8 ways to enjoy Boston’s spring season safe from COVID-19

By Karissa Schaefer, Emerson Los Angeles Bureau Chief

Although spring in New England is typically a long, dreadful month with no break, the warm weather springing up in Boston over the past few weeks allowed students to get some much-needed fresh air. Now, as we head into April, students have one month left of the semester to soak up the sun on the Common before leaving the Boston campus for summer. 

To take advantage of the city in its beautiful spring weather, we have to make whatever time we have left on campus worthwhile. Yet, of course, we are still living in a pandemic, so here are some COVID safe ways to enjoy the spring season. 

1. Go for a bike ride

Bluebike stations are located throughout Boston and neighboring towns. For only $2.95, a rider can take a single trip for 30 minutes. Or, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, $10 will get you unlimited two-hour trips for a 24-hour period. Any students who are essential workers may also be eligible for a free bike pass, as part of Kim Janey’s new initiative. Riders can go anywhere, like the Public Garden, along the Charles River Esplanade, or even just the streets’ bike lanes. Spring is a perfect time to go for a calming ride while listening to your favorite music or riding with some friends. It’s a great leisure activity for a short day trip. Plus, there’s healthy exercise involved.

2. Have a picnic on the Common or in the Public Garden

Now, this one may seem a bit obvious, but something as simple as sitting outside, enjoying the beaming sun and warm breeze while eating, is relaxing. Eat alone, spend some time with yourself, and get a good spot near the dog park (trust me, this will boost your mood within seconds). Better yet, grab a big blanket and ask your friends to join. I really took being able to do this for granted in the fall, because during the colder months, I would much rather sit outside and enjoy my food than be contained to my dorm. Oh, and if you’re going to have a picnic, be cautious of the bothersome squirrels and rats. 

3. Watch the sunset on the Esplanade

Do yourself a favor and watch the sunset every once in a while. Enjoy it from the comfort of the Common’s hill or take a trip to the Charles River Esplanade. Take the time to unwind after a long day of classes or work. Being from Long Island, I find comfort in the daily sunsets, and I never get tired of them. As long as April showers stay away, the setting sun will hit the Boston skyline beautifully. And I know all of you Emerson kids love to take pictures, so what better a time than golden hour in the city. 

4. Support spring sports teams

With Emerson recently allowing spring sports to start back up after the NEWMAC approval, four teams are returning to the field. These include both men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s baseball, and women’s softball teams. After a year with no sports, it’s time to spring back into action (no pun intended). Although fans aren’t allowed to attend Emerson home games in-person this season, support can be shown from afar. Additionally, if you just want to watch casual sports that are not Emerson related, there are always activities going on on the Common’s baseball field and tennis courts. Alternatively, grab a football, a soccer ball, or whatever your favorite sport is and play with some friends. 

5. Go on a Duck Boat Tour

Reopening for the 2021 season, on April 1, this tour is a Boston classic. Seeing the streets without the large mobile ducks for so long felt like a piece of our city was missing. The tours last 80 minutes and depart from the New England Aquarium, the Prudential Center, and the Museum of Science. The boat goes through many historic landmarks in the city, ending with a plunge into the Charles River where you can see the beautiful view of Boston and Cambridge. Although the ticket price of $45.99 may seem expensive, it’s a worthwhile experience that every Bostonian should do at least once in their lives.

6. Go to a museum

Boston is home to various famous museums. Plan a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Science, or the Institute of Contemporary Art. Each one has something valuable to offer with famous exhibits.The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, for instance, still has empty frames where the famous 1990 theft took place. Still not sold? Well, most museums will offer discounts to students with their IDs, so at least it’s either free or a discounted price. With Boston having so much history, museums are a vital part of the city experience. 

7. Go whale watching

Boston offers three hour whale watching cruises just off the coast, where you also get a tour past the Boston Harbor Islands. Though the tours are a bit expensive at $62.84 per person, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you’re willing to spend the money, you can spot anywhere from three to 10 whales on average, and sometimes 50 or more. Whale watching season starts in late March and lasts until November, with the cruises departing from downtown Boston Waterfront, right near the New England Aquarium. If you don’t luck out with seeing any whales, the cruise will give you a free ticket to return to see them in the future.

8. Visit Haymarket

Located between Faneuil Hall and the North End, Haymarket is a fresh farmer’s market, and a giant one at that. It’s outdoors and they sell a multitude of fresh fruits and vegetables, among other produce, for a cheap price. Picture this: a big container of delicious, red strawberries for only $1. This is the ideal spot for grocery shopping on a budget for students. The market is right outside Boston Public Market, which is an indoor facility that houses various vendors. There are tons of restaurants as well, so at least you won’t go hungry here.