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Mother Hoods: Boston

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Anna Wallack, Photographed by Victoria of Motherhood Storybook

Heading to Boston with kids in tow? We couldn’t think of a better guide than Misha and Puff founder Anna Wallack. While the mother of two (Nadav, 6, and Izzy, 3) often spends weekends at the family’s 600-square-foot cabin in the Berkshires (check the beautiful property out here), Boston has been Wallack’s home base on and off since 1997. (She’s had stints in San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Seattle thrown in there, too.) Below, the kidswear designer takes us ’round town to her favorite family-friendly (and adult-friendly) spots.

What are your favorite places in Boston to…
Eat with the kids?Zaftigs, my kids love a deli. They are all about matzo ball soup and potato pancakes. Stoked in Brookline is a new yummy pizza shop. For ice cream, J.P. Licks.”

Eat with adults? “It’s usually a lunch date. Either Ganko Ittetsu Ramen at the Arcade in Brookline or Little Big Diner in Newton. When we go out at night, mostly we end up in our neighborhood at our locally-owned pub, Matt Murphy’s, or Pomodoro. I like comfortable, familiar places that aren’t uptight. We also love Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain, near our studio.”

Shop for kids? “I love the section of wool and organic baby things at Hatched. This is a great shop for stocking up for a new baby, and there is a good selection of wooden toys, too.”

Shop for yourself? “For the house and gifts: Pod in Cambridge. And then for vintage finds, I like Pick Up Modern. I don’t recreationally clothes shop—it’s serious business. So, when I feel like browsing, it’s always in antique and junk shops for the house. I’ll drive around and search for finds. It helps clear my head.”

Play with your children? “In our neighborhood is the cutest Puppet Showcase Theater. Also, it’s all about the local parks and water fountains when it’s summer in the city. Mike, my husband, is great on the bike with the kids and they go on lots of adventures. I am less confident in the city on a bike. They have also gotten into geocaching, which is a fun way to discover hidden places in the city.”

Play with your adult friends? “Oh man! We are not there yet. Our kids are still little enough where it’s a big deal to do anything that requires a lot of planning, including getting a sitter! Mostly, it’s dinner or a last-minute movie. One of my favorite theaters in the city is Coolidge Corner Theatre, which is walking distance from my house.”

Get out in nature?Arnold Arboretum, Drumlin Farm, Stow/Harvard for apple picking, Walden Pond. And then there are some really great beaches north of the city. Newburyport and Plum Island (where I grew up) is beautiful, as is Gloucester.”

Any good flea markets and thrift shops?Bobby’s in Lynn, which is open on Sundays. And the giant Brimfield Antique Market is about an hour away and I try to go once a year.”

Any museums you love? “All of them. My kids love going to museums. We are members at the MFA and the Museum of Science, and we also love the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the ICA.”

Favorite hotels you recommend for friends to stay at? “We are big on Airbnb—anywhere we travel we stay in one. We have our own that we rent in Western Mass, and so it’s kind of all we know. Also, if you visit us you can stay in the ground floor of our place.”

Where do you take out-of-town visitors? “For a taste of Boston in a day, we like the Public Market, then walking down the new Greenway, a carousel ride, and then the North End.”

Any tourist-y places that are worth it to visit? “The Boston Common Frog Pond is pretty sweet for ice skating. Cambridge. The North End. Boston is a beautiful city with lovely green spaces, so just walking around is really nice. Many of the spaces are part of the Olmsted-designed ’emerald necklace,’ which encircles the city. It’s one of my favorite things about Boston.”

For more East Coast adventures, check out our Mother Hoods guides on where to take kids in Brooklyn, how to do Gardinier NY with kids, Youngmi Mayer and Danny Bowien’s NYC guide, and great things to do in Williamsburg via Mara Hoffman.

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