Watch CBS News

Boston's Best Offbeat Places to Take Visiting Family Members

If you have family visiting this holiday season, the pressure is on to find interesting places to take them outside of the normal tourist sights. If you are looking for ideas, look no further than this guide of Boston's best offbeat sites. These family friendly and inexpensive spots highlight some of the Boston's little-known secrets. From whimsical to tragic, these are not-to-miss Boston sites for visitors.
Mapparium (Photo Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston, MA)

Mary Baker Eddy Library at the Christian Science Center
200 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 450-7000

Pricing: $6 adults/$4 seniors 62 and older, and students with valid ID/free children younger than 6

One of Boston's little-known wonders is the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library at the Christian Science Center. The sphere, made entirely of glass, is a map of the world back in 1935. Tours through the Mapparium allow you walk through, play with the room acoustics (try whispering), and listen to a multimedia presentation. Tickets may easily be purchased onsite, and tours are 20 minutes in length.

The Skinny House
44 Hull St.
Boston, MA 02113

Skinny House is one of Boston's quirkiest spots. It's located in the North End. Known technically as a spite house, this home was the result of a family feud over a plot of land. The house is located directly across from the Copp's Hill Burial Ground and down the street from the Old North Church. A trip to the Skinny House is an easy way to not only introduce visiting family to the North End, but to also highlight one of its little known gems.

Related: 2012 Boston Holiday Theatre Preview


Boston Duck Tours
4 Copley Place Suite 4155
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-3825

Click here for information about tickets and pricing.

If you have walked through Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, chances are you have seen the colorful amphibious vehicles with quacking passengers. A Duct Tour is pretty popular with tourists, but still serves as another great, off-beat way to introduce your family to Boston. Depending on the time of the year, these all-terrain vehicles give a complete tour of Boston including historic sights and views of Boston and Charles River. For the 2012/2013 holiday season, duck tours will be available until Dec. 23.

Boston Molasses Flood Site
Boston By Foot 

8 Faneuil Hall Marketplace 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 367-2345

On Jan. 15, 1919, a wave of hot molasses swept through Boston's North End, killing 25 and injuring 150. This little-known event is one of Boston greatest tragedies. While the site of the old molasses tank and Purity Distilling Company is no longer there, you can still visit the plaque erected to commemorate the event. If you are interested in a tour of the area, the tour group Boston by Foot will conduct private tours of the area including the molasses flood site and other North End tourism hot spots. During the winter season, Boston by Foot will host private groups upon request.

Cristy is a city dwelling enthusiast, an arts, culture, and technology lover, and an all around curious person. As an examiner, she covers all things Boston. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.