**The Paintbar** Address: 248 Newbury Street Boston, MA Price: $35-40 per person
The Paint Bar is an excellent choice for a weekend activity. Whether you’re with friends, a special someone, or like to ride alone, the classes are a great way to spend your afternoon or night. Each painting tutorial takes approximately 2.5 hours and during that time, you will receive step by step instructions on how to make your painting as cool as possible. The one drawback of the paint bar is that for anyone who is a perfectionist, it can often be difficult to accept your artwork when comparing it to the more experienced painters in the class. **Explorateur Cafe** Address: 186 Tremont Street Boston, MA Price: $5-20 per person Located adjacent to Boston Common and close to the AMC Loews, the Explorateur Cafe is a great place to go before or after a movie. Whether you’re trying to grab a hot chocolate or a full lunch with friends, there are plenty of options on the menu. The quality of the food is great and the prices are very reasonable. Although the atmosphere can often be fast-paced as a result of it being a rather busy place, the lighting and style of the restaurant make it feel cozy and welcoming. I would highly recommend the omelette if you ever find yourself there. It’s amazing. **Frog Pond** Address: Boston Common, MA Price: $6 admission + $12 rental Frog Pond is a well-known skating rink situated in the heart of the Boston Common. It is open 7 days from 11am-10pm. Skating is often seen as a cute couple activity and Frog Pond will provide you with the perfect place to get that quintessential holiday picture. However, if you are still in search of someone, consider showing off your skating skills and maybe you’ll find a date on the pond! Fortunately for novice skaters, you can still impress someone using Bobby the Skating Seal who will help you balance for an extra $15 per hour. **Trident Booksellers** Address: 338 Newbury Street Boston, MA Price: $15 per person A family run bookstore since 1984, the Trident Bookstore and Cafe is one of the cooler places on the planet for any bookworm. The store has an amazing selection of books, small presents that are perfect for the holidays, and a cafe. It’s a cozy place and you can definitely find a nice book to read when it’s too cold out. Not only can you shop for books while waiting for your food, but one of the things that really makes Trident a special place is its hours: 8am to midnight. If you ever find yourself looking for food after most restaurants are closed, just remember you can always get nachos, breakfast for dinner, or almost any food you can name at the Trident. **The Nutcracker** Address: 539 Washington Street Boston, MA Price: $40-$200 per person Originally performed in the 19th Century, the Nutcracker has long been a holiday favorite. This ballet is truly magnificent, seamlessly taking the audience around the world with graceful dances and even some comedy. The show runs for approximately 2 hours and is an excellent way to spend a Saturday night with friends. It is obviously on the more expensive side for a night out, but the performance is so amazing that it’s worth it. One thing to know about the Nutcracker is that there is no talking. I did not know this going in and was a little surprised, but loved the show all the same. **Earls Restaurant** Address: Prudential Center Price: $25-60 per person Earls is a restaurant located on top of the Prudential Center, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. What really makes this place special is their patio seating: a large terrace with a bar, cushy booths, and lots of beautiful plants. However, even in the winter months when the patio is closed off, it is still very high on my list of favorite places to go. The menu is packed with all different types of food from sushi to burgers. There really is something for everyone. If you ever find yourself eating here, I highly recommend the salt and pepper wings. I’m convinced they’re not on the menu because they’re too good, but if you ask for them, you can still get them. Finally, Earls excellent location in the Prudential Center provides you with a great place to eat after a day of shopping or just hanging around.
By Toby Urell, Staff Writer, December 2018