Rainy Day Boston

A Shot in the Rain:  Boston

Tourists on a Photo Tour of Boston brave a downpour on the way to the Old State House. Photo by Kayte Deioma

A Rainy Day in…Boston, Massachusetts

The torrential rains waited until my flight touched the ground. I had hoped to have a few days of sunshine before finding the perfect Rainy Day photo of Boston but it was not to be. With an average of 10 days of precipitation each month, I knew I’d run into a few. It waited until I checked into the Omni Parker House Hotel – the oldest in the country – then the downpour began. I could have holed up with the ghosts, gorging myself on Parker House rolls and Boston Cream Pie, then working it off in the in-house fitness center for the next three days until the deluge abated. Instead, I donned my rain jacket, pulled out my handy camera cover and set out to explore some of Boston’s best inclement-weather options for daytime and nighttime entertainment. Boston-based writer, Nancy Kalajian got out her professional-strength Boston umbrella to add her own rainy day recommendations.

Boston Features:

Kid Stuff:

Going Solo:

If You Go:

For more things to do in Boston, go to Boston Rainy Day links.

Boston Duck Tours Quacking in the Rain

story and photos by Kayte Deioma

A colorful row of Boston Duck Tours' Amphibious Vehicles are parked in the rain at the "Duck Stop" in front of the Prudential Center in Boston.Boston has an abundance of great foul-weather activities, but if you have only a short time, there’s no better way to get the lay of the land on a dripping wet day than in an amphibious vehicle designed to go on land and water. In recycled military vehicles that once might have stormed the beach at Normandy, Boston Duck Tours takes you through the historical streets of downtown Boston and right into the Charles River for a waterborne view of Boston and Cambridge.

Major Groovy narrates a rainy day Boston Duck Tour on the Charles River in Boston, MAOur guide, the bearded Major Groovy, was dressed in a lavender Hawaiian shirt and crocheted lavender beret to match our hot lavender “duck.” He offered optional plastic rain ponchos to the passengers near the open back of the vehicle. Zipped-down plastic windows gave the rest of us the option of being as dry or wet as we chose to be.

We took off from the “Duck stop” in front of the Prudential Center, making our way splendidly though flooded streets that had less amphibious vehicles stopped cold. As we inched around a stalled car, Major Groovy gave us the safety drill: life jackets and throw rings on the ceiling in case anyone decides to take a dive off the duck once we hit water.

Flooded streets and a row of closed-up movie trailers on a rainy day Boston Duck Tour in Boston, MAThere was no sign of either Leonardo DiCaprio or Matt Damon as we splashed past Boston Common but a line of closed-up movie trailers attested to the temporarily rained-out filming of their most recent movie, “The Departed.”

Major Groovy’s monologue kept us entertained with current statistics and historical facts and anecdotes as we made our way around Beantown’s major tourist attractions. He introduced us to the Suffolk County Jail, known as the “glamour slammer,” on our way to the river ramp.

Amphibious vehicles drive into the Charles River on a rainy day Duck Tour in Boston, MAWe entered the Charles River near the dam that regulates its release into the Atlantic Ocean. We got in line behind two other Ducks, one white, another chartreuse, waiting for a camouflage green Duck coming out of the River. The heavy rain was creating a stronger-than-normal current, making the sixty-year-old vehicles work harder than usual to get through the narrow channel and out into the river.

Our guide narrated our way into the water: “Throw the Duck in neutral…propeller on…wheels off…big splash coming up…we’re afloat!” Our little crowd cheered.

A rainy day Boston Duck Tour on the Charles River in Boston, MA“This thing was built in 1942. We believe that the very duck you are riding in actually hit the beach on D-day in 1944.” Major Groovy told us. “You can imagine how terrified the German troops must have been when they saw this hot lavender duck coming up out of the water driven by Major Groovy…Hey guys…peace and love man… I should have been there…could have straightened it all out.”


Museum of Science on the Charles River Dam from a rainy day Boston Duck Tour on the Charles River in Boston, MAThe rain was streaming down – way beyond drops by now. Clouds obscured the tops of the John Hancock and Prudential skyscrapers downtown, chopping them off at the knees. Through the veil of rain we got the waterfront view of the “glamour slammer” on the Boston side, the Museum of Science straddling the Charles River Dam, MIT on the Cambridge side, and the Esplanade Park along both banks of the river.

Massachusetts State House in the rain from the Boston Duck Tour.Back on land, we crossed the Charlestown Bridge with a view of the Bunker Hill Monument and made our way through the North End Italian neighborhood, past Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, the Old South Meeting House and several other locations along the Freedom Trail. We circled past Beacon Hill, where we saw the Cheers Pub; the old Bull & Finch Pub which inspired the TV series, finally took its name last year.

A traffic accident on our planned route sent us on a detour through Newbury Street, Boston’s version of Rodeo Drive. Major Groovy quizzed us occasionally along the way to see if we had been listening. How many Dunkin Donut shops are there in Boston proper? Who is buried at the Granary Cemetery? How much is Boston’s Big Dig highway construction project costing taxpayers? Who won the battle at Bunker Hill? Which is the oldest tavern in the country? I’m not telling. You’ll have to take a Duck Tour and ask Major Groovy.

For more information, visit www.bostonducktours.com.

Boston Duck Tours are included in the Go Boston Card.

Concrete Exploration at the Museum of Science

story and photos by Kayte Deioma

Mother and Daughter try to identify butterflies from a reference sheet in the Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Science, Boston, MAWith MIT and Harvard right down the street, it’s only to be expected that the Museum of Science (MOS), straddling the Charles River Dam between Boston and Cambridge, would be one of the best in the world. Between the museum’s exhibits, lunch at Puck’s (as in Wolfgang) café in the first floor dining area and a visit to the Mugar Omni IMAX Theater and the Charles Hayden Planetarium, you can stay dry all day, or even two at the MOS.

Incorporating all the sciences in one place, the MOS lets you learn about A boy builds a computer-generated fish to add to an animated scene at the Museum of Science, Boston, MAdinosaurs, electric currents, animal behavior, the brain, X-rays, the properties of light, human genomes and how a computer works – all without leaving the building. Kids can measure their own motion waves, see themselves on interactive video, create colored shadows of themselves, build and race a scale model solar car, use a computer to create an animated fish or discover the properties of flocking birds. In the Current Science and Technology Center you can check in on what’s happening at NASA or communicate with research expeditions around the world.

Get a schedule when you arrive and plan your day according to the live Zebra Butterfly in the Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Science, Boston, MApresentations and special exhibits you want to see. Appointments are required to visit the Butterfly Garden, where flowering plants and a steamy environment keep a vivid assortment of butterflies fluttering happily from cocoon to adulthood. A mirror on the way out lets you check yourself for hitchhikers before you exit. Don’t miss the lightning show created by the world’s largest Van de Graaff generator in the Theater of Electricity. A variety of live animal presentations, demonstrations and plays about developments in science are presented on the SA young girl builds a scale model of a solar car at the Museum of Science, Boston, MAcience Live! Stage. The 3DTheater presents 20 minute films that get you up close and personal with insects and butterflies. The Mugar Omni Theater has a five story domed IMAX screen and tilted seats that put you smack in the middle of the action. Planetarium shows introduce you to the stars and planets.

To maximize your visit and choose the exhibits that interest your family most, visit www.mos.org ahead of time for hours and prices and explore some of the museum exhibits online. Today’s schedule of live events is also posted to help with pre-planning your visit. The web site also has some virtual exhibits found only online.

The Museum of Science is included in the Go Boston Card.