25 OF THE BEST THINGS TO DO NEAR HANSCOM AFB
By Tracy Fuga
IntroductionWelcome to Hanscom Air Force Base! As you get settled into your new home, you’re probably looking for some ideas of things to do in the area. You’re in luck! The installation is just a short drive from the bustling and historic city of Boston. This beautiful area has so much to offer visitors and those lucky enough to call it home. The area is known for having all four seasons so you can look forward to enjoying a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year if that’s what you’re into. Here is a list of 25 of the best things to do while living on or near Hanscom AFB. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-5) Outdoor Recreation (6) Golfing (7-8) Gyms (9) Bowling (10-17) Nearby Attractions (18-22) Museums (23-24) Movie Theaters (25) Brewery Tours
Suggested Read: Hanscom AFB Massachusetts: In-Depth Welcome Center
COVID-19 NoticeDue to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, many businesses, venues, and parks may be temporarily closed or operating under restricted hours. Many, if not all, of the ones listed here, are likely subject to such restrictions for the time being though new re-openings and closings occur all the time. Therefore, a place we mention here may not currently be open or available for the time being. Check individual websites provided in each section or call to find out each place’s current hours and situation.
25 Things to Do Near Hanscom AFB
Hanscom AFB Outdoor Rec
1. Fourth Cliff348 Central Ave. Humarock, MA 02047
Phone: 1 (800) 468-9547 The Fourth Cliff 56-acre Seaside Recreation Area is on the south shore of Massachusetts, about an hour from Hanscom AFB. There are 15 houses, four efficiencies, 11 RV camper sites, four tent sites, picnic areas, an air-conditioned recreation hall (accommodates groups of 25-30), and a coin-operated laundromat. The facility is open year-round with limited availability from January-April. Call to make reservations.
2. FamCamp1003 South Road Medford, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-3953 FamCamp is an exclusive RV campsite open to all eligible military and DOD cardholders living or working near Hanscom AFB. There are 73 RV sites; 56 RV sites with water, sewer and electric hookups; 17 RV sites with water and electric hookups; and 10 tent sites. FamCamp operates on a first-come, first-served basis and can’t accept reservations.
3. Middlesex Fells ReservationMiddle Reservoir Road Medford, MA 02155
Phone: 1 (617) 727-5380 The Middlesex Fells Reservation's 2,575 acres offer a welcome retreat for city dwellers and a suitable terrain for hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, rock climbers, cross-country skiers and picnickers as well as natural and cultural history buffs. Take advantage of the sports fields, dog park, observation tower, picnic areas, playgrounds, fishing, hiking opportunities, and more.
4. Beaver Brook Reservation66 Mill St. Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: 1 (617) 727-5380 Beaver Brook Reservation is 59 acres of open fields, wetlands, and woodlands. Ponds, fields, marsh, and a cascading waterfall make the park’s north section a delightful place to walk or picnic. The more developed south section features ballfields, a wading pool, and a tot lot.
5. Walden Pond State Reservation915 Walden St. Concord, MA 01742
Phone: 1 (978) 369-3254 Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond from July 1845 to September 1847. Because of Thoreau's legacy, Walden Pond has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. The Reservation includes the 102-foot deep glacial kettle-hole pond. Mostly undeveloped woods (Walden Woods) totaling 2,680 acres surround the reservation.
Hanscom AFB Golf Course
6. Patriot Golf Course200 Springs Road Bedford, MA 01730
Phone: 1 (781) 538-5713 Patriot Golf Course’s nine-hole regulation course provides a wonderful outdoor recreational activity that challenges all levels of golfers from beginner to advanced. Many programs take place throughout the season, like club championships, monthly tournaments, and golf lessons. The course has been voted multiple times as “Best U.S. Military Small Golf Course” and is open to the public, with some restrictions.
Hanscom AFB Gym
7. Fitness And Sports CenterBldg. 1548 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-6630 The Fitness and Sports Center provides services, programs, and state-of-the-art equipment to enhance and encourage your continuing commitment to health and physical fitness. Whether you want to stay in regulation fitness standards or just getting healthy, this is the place for you. You'll find numerous amenities in the 50,000 square foot facility, including an indoor running track, two gymnasiums, steam rooms, saunas, three aerobics rooms, a rock climbing wall, a family/child workout area, group fitness classes, and more. Call for more information and for hours.
8. Hanscom PoolBldg. 1550 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-6638 The Hanscom Pool has more to offer than just a place to swim laps. There is the splash pad, open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, party packages, aqua spin classes, swimming lessons and American Red Cross lifeguard training courses. The pool is open for active-duty personnel, Guard/Reserve members (on active duty orders), retirees, DOD civilians, and their dependents.
Hanscom AFB Bowling Alley
9. Hanscom LanesBldg. 1531 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-6625 Hanscom Lanes house 12 lanes with automated, computerized scorekeeping consoles and overhead scoring monitors. The center features a snack bar and beverages, and the Pizza Mia shop is easily accessed from the facility. This location is a hot spot on the base for families, kids, and various leagues. Sanctioned leagues for all levels and ages of bowlers are active year-round. Host your next squadron event at Hanscom Lanes. Special programs include birthday parties, glow bowling, and tournaments.
10. Fenway Park4 Jersey St. Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 1 (617) 226-6666 Since 1912, Fenway Park has been home to the Boston Red Sox. Take a tour of this historic ballpark or try to catch a game during baseball season. And don’t forget to hit up the concession stands when you’re there to grab a Fenway Frank. Sports fans and foodies alike will enjoy a trip to the ballpark.
11. Freedom Trail
Phone: 1 (617) 357-8300 The three-mile Freedom Trail leads you past — and into — 16 of the city’s most recognized historic monuments and sites. Begin by picking up brochures on the attractions at the Visitor Center in the Boston Common before heading to the State House. The trail will take you to Old Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel Burying Ground (Boston's oldest cemetery), Old South Meeting House and the Old State House. This is Boston's oldest public building and the site of the Boston Massacre.
12. Faneuil Hall4 South Market Building Boston, MA 02109
Phone: 1 (617) 523-1300 Known as the "cradle of liberty," Faneuil Hall was built in 1740-42 by Huguenot merchant Peter Faneuil as a market hall and presented to the city on condition that it should always be open to the public. The ground floor is still occupied by market stalls; on the upper floor is a council chamber, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was the meeting place of revolutionaries and later, of abolitionists. On its fourth floor is the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum, with weaponry, uniforms, and paintings of significant battles.
13. New England Aquarium1 Central Wharf Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 1 (617) 973-5200
14. Tickets & ToursBldg. 1530 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-6505 The Tickets & Tours Office offers discounted and special offer tickets to local, regional, and national theme parks, tours, attractions, and events. Special military discounted tickets and passes to local Boston attractions, theme parks like Disney World, cruises and all-inclusive resorts, attractions throughout New England, and movie tickets are just a few of the offers Tickets & Tours provides. This office is a great resource for seeking out new adventures and area information.
15. Aero ClubBldg. 1722 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (978) 821-6917 Hanscom Aero Club is a Part 141 flight school, offering training toward various certificates and ratings. Ever have dreams of becoming a pilot? Want to learn the mechanics of aviation? The Aero Club is one of the best in the Air Force, featuring WSI weather information, Flight Schedule Pro online scheduling for aircraft and instructors, modern classrooms, video/DVD equipment, a comprehensive aviation library, realistic flight simulator, and a well-stocked Pilot Shop.
16. The Tavern at Hanscom AFBBldg. 1425 Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 225-6499 The Tavern is open Monday through Friday in the Minuteman Commons. Play a round of billiards or just kick back and watch sports on one of the large TV screens found throughout the place. Overlooking the waterfront, the New England Aquarium features more than 20,000 fish and aquatic animals representing over 550 species. A man-made Caribbean coral reef houses a large variety of tropical fish and underwater life including sharks, turtles, and moray eels. The Edge of the Sea touch tank allows visitors to handle small invertebrates like crabs, starfish, and urchins. Outside the aquarium, visitors can watch harbor seals play, perform, and live in their enclosed habitat.
17. Adams Historical National Park135 Adams St. Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 1 (617) 773-1177 Adams National Historical Park is home to the birthplace of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams; the Old House, home to four generations of the Adams family; and the Stone Library. Many park programs and special events are offered to give kids of all ages an opportunity to “Picture Themselves in the Past” and see themselves in their nation's future. Contact the park for dates and details.
18. Boston Museum of Fine Arts465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 1 (617) 267-9300 One of the leading art museums in the country, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts excels in its collections of Impressionist paintings, ancient Egyptian treasures, Asian and Persian fine arts, and works from ancient Greece and the Middle East. But its newest and crowning achievement is the construction of an entire American Wing to house outstanding collections of American paintings, furniture, decorative arts, folk art, silver, glassware and design dating from pre-Columbian arts to the Art Deco and Modernist eras.
19. Museum of Science1 Science Park Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 1 (617) 723-2500 Exhibits in this extensive science museum encourage learning through hands-on exploration of science and technology, but the Museum of Science is not just for children. Physics, biology, chemistry, ecology, zoology, astronomy, computers, and more are explored in more than 700 permanent, hands-on exhibits that are enhanced by stage presentations and interpreters.
20. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and MuseumColumbia Point Boston, MA 02125 1 (617) 514-1600 Dedicated to the memory of the 35th president, the museum is the official national memorial to John F. Kennedy, designed by I.M. Pei and opened in 1979. The museum, which stands on the shore south of the city, features three theaters, personal memorabilia, photographs and historical exhibits that document the life of JFK and his presidency. Exhibits cover the presidential campaign trail, the Oval Office, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and the Kennedy family.
21. Harvard Art Museums32 Quincy St. Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 1 (617) 495-9400 Adjoining Harvard Yard is home of the Harvard Art Museums, including three formerly separate collections, each of which ranked high as major U.S. art museums. Fogg Art Museum concentrates on Italian early-Renaissance art, the Busch-Reisinger on Expressionist art of central and northern Europe, with Bauhaus objects and paintings by Kandinsky and Klee. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum has one of the world's best collections of Chinese jade, as well as Chinese bronzes, Japanese prints, Indian art, and Greco-Roman antiquities, especially vases and sculptures.
22. USS Constitution MuseumBuilding 22 Charlestown Navy Yard Charlestown, MA 02129
Phone: 1 (617) 426-1812 Nicknamed Old Ironsides, USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, and is still commanded and crewed by Navy personnel. The ship is open to visitors. Across the pier, the USS Constitution Museum provides historical context through interactive exhibits that illustrate life aboard a naval vessel two centuries ago. Another ship you can tour here is the Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer.
Hanscom AFB Movie Theater
23. Hanscom Movie TheaterBarksdale Street Hanscom AFB, MA 01731
Phone: 1 (781) 274-7971 Hanscom Movie Theater is an Army & Air Force Exchange Service theater that first-run films (including 3-D) and special programs. Visit the website for showtimes and more information.
24. Boston Symphony Hall301 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 1 (888) 266-1200 The Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert in 1881 at Symphony Hall, one of the world's most acoustically perfect concert halls, which opened in 1900. Over more than a century of history, its conductors have included greats such as Pierre Monteux, Serge Koussevitzky, Charles Munch, Seiji Ozawa, and James Levine. In addition to its regular symphony season, the hall is home to the Boston Pops Orchestra, which sets an international standard for performances of lighter music. For many visitors, the highlight of a trip is a Pops concert, either in Symphony Hall or at the Hatch Memorial Shell, an Art Deco outdoor music shell on the riverside Esplanade that has become a Boston landmark.
25. BreweriesLike most of the country, breweries have been popping up around the Boston area in the past couple of years, the most famous of which is Samuel Adams. With over 130 breweries to visit in the area, there is plenty of award-winning beer all around to enjoy. Find a craft brewery closest to Hanscom Air Force Base or venture further out to enjoy that hoppy goodness.
ConclusionNew England is bustling with things to do. It’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, thrill-seekers, foodies, or film junkies. Whatever your mood or hobby, there’s something for you to enjoy near your new home at Hanscom Air Force Base.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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