By Jeff Wallace
Gentlemen, there are a lot of ways to impress the ladies. Some prefer muscles and an assertive attitude (confidence is key). Others like brains and cultured tastes. Well, here are some places that blend the best of both worlds. And yes, it is possible for “real men” to appreciate history, art, and design.
Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton Street
Brookline, MA 02445
Hours: Tues to Sun 10am-4pm
Cars are man’s ultimate toys. The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is one of those tempting playgrounds that make you wish you had the means to indulge in your ride(s). Old cars, really old cars, new cars, and cars that only exist in our fantasies are shown off here on a daily basis, especially during weekend lawn events, which happen on most Saturdays and Sundays except for the really cold months. Everything from dream BMWs to decked-out Jeeps to rare old school hot rods strut their stuff at the museum. On top of the mechanical sights, Larz Anderson Park, with its seemingly endless rolling hills, has one of the best countryside views around, which is impressive considering it’s just a few miles from the center of Boston.
The Sports Museum
Levels 5 and 6 of the TD Garden
100 Legends Way
Boston, MA 02114
Price: adults – $10, children (10-18) and seniors (60+) – $5, children under 10 – free
Hours: Mon to Sun 10am-4pm except for days when closed due to TD Garden events and holidays
Forget everything else (and most people in Beantown do exact that): There’s enough sports history in the Hub to fill up multiple museums. There’s none more extensive (and closer to the action), than the Sports Museum of New England, which is located on levels five and six of the TD Garden, home of seventeen-time NBA champions, the Celtics, and current Stanley Cup champs, the Boston Bruins. Every sport gets its due in these long hallways, including the legendary bouts that packed the original Garden (R.I.P.), and highlights from the storied college hockey rivalries that have made the Beanpot a legendary contest for local bragging rights. Oh yeah, they even have the old penalty box from the Garden and a collection of the notoriously uncomfortable grandstand seats from Fenway.
Museum of Bad Art
Basement of Somerville Theatre, plus two other locations
55 Davis Square
Somerville, MA 02144
The coolest thing about this collection is that you won’t get yelled at for saying, “This art sucks.” The Davis Square location is a perfect date spot too. What else can stimulate a conversation like a peacefully hilarious pointillist painting called, “Sunday on the Pot with George.” Couple all of that with its basement location in one of Boston’s great theaters—which also happens to serve beer and wine and offers free admission to the museum with the purchase of a movie ticket—and there’s a strong chance you’ll win some extra points on this date. Read about a CBSBoston.com contributor’s visit to MoBA here.
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Ave
Price: Adults – $22, Students (18+) – $20, Seniors (65+) – $20, Youths (6 and under) – free, Youths (7 to 17) – $10, free on weekdays after 3 p.m., weekends, and school holidays
Hours: Mon to Tues 10am-4:45pm; Wed to Fri 10am-9:45pm; Sat to Sun 10am-4:45pm
The MFA is one of the more expensive museum tickets in town, but its all for good reason. The range, depth, and sheer volume of works here make it a one-stop-shop for all the great crafts throughout history. Rather than delve into what people already know, most don’t realize that admission is free after 4 p.m. on Wednesdays (there is a voluntary donation) and always free for college students. This is the best chance for the casual art minded to get in on some of the world’s finer works. Also, on the third Wednesday of every month, Bravo, the MFA’s sleek fine dining establishment, hosts affordable wine tastings. Nothing beats the combo of art and wine.
Jeff Wallace is the music editor and concert promoter for mysecretboston.com, an online magazine that uncovers the best in Boston food, music, and entertainment. He goes to 250 concerts per year.