While the famous Arlington Cemetery is located in Virginia, the namesake town of Arlington, MA honors those buried there for their bravery and service. Arlington, MA, is also home of American’s first children’s library, rich Algonquian history and culture, Uncle Sam, and more. There’s lots to do in this little town, from visiting museums to eating innovative desserts created right here in town by some of our own. The night life and artistic culture are second to none, and the cycling community is alive and well in downtown Arlington and along its scenic trails. It’s a great place for the whole family.
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1.Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum
© Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum
The Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum strives to give guests the opportunity to explore the shared history of all those who have lived and worked in Massachusetts, including his family, others of European-American decent, and the Native Americans he met and respected, all of which are celebrated in his incredible sculptures. Dallin lived in Arlington from 1900 until his death in 1944, creating and sculpting until the very end. The collections at the museum showcase Native Americans, Historical Figures, Allegorical Figures, and Family & Neighbors, and the museum is open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 4.
611 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474, Phone: 781-641-0747
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2.Jason Russell House
© Jason Russell House
Originally built in 1738, the Jason Russell House is now owned by the Arlington Historical Society and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1947. The historic house contains furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which belonged to the Russell family. Bullet holes from the bloodiest battle of the first day of the Revolutionary War are still visible throughout the house, and a monument marks the grave where Russell and eleven other men were buried after perishing in the fight. Visitors are invited to explore and learn about life from that era on weekends from April through September.
7 Jason Street, Arlington, MA 02476, Phone: 781-648-4300
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The Capitol Theatre is a six-screen treasure in Arlington, showing new and classic movies and serving up fresh popcorn as has been tradition since the theatre opened as a one-screen movie house in 1925. The Capitol works hard to serve all audiences, with closed captioning, audio assisted, and wheelchair accessible screenings, as well as movies every Monday for parents of young children who want to see new movies without finding child care on the weekends. The atmosphere is incredible due to renovations that have preserved and expanded the original style of the lobby and auditoriums, including the original proscenium and big screen.
204 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA 02475, Phone: 781-648-4340
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© AFD Theatre
If you prefer live theatre over movies, the AFD Theatre has you covered. Originally known as Arlington Friends of the Drama and founded in 1923, AFD produces four shows each year, including two musicals. In addition to winning awards each year from the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres (EMACT) for acting, production, set design, and more, the AFD is proud of its reach to local and regional audiences and a continued tradition of community theatre excellence. In addition to the main season productions, AFD also hosts a short play festival and other events all year, so be sure to check the calendar and throw on your dress duds for a show.
22 Academy Street, Arlington, MA, Phone: 781-646-5922
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5.Old Schwamb Mill
© Old Schwamb Mill
Another Arlington entry on the National Register of Historic places, the Old Schwamb Mill is the longest continually running mill site in the entire western hemisphere. The building was originally a spice mill but was converted into a woodworking space when the Schwambs purchased it in 1864. Today visitors can tour the facility and see machinery demonstrations and the creation of circle and oval wooden frames still produced by hand on 19th century equipment. The mill, dryhouse, and barn are open for tours on Tuesdays and Saturdays year-round.
17 Mill Lane at 29 Lowell St., Arlington, MA 02476, Phone: 781-643-0554
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© Regent Theatre
Arlington’s Regent Theatre brings regional, national, and international live acts to the town, working to nurture its roots as a vaudeville house originally built in 1916. Over the past five years, the Regent has hosted acts like Ed Asner, Taj Mahal, Paula Poundstone, The Russian American Kids Circus and more, covering stand-up comedy, musical groups and more. The Regent also offers a special Dinner & A Show program in conjunction with local restaurants, giving those who partake in the deal dinner at a discount and live entertainment. What a night! The Regent also invites groups to rent the space for celebrations of all kinds and touts its ability to sell wine and beer when appropriate and desired.
7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA, Phone: 781-646-4849
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Twice rated among the top 100 shops in America by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, Quad Cycles invites new and experienced cyclists in for fittings, rentals, repairs, and bike talk. Owner Rustem Gode has been riding and racing bicycles since he was a boy and worked as a mechanic for the Turkish International Racing Team before moving to the United States in 1989. He and his experienced staff help cyclists of all ages but really love it when kids come in and hope to help them build a lasting love of the sport to mirror their own.
1043 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476, Phone: 781-648-5222
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For a dining experience that will go down in history, look no further than Scutra. Lead chef and owner Didier Baugniet, originally from Belgium, used the Latin word scutra as the restaurant name because it is an eating dish, but it is derived from the work scutum, an ancient Roman shield. In line with the elegant name, Scutra serves delectable European-inspired dishes from appetizers to salads, to entrees and an extensive list of beer, wine, and cocktails. Reservations are encouraged, but diners are welcome Monday through Saturday evenings, and special events and parties can book rooms for up to 60 guests.
92 Summer Street, Arlington, MA 02474, Phone: 781-316-1816
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9.The Scoop N' Scootery
© The Scoop N’ Scootery
You think you know ice cream sundaes, but you don’t know anything until you’ve visited The Scoop N’ Scootery. The sundae shop offers a wide and ever-expanding variety of flavors and toppings, completely customizable to suit your specific taste. The friendly staff is trained with three key values in mind: quality, aesthetic, and speed. Open Tuesday through Saturday until 2 am and Sunday until 10 pm, Scoop N’ Scootery can satisfy your sweet tooth at all hours, and if you aren’t up to driving, they will deliver! If you do want to dine in, there are a few seats where you can watch the sundae masters at work. It’s a real treat.
112 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA 02474, Phone: 617-394-9634
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9 Best Things to Do in Arlington, MA
- Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum, Photo: Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum
- Jason Russell House, Photo: Jason Russell House
- Capitol Theatre, Photo: liuzishan/stock.adobe.com
- AFD Theatre, Photo: AFD Theatre
- Old Schwamb Mill, Photo: Old Schwamb Mill
- Regent Theatre, Photo: Regent Theatre
- Quad Cycles, Photo: bannafarsai/stock.adobe.com
- Scutra, Photo: Scutra
- The Scoop N' Scootery, Photo: The Scoop N’ Scootery
- Cover Photo: Town of Arlington, MA