The Best Boston Haunts for BC Students’ Off-Campus Jaunts

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As wonderful as the Heights are for any tried-and-true Eagle, everyone has their days when they just want out. Whether it be after yet another night in a 20-person line for Pasta Toss or because you swear you saw tumbleweed rolling across O’Neill Plaza, we all need to get out and pop the BC bubble sometimes. Everyone knows the easy fixes, with El Pelon and White Mountain just a crosswalk away. What you probably didn’t know about are these Boston hotspots for BC students to get out and have a good time.

Improv Asylum

Located conveniently on the North End’s constantly-hopping Hanover Street, Improv Asylum is a guaranteed hysterical night of fun. “It’s cheap, easy to get to, and super funny,” said BC sophomore Clinton Tak, who encourages students to take advantage of discounted student tickets online. Besides nightly performances, it offers classes as well if you and your friends are feeling really gutsy. Who knows? You could be the next Jerry Seinfeld.

Newtonville Books

For anyone avoiding the T into Boston, there are options closer to campus. Newton Centre is full of places, including Newtonville Books: a quaint bookstore a little over a mile away from campus. For the true bookworms the store has book club meetings (no pre-registration required), a take-home reading challenge and a host of guest-speaking authors. Besides selling novelty cards, notebooks, games and popular books that make great gifts, it’s also good for an old-fashioned goofy time with friends. “They have cool fairy tales and kids’ books,” said BC junior Jillian Perrillo. “Last time my friends and I were there we read a book about a dragon having a taco party.” Much better than re-reading the writings of St. Ignatius for the 30th time.

Escape the Room-Boston

Located off the Park Street T stop on West Street, Escape the Room is a great way to have fun with any group. It’s totally teamwork-based, so the more friends you bring the better (but for the friendless folk, meeting people while there is great, too). The website does its best to keep the game a surprise, so don’t expect to get a lot of details prior to booking a time slot. Essentially you are locked in a room filled with hidden clues and you have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and find the key out. Talk about a real-life video game.

Boston’s Public Garden

For all you nature-lovers or people-watchers, the Public Garden is the place for you. With T stops and Newbury Street just across the street, it’s totally accessible and there is no shortage of places to grab some food and make a picnic. “I always love the Public Garden,” said BC sophomore Ella Jenak, an avid visitor of the park. “It never fails.” Swan boats rides are also offered between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays for an added view of the park. It’s one of the most “Boston” places you can visit and definitely worth the trip.

Besito’s at the Mall at Chestnut Hill

While the Chestnut Hill Mall tends to have slightly higher prices, Besito’s is “without a doubt worth it” according to BC sophomore Andrew Hinman. The Mexican-themed menu includes lunch and dinner and is a classy step up from your neighborhood taqueria, and not too much more expensive. Great for a casual date or a fun night with friends, Besito’s boasts high ratings and is a fun way to get away from campus without venturing into the city. Hint: The guac is made at the table.

Chilli Duck Thai Restaurant

Located below Boylston Street, Perrillo said Chilli Duck is a reasonably priced Thai food hotspot. Online coupons are available on the website for all struggling college students looking for an inexpensive way to get a Thai food fix in the city. Your wallet as well as your stomach will thank you.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Jenak recommended that students take advantage of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and consider hopping over to the nearby Museum of Fine Arts afterwards. The museum has beautiful works of art and some pretty killer gardens. BC IDs get students in for free, and if you’re lucky enough to share the name Isabella, you can sign up for free admission for life.

Say goodbye to dull nights at the dining hall or boring Saturdays on campus. While leaving campus may not be great for your GPA, it’s definitely great for getting some perspective. “It’s easy to fall into the ‘I’m a college student and the world revolves around me and this campus’ attitude,” Perrillo said. Going off-campus is a good way to stay sane. Most importantly, however, it seems that it doesn’t always have to be a planned trip to be worthwhile. “The unexpected journey pays off the most,” Perrillo said.

Katherine is a sophomore studying secondary education and English at Boston College. She is a lover of reading, quoting movies, and never met a cup of coffee she didn't like.

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