Skip to content

12 Results

  • An Autumn Walk

    Mid-autumn is a beautiful time of year as nature begins to prepare for winter. On these walks we’ll focus on plant ID as we search for what is still flowering as well as plants that are in fruit. We’ll also look for winter weeds, those hardy herbaceous (non-woody) plants whose skeletons decorate the autumn and winter landscape. Join naturalist Boot Boutwell for a more leisurely walk at Arlington’s Great Meadows or a two and a half mile hike from Wright-Locke Farm to the summit of Whipple Hill, the highest point in Lexington. The hike is over some rocky terrain, and if the weather is clear, we’ll be able to see Mt. Wachusett, 40 miles to the west. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine. Children ages 10+ are welcome to register if accompanied by a registered adult.
  • Bare Trees and Naked Shrubs: Woody Plant ID in Winter

    No leaves? No problem! We’ll learn to identify woody plants in winter through a combination of branching patterns, bark, buds, persistent fruits, and galls. We’ll also learn to identify some particularly hardy non-woody weeds which remain standing through winter. We’ll use Arlington’s beautiful Great Meadows as our study site. Our walk will focus on plant identification as well as interesting natural history about the plants we see. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine. Children ages 10+ are welcome to register if accompanied by a registered adult.
  • Chinatown Food Tour

    Boston’s Chinatown is filled with so many little shops and restaurants—it’s easy to get lost amid its colorful window displays and enticing aromas. Join us on this culinary and cultural adventure led by an expert guide. Our journey begins in the heart of Chinatown, where we’ll learn about its history while stopping at a few shops and bakeries for samples. Next we’ll visit a Chinese herbal shop to examine traditional Chinese medicinal remedies before touring a Chinese market to explore exotic produce and other unique offerings. We'll also try dim sum from a traditional and popular restaurant, enjoying it either outdoors, picnic style, or to take home, depending on the weather. (Dim sum dishes often contain pork or shrimp, and they are not gluten free.) Tuition covers all restaurant fees and tips. Please note: Students will be asked to adhere to public health guidelines. Meeting location will be emailed one week prior to the tour. All walks meet rain or shine.
  • Explore the Art of Boston’s Greenway

    Winding through the heart of Boston and accessible by several T stations, the 1.5-mile Greenway beckons with many attractions: soothing greenery, seven different fountains, the Armenian Heritage Park with its reflecting pool and giant sculpture, a hand-carved carousel of Boston Harbor animals, sitting areas for people-watching, and engaging works of contemporary art. Stroll the Greenway led by a local sculptor and enjoy its many gems, including a half-dozen changing exhibits of sculpture and other media, such as the monumental Greenway Wall that each year becomes a bold new mural. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed one week prior to the tour. All walks meet rain or shine.
  • Hidden Spaces of the Nichols House Museum

    The Nichols House Museum preserves and interprets the 1804 Federal townhouse that was home to landscape gardener, suffragist, and pacifist Rose Standish Nichols and her family. Their home and its original art and furnishings provide a glimpse into life on historic Beacon Hill from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. Explore the museum from behind-the-scenes. What did it take to make the house run in the Victorian era? How do staff manage it’s preservation today? Peek into rooms and spaces not usually on view, take the back stairs, and explore over 200 years of this old house’s secrets. This tour lasts approximately one hour and visitors will take three flights of stairs. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email.
  • It's About Time: The Triumph of the Eternal Over the Temporal at Mount Auburn Cemetery

    Let’s go back 163 years to visit this spectacular garden cemetery. We’ll use a popular guide book from 1858, A Handbook for Passengers Over the Cambridge Railroad, to inform the direction of our walk. Each participant will receive a handout with illustrations from this early pamphlet to refer back to as we explore what was recommended to sightseers back then, along with commentary about “everything worthy of observation” in this sacred landscape. As we stroll along Central Avenue and other paths, we will visit the most popular monuments of that period, such as the first life-sized bronze statue cast in America. We’ll discuss how very different the cemetery would have looked to these earlier visitors and yet how the same positive spirit and emphasis on eternity would have been the same. Join us for an appreciation of the “Nature, Art and Affection” that have always been a signature of Mount Auburn Cemetery. Please note: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking. Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine.
  • Off the Beaten Path: Hike at Great Brook Farm State Park

    Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage during this moderate (about 3 mile) hike at Great Brook Farm in Carlisle. This 1,000-acre state park features more than 20 miles of trails, notable Native American sacred sites, and 17th-century cellar holes leftover from English settlers. After we wind through the glacial bogs and hear about the longstanding history of agriculture, you can visit the farmlands that are still utilized today. Check out the dairy barn on site featuring 140 cows and the first robotic milking system installed in Massachusetts. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring water and snacks to have throughout the hike. Great Brook Farm charges $3 for parking.
  • South End Chocolate Walking Tour

    The South End, one of the more under-explored neighborhoods of Boston, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for having the highest concentration of late-Victorian brick bow-front row houses. Luckily for us, it also has a lot of chocolate! Come along on this afternoon chocolate tour of Boston and sample delectable chocolate cuisine while touring an eclectic mix of local cafes, shops, restaurants, and boutiques in this truly charming and beautiful historical neighborhood. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed one week prior to the course. Tuition includes tastings.
  • The Dark Side of Boston

    This original guided walk through misery, misfortune, malevolence and murder is based on true historical events that have occurred in Boston. Fact is often stranger than fiction! As you begin to uncover Boston’s dark side, you will hear many dark and disturbing stories not often shared with tourists. Topics include but are certainly not limited to: the scourges of smallpox and the Great Influenza, the dangers of Richmond Street, the vandalization of the Royal Governor’s House, the Molasses Flood, body snatchers, and the infamous Brink’s Robbery, all against the backdrop of Boston’s oldest neighborhood. Winding among the labyrinth of the North End’s small streets and alleys is a great way to get off the beaten path and explore a delightful neighborhood. It’s even better when treated to stories of death and misery from Boston’s checkered past. Crime, disease, death, and disaster–what better way to enjoy a pleasant evening in Boston! Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine.
  • The Winter Solstice Approaches

    Join naturalist Boot Boutwell in celebrating the season of the Winter Solstice, the time of year when the midday sun is at its lowest point in the sky. The solstices mark key turning points in the year and have been celebrated by many cultures throughout history. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day (and the longest night) of the year. Join Boot Boutwell in celebrating the season of the Winter Solstice with a walk in Arlington’s Great Meadows to enjoy the beauty of nature as winter approaches. As usual, our focus will be on plant ID and natural history. The program will also include solstice history and lore, poetry, and a solstice story. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine. Children ages 10+ are welcome to register if accompanied by a registered adult.
  • Tree Identification

    “I think that I shall never see / A poem lovely as a tree.” The trees of New England are both beautiful and an essential part of our landscape. This course will introduce you to approximately a dozen common trees of New England, emphasizing tree identification as well as natural history. Join the walk on Sept, 18th at Arlington's Great Meadows or on Sept. 21 at Wright-Locke Farm. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed as part of the Registration Confirmation email. All walks meet rain or shine. Children ages 10+ are welcome to register if accompanied by a registered adult.
  • Urban Foraging

    Tasty wild plants grow abundantly in the area, many of which we walk right by without ever knowing they are there. Upgrade your knowledge of the wild greens readily available for foraging by joining a plant expert on a ramble through an urban wild. You’ll learn how to identify dozens of edible wild plants and how they can add significantly to your culinary and nutritional repertoire. We’ll also discuss cooking options, seasons of availability, and guidelines for safe and environmentally-responsible foraging. You’ll be amazed at the amount of greens, nuts, roots, and mushrooms that you can find now and over the next couple of months. Sampling in the field will be encouraged. For those interested in learning more about this subject, the guide’s book, Urban Foraging, will be available. Please note: Meeting location and safety guidelines will be emailed one week prior to class. All walks meet rain or shine.