Welcome to Boston: Home of The Montessori Event 2023
The Montessori Event 2023 will be held March 16 – 19 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center and Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. “While there will still be a lively and interactive online version of the conference, I am so excited to welcome the Montessori community to my home city,” said AMS executive director, Munir Shivji.
Frequently touted as one of the most walkable cities in the nation, Boston’s rich cultural heritage unfolds with every step. Whether on the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill, in the bustling shopping experience that is Quincy Market, or at a packed Fenway Park cheering for the Red Sox, “Beantown” has something for everyone.
“The people of Boston are open and friendly and willing to help with directions, suggestions, and ideas. If you’re in need of [anything] we suggest you look no further than the people of Boston,” said Jill Segerman, AMS lead online learning instructional designer.
Boston is shaped by the sea, with a natural harbor that holds the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned naval vessel in the world. Back on land, visit the beautiful Boston Commons, the oldest city park in the United States and starting point of the 2½-mile-long “Freedom Trail,” a self-guided walking tour of 16 historic sites.
Experience the city’s commitment to education with over 50 colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area or explore the Museum of Fine Arts, which boasts the largest displays of Monet paintings outside of France. Finally, from fresh seafood to Little Italy to those classic Irish pubs, Boston’s food scene does not disappoint.
The staff of the American Montessori Society traveled to Boston in June 2022 for a working retreat and spent one afternoon exploring all that this Northeast city has to offer. Bookmark this page for your travel planning needs and be sure to register for The Montessori Event 2023 to lock in early bird savings (for both virtual and in-person attendees).
1. Kelsey visiting Fenway Park
2. Ayana, Andrew, and Nikki at the Boston Soldiers and Sailors Monument, one of the stops on the Freedom Trail
3. Jill at the entrance of the Public Garden
Where to Eat
No adventure into a new city is complete without exploring the local food scene. Clover Food Lab was a favorite for several AMS staffers. There are multiple locations of this unique spot, one of which is at Copley Square, a 7-minute walk from the convention center. (And, while you’re at Copley Square, pop into Old South Church for some quick Boston history and beautiful stained glass windows.) According to the website, the average serve time at Clover Food Lab is around 3.5 minutes, making this a perfect stop for in-between-workshops grub. It’s also food-rule friendly for those with dietary restrictions. Karina Sumano, AMS marketing manager, and Maria Pagani, executive associate & board liaison, recommend the falafel skewers with hummus and the Impossible meatball platter. Another quick bite location is The Parish Cafe, located about 10 minutes from the convention center on foot. They offer great sandwiches and salads and also pride themselves on quick service.
For seafood-loving staffers, no trip to Boston would be complete without a bowl of clam chowder or a bucket of oysters. “Legal Sea Foods is a reliable seafood chain throughout Boston. They specialize in fish and shellfish. If you find yourself near a Legal Sea Foods location while out and about in Boston, it’s a dependable place for a meal,” said Andrew Hofland, AMS director of information technology. Deb Hoffman, AMS senior director of finance, and Jason Roth, senior director of marketing, also recommend the Atlantic Fish Company. Located only a 5-minute walk from the convention center, Atlantic Fish Company (established in 1978) prints their menus daily since they source straight from the harbor each morning!
A bit further (about a 30-minute walk) from the convention center are the offerings of Chinatown. Stephanie Cavinder, AMS teacher education associate, and Maribeth Slagle, member services specialist, recommend My Thai Vegan Cafe. Maribeth shares, “This spot was chosen because of the vegan options, but whether one is vegan, less of a vegan, or is interested in just trying something delightful, the food was fresh, flavors amazing, and service on point.” Also in Chinatown is Bao Bao Bakery, filled with beautifully colored cakes and pastries. Cynthia Barraza, AMS school quality manager, recommends the matcha mochi ball.
If you’re looking for dinner and a show—a sports show, that is—look no further than the Bleacher Bar. Kayte Zowine, AMS events coordinator, describes the spot: “This quaint little bar sneaks up on you as you walk the streets surrounding Fenway Park. It strikes you as a dive, and it is, with rickety stools and dark wood tables. As you walk down the stairs, though, you'll see that this hole-in-the-wall is a true treasure. An industrial garage door opens to reveal the outfield at Fenway Park. When we visited, we were able to watch the grounds being prepped for the night's game, up close and personal!” AMS events manager, Kelsey O’Hara describes it as “like sitting in the outfield.”
1. Natalie, Liz, Deb, Karina, and Jason stopping for lunch at Atlantic Fish Company
2. Maribeth, Stephanie, and Cynthia checking out the restaurants and bakeries in Chinatown
Where to Explore
If you’re short on time (or if the weather in March proves unpredictable), Jazzlyn Gatlin, AMS accreditation associate, recommends the “Hop On Hop Off bus” as an amazing way to see the city.
For those seeking a way to stretch their legs after sitting in presentation rooms, The Boston Common and Public Garden are a pair of parks located a 15-minute walk from the convention center. Natalie Sanchez, AMS marketing assistant, recommends checking out the Make Way for Ducklings statue based on the beloved children’s book by Robert McCloskey. Originally published in 1941, the story follows a family of Mallard ducks who live in the lagoon in the Public Garden. Present day, at the corner of Charles Street and Beacon Street, you’ll find bronze statues of Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings. Multiple AMS staffers recommend the park for music, people watching, fresh air, or just a quiet spot to breathe in the city and nature all at once.
AMS video editor and videographer, Jim Timmerman, and registrar of credentials and professional development, Jimmy Doussi, recommend exploring different neighborhoods in Boston. The picturesque Beacon Hill (located a 20-minute walk from the convention center) is filled with shops, clothing stores, restaurants, and antiques.
Next to Beacon Hill is West End. Jim and Jimmy suggest using a ride-sharing service to get there as it’s too long a walk from the convention center. (They suggest this out of experience.) Similarly to Beacon Hill, West End is full of dining and entertainment options—especially on Causeway Street. The Boston Museum of Science is in the West End as is the Old West Church (now a pre-school) and the West End Museum. If time allows, you can even take the West End Museum online walking tour. Next, on the North Side, you’ll find Boston’s Little Italy. Drop in to nearby Hub Hall for a one-stop indoor dining experience with 18 diverse food and beverage options from a wide mix of vendors, chefs, local spots, and international brands.
We previously touched on Chinatown for their dining options, but even if you aren’t searching for a meal, be sure to take a moment to wander around this neighborhood—the third largest Chinatown in the United States (after New York City and San Francisco). The entrance plaque reminds those that enter to walk intentionally with integrity, humility, justice, and civility.
1. Jazzlyn visiting downtown Boston on the Hop On Hop Off Tour
2. Jimmy and Jim outside of the Hynes Convention Center
Where to Learn
For the bibliophiles, Boston Public Library is a must-see. A short 5-minute walk from the convention center, you can wander through the stacks, visit a special collection, or—as AMS membership manager, Kimberlee Bollbach, suggests—get a drink from the café and watch the local NPR radio station (WGBH) broadcast live. Becky Booth, AMS member services specialist believes, “it's a landmark that any book or history lover should visit while in Boston for The Montessori Event!”
If you’re seeking an adventure outside of the conference neighborhood, consider a trip to Cambridge via the T or a car to check out Harvard’s Art Museums. AMS professional development coordinator, Bay Warren, suggests at least 90 minutes for this museum. She also recommends the Harvard Natural History Museum, specifically the glass flower collection.
For those who don’t mind a bit of walking, consider hitting the trail—The Freedom Trail, that is. The Freedom Trail is a collection of historical sites tied together by a red brick trail set into the sidewalk. It begins at Boston Common and ends at either Bunker Hill or the U.S.S. Constitution. AMS staff accountant, Nikki Dipaola, recommends, “if you have less time or the weather isn’t conducive to a long walk, I’d suggest that you pick the sites you want to see most and do that specific part of the trail.”
See You There
The Montessori Event is a busy and exciting weekend filled with networking sessions, powerful spotlight presentations, and informative workshops. And Boston itself is filled with endless opportunities to eat, explore, and educate. We look forward to seeing you in March.
Register for The Montessori Event 2023 and take advantage of early bird rates until January 13, 2023 (for virtual and in-person attendees).
Check out this map of Boston with all the spots our staff recommends!
About the Author
Elizabeth Buechele (she/her) is the communication and development manager at the American Montessori Society. She is passionate about equitable education, youth leadership, and storytelling. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.