Activities For Dogs In Massachusetts On Cold Days

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Introduction

When it comes to more northern states, cold weather can often be the defining factor between a cool, crisp walk with your dog or being holed up inside for days at a time. And with blizzards, rapid temperature shifts, and hefty winds, the East Coast isn't particularly forgiving. But if you can avoid the potentially hazardous weather and just deal with the cold, there are plenty of ways to enjoy winter without exposing yourself and your dog to the elements. Thankfully, Massachusetts has a broad range of activities for the both of you, whether that means weathering the weather, dipping your toes in the snow, or avoiding it altogether. Here are some ideas for those cold New England days in The Bay State.

Shopping Trip

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Moderate
Easy
45 - 180 min
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Activity description
Ok, we know we said above that you can get out and enjoy being outdoors in winter, but let's face it, not all cold days are tolerable to be outside. So if you end up in that situation and the roads are good enough to get around (unless you live walking distance, which provides even more opportunities) you can always plan a dog-friendly shopping trip. Between the impending holidays in early winter and a drive to try out some new spots, there should be plenty of motive to get out and get some shopping done. While you may not be able to shop for everyone, there are at least some options available that will give you both something to do for a few hours, stay warm, and be entertaining and productive.
Step
1
Plan what you can
The first step should be figuring out where you can go shop. Generally speaking, bigger cities and certain neighborhoods are more dog-friendly than others, so if you want to make a longer trip of it, we suggest you pick those two first. Boston generally offers a wide variety of selections, but there are a few others that are also canine-inclusive. The best part is, although they don't advertise as much, many chains that don't serve food are dog-friendly. Home Improvement stores such as Lowe's, stores geared at enjoying the outdoors such as Bass Pro Shops, and even places like Macy's and Apple are often accepting of dogs, just make sure you call ahead to find out for sure first. And don't forget dog-specific shops as well. Pet stores, doggy bakeries, and boutiques offer unique selections you won't likely find anywhere else.
Step
2
Sales and tails
Next, put together a shopping list of things you may need for yourself as well as gifts for others and see how many dog-friendly places fall into order. Once you know that, you can map out numerous stops for the pair of you to make. Once you've figured out where to go, grab your supplies and go. Just make sure you're both dressed appropriately since you'll still likely need to walk from street or parking lot into the stores, plus any outdoor space that falls in between. Should your trip end up being longer, you can always ask around or use your smartphone to find a restaurant with a heated (and dog-friendly) patio for you and your dog to stay warm and grab some grub such as Daddy Jones or catch Yappy Hour at Dorchester Brewing Company. Just make sure to call ahead and double check that the patio is open (and heated for that matter). When all is said and done, you'll have hours of entertainment, warmth, adventure, and some great gifts to boot!
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Get Festive

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Moderate
Easy
1 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Doggy Costume (optional)
Activity description
While the run up to the holidays can certainly be fun like the shopping trip we mentioned above, there are certainly plenty of other ways to keep yourselves entertained and enjoy winter both inside and out. Winter is perfect for it because there are plenty of holiday events to attend with loads of different activities you won't be able to find any other time of the year. If you're lucky, you'll have multiple nearby you can do in a day, but some may be stretched over the entirety of the holiday season, so below we're listing several easy, inexpensive yet fun ways to covet the cold in the year's latest months.
Step
1
Not immune to costume
For those who celebrate Christmas, dressing up can be a fun way to rein in the holiday season. But even if dressing up isn't for you, if you have a dog that tolerates (or even enjoys) being dressed up, we've got a perfect solution for you. Although it's a relatively new tradition, holidays at The Village Green in Plymouth provides the perfect opportunity for the pair of you to try something new. Dogs and owners come from all over New England to participate in the Reindog Parade and yes, it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Dogs (and owners) dress up in holiday attire and costumes to join the once-a-year parade that marches through the streets bringing holiday cheer to bystanders who line up sometimes hours in advance to watch. Registration is easy and can be done just hours before the parade itself kicks off. There are even prizes available for the top three best-dressed, so you may even walk away with an extra gift!
Step
2
Paws with Claus
If dressing up isn't your thing (or your dog's), you can always go see the man of the season: Santa Claus. Many non-profits and animal shelters offer the opportunity to take pictures with the jolly old man for a minimal fee, with many of the proceeds going to the sponsor to better local canine lives. Some of them even plan holiday events around them as well, including doggy games and specialized gifts for you dog or others, which will only expand your possibilities even further.
Step
3
Nights and nights of lights
If you're a bit more low key, there are plenty of more easy-going events to attend that take considerably less participation. Boston Commons provides a ceremonial tree lighting every year and the area is quite dog-friendly, leaving lots of space for you and your pup to bundle up and talk a walk through a beautifully lit park. Of course, if you can't travel that far, you can always look to local neighborhoods. Plenty of Massachusetts towns have streets or even several blocks that will agree to decorate their homes for a holiday walk-through, so you and your dog can grab a hot chocolate and take an evening or night stroll through the gorgeous glowing lights of your winter nights.
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Halloween

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Dog Bags
Costumes
Activity description
If the gift-giving holidays aren't your thing (or even if you want something to celebrate earlier), Halloween is a great time to get festive. There are tons of neighborhoods that sponsor events from costume contents to trick-or-treating, many of which are now turning into something much more dog-friendly than they may have been in the past. If you want to get even spookier, since there's no food involved and most take place outdoors, there are also several ghost and haunted tours you can take with your pooch, and more than almost anywhere else in the country, Massachusetts' history makes it the perfect hotspot to make your and your dog's hair stand on end.
Step
1
Get spent at a Halloween event
While there are plenty of events you can attend that have plenty of activities for both you and your dog to participate in, we suggest you check out the Second Chance Animal Services Halloween Barktacular. Admission to the event has traditionally been free and it includes everything from dog-friendly trick-or-treating to haunted hayrides, spooky-themed games, costume contests and even a benefit walk. And of course, you may make the process a multiple day affair, as you can spend time shopping or creating your costumes as well, giving you that many more options of things to do.
Step
2
Spook-a-pooch
More than almost any other Halloween activity, the most intense and festive come in the form of haunted tours, of which there are an absolute ton of around the Boston area (as well as others). As long as you call ahead, most places are accepting of dogs and very few charge an additional fee to have them on the tour - and most of them are $20 or cheaper to boot! They usually entail walking around outside, so you'll want to make sure you dress for the weather, as most of them last between 45 to 120 minutes, and you'll want to be respectful of the sites, so make sure you provide a bathroom break for your barker beforehand.
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More Fun Ideas...

Blistery Bark Park

It might be cold and it might be snowy but that doesn't mean you can't bundle up and see a new side of your favorite dog parks. Some dogs love frolicking in the snow but rarely get a place or time to do so. Wrap yourself and them up good if need be and see some new sites in your old favorites.

Take a Tour

While many larger and more traditional museums aren't dog-friendly, there are certainly a few fun ones that are, such as the Museum of Dog in North Adams. It's not particularly big but there is still a ton to look at and you'll be able to stay comfortable and warm inside while you do so.

Conclusion

Just because it's New-England-cold doesn't mean you and your dog can't get bold. There are tons of places you can explore both inside and out that with a little planning (and a lot of bundling in some cases) that are both perfect for winter weather or as rare as the holiday season itself. So feel free to use our list as inspiration and do a bit of research on your own to see what's both cool and cold in your local code.