It’s not every year that we get to host the OCD Conference in our hometown! As we finalize all Conference details and you finalize your travel plans, the IOCDF staff pulled together a list of some of our favorite local attractions, as well as a list of discounted and free things to do in and around Boston, to help make your visit to Boston even more fun. Here are just a few of our favorite sights and destinations to see during your stay in Boston. Make sure to check out the full lists for even more fun ideas!
Conference attendees looking for some evening entertainment won’t have to go any further than the Westin hotel lobby, home of Laugh Boston, a comedy club with some great discounts for Conference attendees. Laugh Boston is offering discounts of 20-25% off for the stand-up comedy shows on Thursday, July 30th and Friday, July 31st, featuring Screen Actors Guild Award winning actor and comedian, Judah Friedlander. Judah may be most recognizable as his character Frank Rossitano on NBC’s long-running, hit comedy 30 Rock. In addition, Judah is set to star in the highly anticipated Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer. Judah has made multiple hilarious appearances on many late night shows, including Conan, The Late Show With David Letterman, Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The Daily Show. Click here for discount details. Discount and ticket availability is on a first come, first serve basis.
Current current Harvard undergraduate students, graduate students and Harvard alumni lead this entertaining, theatrical tour in and around many of Harvard’s iconic buildings and nearby hangouts. Tours focus on the history and culture of Harvard, as well as some of the more famous Ivy Leaguers who have called Cambridge their home over the years.
Use promo code IOCDF when booking online for 50% off tickets. When booking, select the tour date of your choice, then submit the promo code in the “coupons” field.
According to Jeff Smith, the IOCDF’s director of development, there’s no better way to see the city than from the water.
“The view of the city from the water is amazing!” he says. “There are so many different types of cruises, from whale watching to touring the Boston Harbor Islands. When you’re back on land, it’s always fun to go to Legal Seafood on Boston Harbor Wharf for quintessential Boston Clam Chowdah!”
OCD Conference attendees can use customer ID# 7134 over the phone (617-227-4321 x9) to receive a discount off of ticket purchases. (Note: Reservations must be made in advance by calling and paying with a credit card. Guests that arrive at the ticket office without a reservation will not be eligible for the discount and will also run the risk of not getting a ticket, which frequently sell out on weekends).
This gorgeous green space is a favorite of IOCDF Assistant Program Director Stephanie Cogen. Stephanie says the Common and the Garden, located near downtown Boston, are great places to enjoy a nice walk, stop for a rest or a picnic in the grass, while away the hours watching (or riding!) the iconic Swan Boats, and pose for pictures with famous statues like the “Make Way for Ducklings” statue located in the Public Garden.
The Boston Common is also the first stop of the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile trail that leads walkers past 16 of Boston’s most influential historic sites, many of which played significant roles in the Revolutionary War. Maps and guides of the Freedom Trail are available here.
Less than a 15 minute walk from the Conference hotel, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is home to some of the most significant national and international works of contemporary art, including visual art exhibitions, music, film, video and performance. A list and descriptions of current exhibitions is available here, as well as information about hours and admission.
The ICA is offering FREE admission on Friday, July 31 to all visitors. Activities for the whole family—including art making, performances, conversations on art, and more—will take place throughout the day.
Another IOCDF staff favorite, and a great indoor attraction to check out on a rainy, hot, or humid day. Pam Lowy, the IOCDF’s director of operations, lists octopi, jellyfish, penguins, and seals as just some of the creatures that call the Aquarium their home. A new exhibit opened recently highlights the Aquarium’s expertise in saving endangered sea turtles, and provides visitors with a hands-on experience with diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating sea turtles. Hours and admissions information is available here.
Located right in the Conference hotel’s backyard is the Lawn on D, a unique event space designed to encourage public engagement and foster creativity. Aside from the coolest swings you’ll ever see, the space also hosts art installations, music, games, food & beverage vendors, and other fun programming, most of which is free! Find out what’s happening during the Conference weekend by visiting the Lawn’s homepage.