Things to do in and around the Boston area

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star - 7/19/01
 by Martin Zombeck

This is a bi-weekly column providing an annotated list of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column will list sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites will be non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each bi-weekly column will be posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having to be typed. Previous columns will be archived at the Winchester site, also.

We are now deep within summer vacation. What to do with the kids and visiting relatives? This column presents links to Web sites which provide information on attractions in the local area (museums, tours, lectures, parks, places to visit, etc.) for children and adults. I have only included locations that would be considered for a day trip from Winchester. Some (many?) may be hitherto unknown to local residents and a tour of a Web site may encourage a first visit.

Arthur Griffin Center for Photographic Art
Right in our own back yard. The center houses the legacy of Arthur Griffin, world-renowned photojournalist, as well as offering solo and group exhibitions featuring various photographic artists and subjects. The Web site features many examples of Arthur Griffin's photographs as well as historical photographs of Winchester.

Boston by Foot
From the spring to early fall, Boston By Foot presents walking tours which highlight Boston's architecture and history. Schedules and special events can be found at the Web site.

Boston Harbor Islands Visitor Guide
Brief histories, descriptions of what's there, camping information, and information on how to get there are provided for ten of the harbor islands.

Boston National Historical Park
Boston National Historical Park is an association of historic locations that together give the visitor a view of Boston's role in the nation's history. Most are connected by the Freedom Trail, a 3-mile walking tour of 16 locations in downtown Boston and Charlestown. The Web site can be used to learn about the locations and plan a trip.

Canobie Lake Park
Web site for the amusement park in Salem, NH; 1/2 hour from Winchester. A description of the rides, prices, hours, shows, specials, and more can be found at the site.

Center for Astrophysics Observatory Nights
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge (20 minutes from Winchester) sponsors free programs for the general public on the third Thursday of every month throughout the year. The "Observatory Nights" feature a nontechnical lecture and telescopic observing from the observatory roof if weather permits. Program schedule and directions are provided.

Duck Tours
Tour route, online ticket purchase, and schedule can be found at this site.

Fruitlands Museums
Located in rural Harvard, Massachusetts, Fruitlands has a beautiful view across the Nashua River valley. The Web site describes the following attractions: Indian Museum, Shaker Museum, Fruitlands Farmhouse, Willard Farm site, three miles of woodland trails, and more.

Harvard Events Calendar
A two-week listing of events on the Harvard University campus and in the community - exhibitions, films, plays, broadcast events; lectures and symposia in the arts, humanities, and science; weekly religious services and special events.

Kennedy Library
the Web site of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum. The site provides a guide to the holdings of the library - archives and manuscripts, audio visual archives, oral history, motion picture archives, presidential recordings, printed materials, sound recordings, and still photographs. Directions, hours, and online ticketing are also available.

Lowell National Historical Park
Lists of programs, exhibits, events, a printable park travel guide, and more can be found at this site. The Boott Cotton Mills Museum with its operating weave room of 88 power looms is a highlight of a visit to this national park.

New England Aquarium
Buy tickets online or take a virtual tour, if you can't get to the aquarium.

New England Quilt Museum
Some of the finest examples of historical and contemporary quilts, including selections from the museum's permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions of traditional or contemporary quilts can be seen by visiting this unique museum in Lowell, MA.

Old Sturbridge Village
A virtual tour of the village, a village map, and visitor information are available online.

Peabody Essex Museum
Located in Salem, MA and one of New England's largest museums, the Peabody Essex has internationally renowned maritime collections and displays one of the world's largest and most important collections of Asian decorative arts produced for the Western market. The Web site displays highlights from the permanent collection and current exhibitions.

Plimoth Plantation
This Web site has an excellent virtual tour. Extensive information is provided in five foreign languages - Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.

Boston's Old Town Trolley Tours
Downloadable brochure, boarding locations, and online ticket purchase are all available at this Web site.

New Bedford Whaling Museum
About a 1 1/2 hour drive from Winchester, the Whaling Museum is the largest museum in America devoted to the history of the American whaling industry and its greatest port. The Web site is very comprehensive, providing highlights from the permanent collection and exhibits, a summary of whaling in America, and whaling links.

Winchester home page list of attractions
A list of over 70 additional links to places to visit in the area.

The classic guide book, In and Out of Boston with (or without) Children, by Bernice Chesler, The Globe Pequot Press, is a marvelous additional source of information on places to go in and around Boston. The book is available at the Winchester Public Library.

The next column will feature museums (non-art) both local, U.S., and worldwide. Previous columns with live links can be found at

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at either the Packer tennis courts or at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist.