15 Best Things to Do in Watertown, MA

Watertown, MA
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Watertown, Massachusetts, is one of the earliest settlements founded in Massachusetts Bay.

In 1630, a group under Sir Richard Saltonstall incorporated the settlement of Watertown into a town.

The area lies within Middlesex County in eastern Massachusetts near the Charles River, the longest river found entirely in Massachusetts.

The city may have gotten its name from the fact that it is near a body of water.

With its proximity to Boston, Watertown is one of the top options for people choosing where to settle.

Besides that, the city exudes a mix of urban and suburban feels, and its museums contain rich history, relaxing green spaces, and entertaining bars that attract locals and tourists.

Are you ready to start your new adventure?

Explore the best things to do in Watertown, Massachusetts!

Revisit History at the Armenian Museum of America

Exterior of the Armenian Museum of America
John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Armenian Museum of America is on Main Street, the largest Armenian museum in the country.

It houses over 20,000 artifacts, such as 5,000 Armenian coins from the middle ages, 3,000 unique textiles, 180 Armenian rugs, and a collection of 1,000 maps and stamps.

Watertown is also the home to the largest Armenian population in the state.

Armenian Museum of America houses all forms of creative illustrations of the Armenian journey over the centuries.

Interior of the Armenian Museum of America
Sdkb, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inside is a large collection of Urartian or Vannic and religious objects, medieval illuminations, ceramics, and Armenian Bibles printed in Amsterdam in 1666.

Likewise, you can find more than 30,000 books in the Research Library.

Besides appreciating the rich culture of Armenians living in America, the Armenian Museum of America also serves as a place where you can discover the roots and ethnic backgrounds of Armenian-Americans.

Get Physical at Central Rock Gym

Are you up for some challenging physical adventures?

If so, Central Rock Gym on Acton St. is the perfect place for you.

Central Rock Gym has 30,000 square feet of climbing terrain, a 48-foot lead wall, 3,000 square feet of bouldering, and 144 top rope and lead stations.

It offers rock climbing for kids and adults and fitness and yoga activities.

Don’t worry if you’re not feeling confident to rock climb on your own, for several experienced staff will help you achieve the top!

Central Rock Gym also offers summer vacation programs for children ages eight to 12.

This program includes games and activities on and off the wall.

Satisfy Your Cravings at Fastachi

Fastachi is a famous shop on Mount Auburn Street that will excite you with its wide selection of roasted nuts, handmade chocolates, and gourmet snacks.

Fastachi meticulously hand-roasts and seasons its gourmet nuts with sea salt to bring out their best flavor.

You will enjoy the store’s aesthetically pleasing arrangement of nut mixes, handmade chocolates, dried fruits, and more!

If you are a local or a visitor to Watertown, add this place to your must-visit list.

Fastachi’s also offers gourmet gift baskets that are perfect for every occasion.

Express Your Artistic Side at Mosesian Center for the Arts

Exterior of Mosesian Center for the Arts
John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Measuring 30,00 square feet, the Mosesian Center for the Arts is the perfect place to witness artistic performances and view fascinating arts.

Previously, the Mosesian Center for the Arts was a UR Army arsenal.

Today, it is a multi-disciplinary arts center with a 380-seat Main Stage Theater, two Rehearsal Halls, a 100-seat Black Box theater, Education Classrooms, Exhibition Galleries,  and Resident Artist Studios.

You can also enjoy the center’s art workshops, discussions, and art productions.

Among the religious and cultural artifacts displayed at the Mosesian Center for the Arts is an 18th-century incense burner, a mid-20th-century metal tosak, a 19th-century devotional bowl, and an early 20th-century doily.

Witness a Performance at New Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1984, the New Repertory Theatre is located on Elm St.

The theater has become a resident company of the Mosesian Center for the Arts since 2005.

New Repertory Theatre has a 340-seater Main Stage and 90-seater Black Box Theater.

Check out world-class premieres, contemporary, and even classical works in different settings.

Beyond simple entertainment, the artists in New Repertory Theatre challenge your spirit through their passionate and meaningful performances.

See the Wildlife at Thomson Safaris

Experience a wildlife safari with Thomson Safaris on Mount Auburn Street?

Thomson Safaris is a highly recognized safari outfitter.

Its owners have lived in Tanzania for 40 years, so you are guaranteed to experience the wildlife and atmosphere of an authentic safari.

It offers an array of exciting and unforgettable safari tours.

You can choose from Thomson Safaris’ Signature Safari, where you get the balanced feel of a wildlife viewing with authentic cultural interactions and luxurious accommodations.

Likewise, you can pick the Wildlife Safari, where you can see various small and big creatures up close.

Otherwise, the Highlights Safari lets you experience the real Tanzania for eight days.

Other options in Thomson Safaris include Luxury Safari, Photography Safari, Honeymoon Safari, Tanzania Flying Safari, Perfect Family Zafari, Taste of the Wild, Private Safaris, Kilimajaro Treks, and Special Interest Safari.

Look Back to the Past at Edmund Fowle House

Exterior of the Edmund Fowle House
The original uploader was Daderot at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on Marshall Street, the Edmund Fowle House is the second oldest house in Watertown.

Architects Charles Brigham and John Hubbard Sturgis bought the house and moved it from Mount Auburn Street to its current location in 1871.

In 1772, Edmund Fowle built the house, which became a meeting place for Massachusetts government officials during the first year of the American Revolutionary War.

The Edmund Fowle House stands today to honor the vital part that Fowle played during the war.

If you love history, check out this Revolutionary-era house!

Dance the Night Away at Ballroom in Boston

Ballroom in Boston is a social dance studio on Parker Street that will teach you to move comfortably in space.

You’ll have a great time at Ballroom in Boston, and its dance instructors will ensure you’ll leave the place confidently for your next dance room session.

Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or preparing for a big dance event, this fun and safe environment is the place for you.

Ballroom In Boston offers private lessons, kids’ classes, and group classes.

Enjoying dance lessons can let you bond with your child at Ballroom in Boston.

Likewise, you can take social and wedding dance lessons here.

Read a Book at Watertown Free Public Library

Exterior of the Watertown Free Public Library
Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watertown Free Public Library was a community-based library in its earliest days.

Aside from reading, Watertown Free Public Library can also be a place to meet and reconnect with other people.

The library is located on Main Street and contains the art collections of Harriet Hosmer and Ellen Robbins.

Front view of the Watertown Free Public Library
Elizabeth B. Thomsen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides the art and books, you can also join the monthly communal movie screening at the library.

Moreover, you can join the computer and craft classes at the library.

Create Fun Memories at Faire on the Square

Faire on the Square is on Main St.

Enjoy entertainment for you, your family, friends, and even kids!

Your young ones will enjoy the bouncy castles, animal kingdom moonwalks, face painting stations, magic performances, pony rides, and balloon artists at Faire on the Square.

Airbrush tattoo artists, an inflatable course, and a 30-foot inflatable obstacle challenge also add thrill to the experience.

Check out live music, comedy, and magic performances at the Faire on the Square mainstage at night.

Grab a bite at the food stalls selling sausages, french fries, chicken, and refreshing drinks around the corner.

After a long day of fun activities, you’ll need a drink to wind down and end the day.

Faire on the Square offers a selection of beers and wines, so you’ll never run out of exciting choices of drinks.

Bond with Nature at Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park

Visit the Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park to relax and breathe fresh air.

Spanning 13.7 acres, the park is at Arsenal Street.

Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park is an interactive park within an urban setting.

Here, you can bring your food and picnic with friends and family, grill a barbeque, or even play sports such as basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.

Bike paths and water sprinklers are also available, along with clean and well-maintained restrooms.

The Arsenal Community Park and Skate Park is the home of the Watertown High School Cross Country team.

Learn History at Browne House

Exterior of the Browne House
Wayne Marshall Chase, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Browne House is a colonial house on Main Street, now a nonprofit museum under Historic New England.

The Browne House contains a few surviving architectural features from late 1600.

Some of its most unique features are a steeply pitched roof, early door and window placements and styles, and diamond-patterned casement windows.

View of the Browne House entrance door
Daderot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

During restoration, they discovered the house’s 17th-century finish details.

Browne House’s one large room on the first floor contains living, sleeping, and cooking spaces.

Meanwhile, the upper chamber features a rare three-part casement window frame.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Exercise Your Mind at Puzzle Break Newton - Escape Room

Find Puzzle Break Newton - Escape Room in Newton, Massachusetts, is a 14-minute drive from Watertown.

Challenge yourself to escape the room within 60 minutes using clues, puzzles, messages, and hidden objects.

Options include the Grimm Escape, Escape from 20,000 Leagues, and Escape the Midnight Carnival.

This place will make your heart pound and test your and your friends’ mental capabilities.

Shop Fresh Produce at Belmont Farmers’ Market

After an eight-minute drive from Watertown, you will arrive at nearby Belmont, Massachusetts, which holds the Belmont Farmers’ Market.

Buy fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables at this market!

Belmont Farmers’ Market has everything you need for your next healthy meal.

You can find the market at Claflin Street.

Marvel at the Exhibits at the Sports Museum

You can reach the Sports Museum at 100 Legends Way, Boston, Massachusetts, after a 26-minute drive from Watertown.

Check out the exhibits that showcase the history of Boston sports.

This nonprofit educational institution also houses interactive exhibits and plays video footage that highlights New England’s athletes and teams.

See the photographs, commemorative sports items, shirts worn by sports players, and many more displayed at the Sports Museum.

Final Thoughts

You’ll never run out of things to do in Watertown, Massachusetts.

It’s a place full of rich and fascinating history, relaxing green spaces, fantastic safari, and other destinations that will surely leave a place in your heart.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Watertown!

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