful acoustic oddity that is its namesake. Anyone who follows a walkway beneath the bridge and talks, sings, or yells will hear dramatic reverberations on par with a grand cathedral. This makes the bridge a popular spot for acoustic and physics enthusiasts. Locals around the neighborhood sometimes hold informal get-togethers under the bridge, always careful to leave it in good condition afterwards. The community would not want to do any harm to historic Echo Bridge, which is among the most delightful things to do in Newton, MA.
See a real Underground Railroad safe house – The Jackson Homestead and Museum.
William Jackson, who lived in the federal style Jackson Homestead from 1820 until his death in 1855, was a vocal abolitionist. He offered up the property to enslaved people fleeing north on the Underground Railroad. Since then, the house and grounds have joined the National Register of Historic Places and been converted into a museum. The museum offers exhibits about the history of the area, the Underground Railroad, and the fight to end slavery. Researchers should note that the museum houses the archives of Historic Newton. And even casual history buffs should definitely count the Jackson Homestead and Museum as one of the best things to do in Newton, MA.
Play a round of golf at Newton Commonwealth Golf Course.
There are a handful of private golf courses in Newton, but Newton Commonwealth Golf Course is open to the public. This beautifully maintained, 18 hole, public golf course is open 7 days a week during the warmer months. The fairly challenging course, filled with water and sand bunkers, also features a gorgeous 1920s clubhouse. Play a round with family or friends, then hit the shower and relax on the stone patio. Just be sure to make a reservation online ahead of time. Newton Commonwealth Golf Course is a great place for a classic pastime, and one of the best things to do in Newton, MA on a sunny day.
Explore the exhibits at the McMullen Museum of Art.
This gem of an art museum, run by Boston College, is just slightly outside Newton city limits. But, it is super close, and merits a visit. The creatively presented collection is full of international art, including plenty of 16th century European and baroque pieces. Best of all, there is no admission cost. In a charming building and full of lovely paintings, sculptures, stained glass pieces, and more, the McMullen Museum of Art is one of the best things to do on Newton, MA – especially if you are looking for a way to pass a rainy day.
Catch a game at Boston College Alumni Stadium.
Although there are plenty of historical sites and art museums in the Boston area, New Englanders also love sports. The Boston College Alumni Stadium, located on Perimeter Road in Newton, is an excellent place to catch a top notch football game. Start by tailgating in the parking lot, then grab your seat – there is not a bad view, but those facing west, away from Boston, get the most sun. Grab some popcorn, and cheer along with the other fans. Some of the best teams in the country play here, and so does the Boston College marching band. During football season, it has got to be one of the best things to do in Newton, MA.