Boston Children’s Theater provides creative programs for children whose parents are interested in introducing them to the performing arts. Designed for youngsters ages four through nineteen, the theater, which is one of the oldest children’s theatrical organizations in the country, offers year round classes in acting, dance and musical theater. Programs last up to eight weeks and classes feature both classic and modern shows where kids can sign up for affordable main stage productions. Classes include a myriad of options, from an after-school theater class or a playwright project to a summer program or a live theatrical performance like Of Mice and Men. All performances are held at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, located on Tremont Street in Boston.
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Children who are interested in music early on can get their start at From the Top, a non-profit organization designed for kids eight and older to showcase their talents on the radio. Vocalists, composers and ensembles are featured in live national performances of classical music on National Public Radio. Young budding musicians, up to age eighteen, are eligible for a scholarship program and can sign up for workshops to prepare them for a live on-air performance of classical music and future career in the arts. Live shows give kids a chance to display their musical abilities in a variety of performances, broadcasts and concerts. Past productions have also appeared on the PBS series From the Top at Carnegie Hall.
Music connoisseurs and building buffs regard Symphony Hall as one of the finest concert halls in the world. Sixteen replicas of Greek and Roman statues line the walls, and its airy space lends a majestic resonance to each string pluck and unexpected sneeze. Opened in 1900, Symphony Hall was the first auditorium designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustic principle, sloping inward to help focus the sound of the orchestra's stirring string renditions.
There are about as many tour company options in Boston as there are red painted bricks on the Freedom Trail, so choosing one can be understandably daunting. But only one, Walking Boston, features a guide whose ancestry dates back to colonial Boston. Ben Edwards, with family ties to the Sons of Liberty and Paul Revere, hosts these private tours that combine Boston’s past with Edwards’ own, including Colonial-era documents from his personal collection. Available from March to December, regular tours last about three hours and include stops at fourteen historic sites, as well as several secret spots that Edwards likes to highlight. Extended options might include a swing through Charlestown or the Paul Revere House, plus a stop off for lunch at Faneuil Hall. And at the end, everyone is given a CD of Edwards’ historical children’s book, One April in Boston.
The Great Bull Run brings the thrill of Pamplona's historic event to cities across the United States. Modeled after the Running of the Bulls, this one-day event enables participants to race live bulls, keeping one step ahead of the charging animals to finally prove that toes are better for running than hooves. While the historic Pamplona event has had few serious injuries in its 102 years of existence, The Great Bull Run staff takes even more precautions to ensure runners stay smiling from beginning to end. Additionally, the bulls are given the full respect they deserve, and are not antagonized or harmed before, during, or after the run.
Following the race, runners and newcomers can gather together for a good old-fashioned food fight. Tomato Royale arms entrants with juicy fruit that they can fling at each other. Additional post-run activities include an after-party, live entertainment, and games as well as food and beverages.