Waltham, MA is a charming city located just a few miles from Boston. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and diverse cultural attractions, Waltham has a lot to offer visitors and residents alike. From exploring the city’s museums and parks to trying the local food and shopping at unique boutiques, there is no shortage of things to do in Waltham.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the best things to do in Waltham, MA. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, this guide will help you discover the best of what the city has to offer. So, let’s get started and explore the 15 best things to do in Waltham, MA!
1. Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation
The Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is a treasure trove of American industrial innovation located in Waltham, Massachusetts. This museum offers an unparalleled look into the history of technological advancements and the people behind them. From the earliest days of the industrial revolution to the present, visitors can explore a diverse range of exhibits showcasing the innovations that have shaped our world.
One of the standout features of the museum is the collection of historic machines and tools. This collection allows visitors to see, touch, and experience the machines that were once the backbone of the American industrial economy, including spinning and weaving machines, printing presses, and early computers. Additionally, the museum boasts a fascinating collection of original documents, photographs, and artifacts, which provide valuable insight into the lives of the people who worked in these factories.
The museum also offers interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on approach to learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Both children and adults can experiment with simple machines, explore the inner workings of electronic devices, and discover the principles of electricity and magnetism. These interactive exhibits provide a fun and engaging way to learn about the exciting world of technology and innovation.
In addition to being an educational destination, the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is also a popular venue for special events. The museum offers a variety of spaces for conferences, meetings, and special events, including its historic auditorium which can accommodate up to 200 people. Visitors can also book tours for groups, including school trips, and take advantage of the museum’s educational resources.
In conclusion, the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation is an excellent destination for anyone interested in history, technology, and innovation. Whether you are a student, a professional, or just someone who loves to learn and explore, this museum is a must-visit. So, plan a trip today and experience the excitement of American industrial history.
2. Stonehurst The Robert Treat Paine Estate
Stonehurst, located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a magnificent piece of American history that showcases the harmony between nature and human design. This stunning estate is a true gem in the city and is a national treasure for the people of Waltham.
As you step onto the grounds, you will be greeted by a breathtaking landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the mastermind behind New York’s Central Park. The rolling hills, meadows, woods, and streams are home to a variety of wildlife and plant life, and the natural beauty of the estate is perfectly complemented by the grand architecture of the main house. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, the main house is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, characterized by rough-cut stone and round arches.
Inside the main house, visitors will discover a rich history of social justice advocacy. The Robert Treat Paine family, who lived in the estate, were known for their philanthropy and efforts to help those in need. They were also avid collectors of art and objects from around the world, and their collections can be seen in the house today.
Stonehurst also has a rich cultural legacy, serving as a gathering place for intellectuals, artists, and activists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can imagine the lively conversations and debates that took place in the grand halls of the main house and how these gatherings helped shape the ideas and actions that still influence our society today.
Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or the natural world, there’s something for everyone at Stonehurst. Take some time to explore this stunning property and experience the beauty and wonder that has captured the hearts of generations of visitors. Stonehurst is a testament to the beauty of nature and the creativity of human design, and it is a privilege for the people of Waltham to have this national treasure in their community.
3. Gore Place
Gore Place, located in the charming city of Waltham, Massachusetts, is a historic country house that has been beautifully restored and transformed into a museum. This 45-acre estate, managed by the nonprofit Gore Place Society, offers a unique opportunity for visitors to step back in time and explore the rich history of the area.
Built-in 1806 for Massachusetts lawyer and politician Christopher Gore, the mansion served as a summer home for the Gore family and was a hub of social activity. The house played host to several notable figures, including the Marquis de Lafayette, Daniel Webster, and James Monroe. Today, the house stands as a testament to the Federal style of architecture and its well-preserved domestic staff quarters offer a fascinating insight into the changing role of domestic labor over time.
The significance of Gore Place has been recognized by its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1970, making it a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. In addition to offering guided tours of the house, the Gore Place Society hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including an annual sheep shearing festival and a summer concert series. These events provide visitors with a unique and memorable experience, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the history and culture of the area.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to stroll and enjoy the beauty of the estate or you’re eager to learn about the history and architecture of Waltham, Gore Place is a truly remarkable place to visit. So why not take a step back in time and discover this historic gem in Waltham, Massachusetts today?
4. Riverwalk Park
Riverwalk Park in Waltham, Massachusetts is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a mix of recreation, history, and beauty. The park is situated along the banks of the stunning Charles River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, this park has something for everyone.
The park boasts a scenic walking and jogging path that follows the river, providing a peaceful escape from the city. The path is well-maintained and dotted with picnic areas, benches, and gazebos, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful picnic or a relaxing break.
For families with children, Riverwalk Park is a perfect destination. The park features several playgrounds and open fields, providing a fun environment for kids to run around, play catch and have a picnic. The park also has several sports courts for those looking for more active recreation, including basketball and tennis courts.
Fishing enthusiasts will love the scenic fishing pier located in the park. The pier offers a great place to cast your lines and try your luck, as the Charles River is home to a variety of fish species including catfish, carp, and bass.
In addition to its recreational facilities, Riverwalk Park is also renowned for its beauty and rich history. The park has mature trees, well-manicured gardens, and lush vegetation, creating a peaceful and serene environment. There are also several historical markers and monuments that commemorate the city’s past and its role in American history.
If you’re in the area, be sure to visit Riverwalk Park and experience its charm and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a place to walk, jog, fish, picnic, play or just relax, this park has something for everyone.
5. Prospect Hill Park
Prospect Hill Park in Waltham, Massachusetts is a peaceful retreat from bustling city life. Situated in the heart of Waltham, this gorgeous park offers breathtaking views of the surrounding areas and provides a tranquil environment for visitors to take a break and relax.
Prospect Hill Park is well-maintained and offers a range of recreational activities for people of all ages. The park boasts a massive playground for kids, picnic areas for families and friends, and walking trails for fitness enthusiasts. It also features a variety of sports facilities, such as tennis courts, basketball courts, and a softball field, making it a popular destination for families and friends who want to spend time outdoors.
The natural beauty of the park is awe-inspiring, and it’s the perfect spot for nature lovers to explore. The park is filled with mature trees, rolling hills, and scenic walking paths that provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors can also indulge in bird watching and wildlife sightings as the park is home to a wide range of wildlife species, including rabbits, squirrels, and songbirds.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Prospect Hill Park is its historical significance. During the Revolutionary War, the park was the site of a crucial battle between the British and American forces. A monument now stands in the park to commemorate the battle, and visitors can learn about the history of the area through informational signs and guided tours.
In conclusion, Prospect Hill Park is a must-visit for anyone visiting Waltham. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind, engage in outdoor recreation, or learn about the rich history of the area, the park has something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty, recreational amenities, and historical significance, Prospect Hill Park is a gem in the heart of Waltham.
6. Rose Art Museum
The Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts is a remarkable institution that has been providing high-quality exhibitions and programs for over 50 years. This museum is home to an exceptional collection of contemporary and modern art, showcasing the works of renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Willem de Kooning. The museum is housed in the beautiful Shapiro Campus Center at Brandeis University, providing an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for visitors of all ages.
The Rose Art Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in contemporary and modern art. The museum’s permanent collection is extensive and diverse, featuring works in a variety of media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and video. The museum also holds special exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the works of contemporary artists from around the world. These exhibitions provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about new artists and to see works of art that may not have been seen before.
In addition to its permanent collection and special exhibitions, the Rose Art Museum also offers a range of programs and events for visitors of all ages. These programs include educational lectures, workshops, and artist talks, providing visitors with an opportunity to engage with the art and the artists in a meaningful way. The museum also offers tours for school groups and families, providing students with an engaging and interactive way to learn about art and culture.
The Rose Art Museum is an important cultural institution in the Waltham community, and its exhibitions and programs are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. The museum is dedicated to educating the public about the value and importance of contemporary and modern art, and to providing visitors with an opportunity to engage with this art in a meaningful way.
The Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts is an exceptional institution that provides visitors with an opportunity to engage with contemporary and modern art in a meaningful way. Whether you are a lifelong art lover or someone who is just beginning to explore the world of art, the Rose Art Museum is an excellent destination that is not to be missed.
7. Ramble Market
Ramble Market in Waltham, Massachusetts is a bustling and lively gathering place that has been a cornerstone of the local community for generations. This market is a true reflection of the rich and diverse culture of Waltham, offering something for everyone, from fresh produce to handcrafted goods.
Located in the heart of the city, the market is open every weekend and is a hub of activity, with vendors and shoppers alike coming together to enjoy the lively atmosphere. The market is renowned for its high-quality products, with vendors offering an array of fresh produce, handcrafted goods, unique finds, and more.
One of the most cherished aspects of Ramble Market is the abundance of fresh produce. Vendors offer a wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, herbs, and spices, all of the highest quality. The market also features local farmers who bring their best crops to sell, providing shoppers with the chance to taste and purchase seasonal produce that is always fresh.
In addition to the food, there is a vast selection of handcrafted goods and gifts. Vendors offer a range of artisanal pottery, textiles, jewelry, and more, making it a great place to find one-of-a-kind items that can’t be found in stores. Whether you’re searching for a special gift or just want to treat yourself, Ramble Market has something for everyone.
The market is also a place where the community comes together. It brings together people from all walks of life and provides a space for neighbors to come together and share experiences. The market is a true representation of the diverse and vibrant culture of Waltham, and everyone is welcome.
For those who love fresh produce, handcrafted goods, and community spirit, Ramble Market in Waltham, Massachusetts is a must-visit destination. Whether you’re a local resident or just passing through, the market is a wonderful place to experience the rich culture and diversity of Waltham. So come and join us, feel the vibrant energy of Ramble Market, and be a part of our community.
8. The Lyman Estate
The Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts holds a special place in the hearts of the people of this land. This magnificent estate dates back to the early days of our ancestors and has been passed down through generations of the Lyman family. Today, it stands as a museum, showcasing the rich history of this family and the architecture, furnishings, and artwork they have gathered over the years.
The Lyman Estate rests on a vast piece of land, surrounded by the rolling hills, lush gardens, and winding pathways that have been a part of this land for centuries. The main house, a stunning example of Georgian architecture, stands tall and proud, with a three-story structure with a grand entrance, spacious rooms, and tall windows that welcome the light of the sun. The interiors of the house are just as magnificent, with richly carved fireplaces, elegant chandeliers, and beautiful wall murals that have been a part of this house since its creation.
The museum at the Lyman Estate is a treasure trove of artifacts, antiques, and artwork, showcasing the family’s collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Visitors can walk through the many rooms of the house and see the family’s furnishings and personal belongings, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Lymans. And the gardens, oh, the gardens. They are a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, a place to connect with the earth and breathe in fresh air.
For those who love history, architecture, and beautiful gardens, the Lyman Estate is a must-visit. The museum offers guided tours and educational programs, making it the perfect destination for school groups, families, and anyone seeking to learn more about the rich heritage of Waltham. The estate is open seven days a week, making it easy to plan a visit to this magnificent piece of our shared history.
The Lyman Estate in Waltham is a beautiful and historic landmark, showcasing the rich heritage of the Lyman family. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, providing visitors with a unique and enriching experience. Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate beautiful architecture, the Lyman Estate is a must-visit destination in Waltham, Massachusetts, a place where you can connect with the spirit of this land and its people.
9. The Waltham Museum
The Waltham Museum, located in the heart of Waltham, Massachusetts, is a small yet mighty museum celebrating the rich history of this great city. Housed in an old and beautiful building, once the headquarters of the famous Waltham Watch Company, this museum is a must-visit for all history enthusiasts and those curious about timekeeping.
Founded in 1850, the Waltham Watch Company was one of the largest and most important watch manufacturers in the world and the museum showcases its fascinating history and the role it played in revolutionizing the watchmaking industry. Visitors can admire the museum’s collection of antique watches, showcasing some of the finest examples of early American watchmaking.
The museum also sheds light on Waltham’s rich cultural heritage, including its vibrant immigrant communities, and the city’s role as a hub for innovation and technology during the American Industrial Revolution. Visitors can learn about the city’s factories, workers, and entrepreneurs who helped shape the course of American history.
In addition to its impressive exhibits, the Waltham Museum offers a wide range of educational programs and events, perfect for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a local resident or just visiting the area, don’t miss the chance to experience all that this museum has to offer.
The Waltham Museum is a true gem, a treasure trove of history and knowledge, offering a captivating look at the rich heritage of Waltham, Massachusetts. So if you’re a history buff, interested in the American Industrial Revolution, or simply looking for a fun and educational experience, make sure to stop by and discover the fascinating world of Waltham’s history and heritage.
10. Nipper Maher Park
Nipper Maher Park in Waltham, MA is a fantastic and well-kept park that offers a wide range of activities and facilities. The park, named after a beloved local resident, is situated in the center of Waltham and boasts stunning views of rolling hills and towering trees.
One of the park’s standout features is its large playground, equipped with swings, slides, and climbing structures for kids to play on. The playground is surrounded by picnic tables and benches, making it a popular gathering spot for families and friends to enjoy picnics and barbecues.
In addition to the playground, Nipper Maher Park features several walking trails that meander through the park and along the nearby pond. These trails are ideal for jogging, hiking, or just a leisurely stroll through the gorgeous countryside. The trails are well-maintained and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Another must-visit attraction at Nipper Maher Park is the ball fields, which are used by local sports teams and schools for games and practices. The fields are neatly manicured and equipped with bleachers, making it a great place to watch a game or two. The park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, and a skate park for even more recreational options.
Aside from its many recreational activities, Nipper Maher Park is home to a wealth of wildlife and habitats. The park is a haven for nature lovers, with a variety of birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. There’s also a small pond that’s home to frogs, fish, and other aquatic life, making it a popular spot for fishing and wildlife observation.
Nipper Maher Park in Waltham, MA is a truly special place that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to play on the playground, go for a hike, watch a ball game, or simply enjoy the great outdoors, Nipper Maher Park has it all. This beautiful and well-maintained park should be treasured by all who visit.
11. Embassy Cinema
The Embassy Cinema, located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a top-notch movie theater that opened its doors on May 22, 1998. The goal was to provide moviegoers with an exceptional viewing experience and, over the years, it has exceeded expectations. This state-of-the-art theater is situated in the heart of Waltham and has become a popular spot among movie enthusiasts in the area.
The Embassy Cinema boasts a modern and spacious interior with comfortable seating arrangements, making it an immersive movie-watching experience. With six large screens and a seating capacity of over a thousand people, it is one of the largest cinemas in the area. The sound system is top-notch and the picture quality is unmatched, with the latest projection technology used to bring every detail of the movie to life.
In addition to great movies, the cinema also offers a wide range of food and drinks, including a fully stocked snack bar and a café serving hot and cold beverages. This allows moviegoers to relax and enjoy their favorite movie with a snack or drink, making the experience even more enjoyable.
The Embassy Cinema is more than just a place to watch movies. It’s a place where memories are made and shared, where people come together to enjoy the latest blockbuster or revisit a classic movie. Whether you’re a movie buff or just looking for a fun evening out, the Embassy Cinema has something for everyone.
The Embassy Cinema is a vital part of the local community and a destination for movie lovers from all over the area. Its state-of-the-art facilities, modern design, and exceptional viewing experience make it one of the best cinemas in the area, and it remains a popular destination for moviegoers to this day. If you’re searching for a movie theater that offers a top-notch viewing experience, then the Embassy Cinema is the place for you.
12. American Waltham Watch Company Historic District
The American Waltham Watch Company Historic District is a true testament to the innovative spirit and industriousness of American business. Established in 1850 in Waltham, Massachusetts, this pioneering company was one of the first to mass-produce high-quality timepieces using interchangeable parts. This innovative approach transformed the watchmaking industry and helped the United States become a leading producer of watches.
This Historic District encompasses the original factory buildings, the residences of company executives, and the Waltham Watch Company Museum. The factory buildings, constructed between 1854 and 1923, offer a unique look into the architectural styles of the time and give insight into the industrial processes used during that era. The homes of the company executives, many of which are now privately owned, reflecting the wealth and social status of the industrial leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Waltham Watch Company Museum, housed in the former office building, showcases a collection of watches, tools, and artifacts that tell the story of the company and its impact on the watchmaking industry. Visitors can witness the progression of watchmaking technology, from the first hand-assembled watches to the fully automated production of the 20th century. The museum also provides a glimpse into the social and cultural context in which the company operated, including the lives of its workers and their families.
The American Waltham Watch Company Historic District is a National Historic Landmark and a true representation of the American spirit of hard work and innovation. It serves as a reminder of the rich industrial heritage of the United States and the crucial role that innovation played in shaping our nation. If you’re interested in American history, industry, and technology, this Historic District is a must-visit.
13. Charles River Canoe and Kayak
Charles River Canoe and Kayak is the go-to spot for water sports lovers in the Boston region. Situated on the Charles River banks, the rental service provides a chance for visitors to explore the river in a thrilling and scenic manner.
Charles River Canoe and Kayak offers a vast array of watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, that can be rented for a few hours or the whole day. The rental service also supplies customers with all the essential safety gear, like life jackets and paddles, to guarantee a secure and enjoyable experience on the water.
Besides rentals, Charles River Canoe and Kayak also provides guided tours of the river, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the history and ecology of the region. The tours are led by knowledgeable and experienced guides who are eager to share their passion for the river with others.
The Charles River is a unique and gorgeous waterway that runs through the center of Boston, providing breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re an experienced paddler or just starting out, Charles River Canoe and Kayak is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the river and the excitement of being on the water.
Whether you live in the area or are visiting Boston, Charles River Canoe and Kayak is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves water sports and the great outdoors. So, if you’re looking for a fun and thrilling way to explore the Charles River, head over to Charles River Canoe and Kayak and begin your adventure today!
14. Beaver Brook Reservation
Beaver Brook Reservation, located in the bustling city of Waltham, Massachusetts, provides a peaceful and serene escape for locals and visitors alike. This popular park is filled with a diverse array of flora and fauna, including various bird species, trees, and bushes, making it a perfect place for a nature escape.
With well-maintained trails, visitors can explore the area at their own pace, whether it be a leisurely walk or a challenging hike. One of the park’s most sought-after features is the tranquil pond surrounded by lush greenery, making it a peaceful place for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying a picnic. On a sunny summer day, visitors can often be seen sunbathing or taking a refreshing dip in the pond’s cool waters.
Beaver Brook Reservation also has a well-maintained playground area, providing a great place for families to spend a day together. Kids can play on the swings, slide, and other fun equipment, while parents relax on nearby benches.
Not only does this park offer recreational activities, but it also provides educational opportunities. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to learn about the history and wildlife of the area. With knowledgeable guides readily available to answer questions, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the park.
In conclusion, Beaver Brook Reservation offers a beautiful and peaceful escape for visitors of all ages. With its diverse array of wildlife, well-maintained trails, peaceful pond, and educational opportunities, it’s easy to see why it is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing day or an outdoor adventure, this park is the perfect place to spend your time.
15. Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co.
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. is a small, but impactful craft beer brewery situated in the city center. This brewery was established by two passionate beer aficionados who were committed to bringing high-quality and imaginative beers to the surrounding area. They firmly believe that beer should be relished for its flavor and its ability to bring people together and create lasting memories.
The brewery offers an extensive variety of beer styles, from classic ales and lagers to rich stouts and fruity sours. Their flagship beer, the Mighty Squirrel Nut Brown, is a smooth and nutty brown ale that has become a favorite among their followers. Additionally, the brewery offers seasonal beers that are created with local ingredients and change with the seasons, guaranteeing that there is always something new to try.
The brewery’s taproom is a warm and inviting space that invites customers to unwind, savor a beer, and learn about the brewing process. The taproom has a homely atmosphere and is adorned with a bar made from salvaged wood, barstools made from recycled kegs, and walls featuring vintage beer posters. The taproom also has a small kitchen that offers beer-friendly cuisines such as pretzels and soft tacos, perfect for sipping a cold beer on a hot day.
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. is committed to supporting the local community and has partnered with various local organizations to aid their causes. The brewery has also introduced a “Mighty Squirrel Gives Back” program, where a portion of the sales from designated beers are donated to local charities and non-profit organizations.
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. is a must-visit location for beer lovers and anyone seeking a relaxing place to drink good beer. Their dedication to quality, innovation, and community make them a unique and beloved part of the city. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just searching for a fun spot to grab a drink, Mighty Squirrel Brewing Co. is the ideal place for you.