Planning a vacation during the holiday season can be a lot of work and a serious drain on the bank account. Instead, try a staycation and enjoy all of the wonderful activities available right here in the Boston area. Not only are these activities refreshing and fun, but they also provide a new perspective and will seriously improve your outlook on the seemingly everlasting New England winter. Athletes, foodies and over-worked Bostonians can all easily find the perfect staycation within 45 minutes of the city. Here are some of the best activities to try this holiday season:
(Credit: iStockphoto)

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Weston Ski Track
DCR Leo J. Martin Golf Course
190 Park Road
Weston, MA 02493
(617) 965-5110

Enjoy the great outdoors while getting decent exercise and trying out a new sport. Snowshoeing is a classic New England activity that allows residents to experience the joy of hiking even in the snowiest days of winter. Westin Ski Track offers snow shoe rentals for people of all ages, and takes the worry out of planning because it has on-site snow-making capabilities. So, even if the weather on your staycation ends up being fairly mild, you can still enjoy a day of snowshoeing just west of Boston.

(Credit: iStockphoto)

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Ski Bradford
60 S Cross Rd.
Bradford, MA 01835
(978) 373-0071

Learn to ski without leaving the state. Just a quick drive from Boston, Bradford is a small ski area that is perfect for beginners, or those who simply don’t have time to travel to ski. Skiing is an adrenaline-induced, physical activity that is the perfect way to beat the winter blues. Even just a half-day of skiing at Bradford will get endorphins running and have you ready to enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer. Skiing is a great way to get vacation-like winter vibes without spending a night away from home.
Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton

Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton

Brewery Tour
Samuel Adams Brewery
30 Germania St.
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 368-5080

What makes you feel warm and cheery all season long? Beer of course! Boston is home to a thriving community of distillers and brewers that provides a great, fun year-round activity just minutes from your front door. Of course, the go-to brewery tour to take in Boston is Sam Adams, which is easily accessible from the MBTA orange line in Jamaica Plain. Sam Adams is particularly known for its seasonal beers, so by heading there during the holiday season, visitors will be treated to winter brews as well as the traditional lager. A visit to the brewery is a great staycation activity because it is simultaneously educational, touristy and fun – which will definitely provide a mini sense of vacation. The brewery is closed on Christmas day, and make sure to check the brewery’s hours before hopping on the T.

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Photo Credit:

Spa Day
G2O Spa & Salon
278 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 262-2220

There is no better way to enjoy a mini vacation from everyday life than by visiting a spa. A day at the spa provides ultimate relaxation and customers will leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to get back to work with a clear mind and refreshed attitude. G2O Spa is the perfect place to achieve this feeling. Not only are its massages, facials and other spa treatments top of the line, but it also uses high-quality organic products in a truly clean and green facility. In fact, its building on Newbury Street is LEED certified. Supporting a green, ethical spa is another way to make a staycation more meaningful.
(Credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Cooking Classes
Boston Center for Adult Education
122 Arlington St.
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 267-4430

A great way to spice up the holiday season (literally) is by learning to cook. The Boston Center for Adult Education offers a variety of classes for all levels that makes cooking fun and easy. A class is a great way to pass the time and feel refreshed without going too far from home. Plus, it’s easy to make home more vacation-like and cozy when there’s something new and delicious in the oven. BCAE has an overall cooking class for beginners, or classes on specific dishes like duck, Moroccan food, tamales, Thai food, tea tasting and more. Is your mouth watering yet?

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on