While the words Tea Party have different connotations these days, those all fall away when you’re at Boston’s new museum dedicated to that infamous night in Boston Harbor that occurred 239 years ago.
Located at 306 Congress St., the Tea Party Museum is an interactive look at one of the most important events in our country’s early history. From the “disguises” and identities you’re given upon entering the Meeting House to the ships where you throw tea overboard, the museum seeks to recreate what life was life in Boston in 1773.
The tours last about an hour and take you through the conception of the Tea Party, the actual event and the aftermath, including the start of the Revolutionary War. You already know the history, but hearing it again (and seeing artifacts from the time period, like one of the two surviving tea chests that were pitched overboard) was really neat. There’s a lot of audience participation, which is fun, and the tour really moves along.
It sounds really corny, but the Tea Party Museum made me pretty proud to live in Boston. It’s cool to think about how old our city is compared to many other parts of the country and that it was so important in our founding. It’s easy to forget that as we grow immune to whizzing past buildings that are many hundreds of years old on our way to work or dinner, but a trip to the Tea Party Museum lets you reflect on our history.
The museum is great for all ages, from young kids to grandparents, and would be a perfect afternoon outing during the holiday season when family is in town. And with a little advance planning, you can get some of your party in for free (details here). This Sunday, December 16, is the anniversary of the Tea Party and the museum has special events going on all day to commemorate it.
If you’re looking for a drink or a snack in the area, the museum has a tea room where you can sip a hot brew and have a snack. Just down the street, Flour has baked goods, sandwiches and soups, Barrington Coffee makes a mean cappuccino and Sportello serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail and a light snack, try Drink. And across the street, Lucky’s offers classic fare in a fun atmosphere.
Tea Party Museum
306 Congress St., Boston
Pro tip: Some of the tour takes place outside, so be sure to bundle up if it’s a chilly day!
All photos courtesy of the Tea Party Museum.