World Culture for Kids: Newton, Massachusetts!

Today we’re visiting Newton, Massachusetts with Mia of Pragmatic Mom! Here are three posts you should check out from Mia’s blog: 40+ book lists of multicultural books for children, a free kindergarten readiness printable, and this pretty autumn leaf project for kids!

World Culture for Kids at Mama Smiles Joyful Parenting

I’ve lived in Newton, Massachusetts for nearly 10 years with my husband and three kids. It’s a suburb seven miles west of downtown Boston. Newton was created in 1630 when Cambridge, that city with Harvard and MIT, grew too large. Newton was originally called Newe Towne … because it was the new part of town of Cambridge. Eventually, the name morphed to Newton.

Newton, Massachusetts

A BoxART in Newton.

Newton does not have a city center, instead it is a patchwork of thirteen “villages”. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Newton was 85,146, making it the eleventh largest city in the state. My village is called Auburndale but my kids go to school in West Newton and West Newton Hills which is adjacent to Auburndale.

Schools My Kids Attend in Newton, MA

This is our elementary school. Peirce Elementary School Newton MA This is our middle school which is currently undergoing construction to add six classroom needed to keep up with surge of incoming 6th graders including my middle daughter. We hope they will be done by September! Day Middle School Newton MA And this will be our high school. It was built a few years ago at a cost of nearly $200 million dollars! Newton North High School, NNHS  

Diversity in Newton

Newton has both ethnic and socio economic diversity making it unique among the western suburbs of Boston.

  • White alone – 69,123 (81.4%)
  • Asian alone – 8,543 (10.1%)
  • Hispanic – 2,995 (3.5%)
  • Black alone – 2,052 (2.4%)
  • Two or more races – 1,434 (1.7%)
  • Other race alone – 461 (0.5%)
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone – 153 (0.2%)
  • American Indian alone – 34 (0.04%)

 

Famous Authors From Newton, MA

Newton has been home to many famous authors including:

Virginia Lee Burton

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Nathaniel Hawthorne

and recent best sellers from …

William Landay

This is Cold Spring Park where the murder in Defending Jacob takes place. It’s an off leash dog park.

Cold Spring Park, Newton MA, Defending Jacob

Saul Wisnia

Newton Home to Professional Athletes

Newton is home to many famous professional athletes over the years as well. You may recognize some of them! JD Drew of the Red Sox JD Drew Red Sox Newton resident I Love Newton MA Massachusetts Ted Williams Ted Williams Red Sox legend resident of Newton MA I Love Newton MA Larry Bird, former Boston Celtics basketball player Larry Bird Celtics Newton Resident I Love Newton MA Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics Taylor Twellman of the New England Revolution Taylor Twellman Revolution New England Soccer Professional Player Resident of Newton MA  

Actors from Newton, MA

The list of actors from Newton is also surprising! They include … Matt Damon Bette Davis Bette Davis from Newton MA I Love Newton MA famous well known actors from Newton Massacusetts John Krasinski John Krasinski The Office actor born in Newton MA I Love Newton MA Hollywood Actors Boston Matt LeBlanc Matt LeBlanc Joey from Friends born in newton MA I Love Newton MA actors from newton Amy Poehler Amy Poehler actor from Newton MA I Love Newton MA That’s the People Magazine version of Newton, MA. But what is it like to live here?

Newton Landmarks

The Charles River winds through Newton and is one distinct geographic landmark of Newton. My kids love kayaking or canoeing in the Charles River. photo-3Charles River in Newton MA  

charles river, Newton MA

There is a swimming lake in Newton called Crystal lake with a shallow “beach” area for small children as well as deeper areas to swim. They offer swimming lessons during the summer. Crystal Lake Newton MA

image from Geo Commons

Newton has a history of liberal politics that goes back centuries. Newton was a vibrant part of the Underground Railroad. Our museum, The Jackson Homestead, was one such stop. I learned from a school field trip that runaway slaves would hide in the basement of the Jackson Homestead in what appeared to be a covered shallow but dry well. We speculated that it was used as a root cellar. When it was safe, the slaves would be disguised and driven to a train station a few towns over to cross the border into Canada where they would be free.

Jackson Homestead

 

Newton’s Historic Architecture

The Newton Centre playground was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted whose work included New York’s Central Park. Newton Centre Playground, Frederick Law Olmstead H. H. Richardson designed the Baptist church below as well as the subway stations, some of which still survived today. His most famous work is Trinity Church in Copley Plaza, Boston.

H. H. Richardson, Newton, church

Baptist Church, Newton Corner, Built 1884 H H Richardson, Newton Centre Train Station

Newton Centre Subway Station

H. H. Richardson, architect, Newton, Newton Highlands T Stop     

Newton Colleges

Newton is home to three colleges: Boston College, Lasell College and Mount Ida College. It’s great to have these resources nearby. My kids play soccer on their fields, attend their sports camps, and many of their babysitters were from these colleges! Lasell college newton ma

Lasell College in Newton, MA

Mount Ida College

Mount Ida College in Newton, MA (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Boston College

Boston College in Newton, MA (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Boston Marathon Runs Through Newton

Have you heard of Heartbreak Hill? It’s considered the toughest leg of the Boston Marathon and it’s in Newton.

Heartbreak Hill begins at the bottom where Grant Ave crosses Commonwealth Ave and ends at the peak of the where Hammond St, Wachusetts and Woodchester meet and cross Commonwealth Ave.

Heartbreak Hill Newton MAHeartbreak Hill Statue (image Examiner)

I hope you enjoyed my tour of Newton, MA! mia wenjen, pragmaticmom 

Mia Wenjen blogs on parenting, education and children’s books at PragmaticMom.com and the great things about living in Newton, MA at ILoveNewton.com.

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Mia, for this post! I’m thinking my family needs to spend some time in Newton before we head West!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

9 thoughts on “World Culture for Kids: Newton, Massachusetts!”

  1. I lived in Newtonville for a couple years in my 20’s and I loved it. Newton is the perfect combo of city and suburb. People have houses and yards but are still on public transportation. So convenient to Boston too.
    The new high school looks amazing. I just love new school!
    <3 Virginia Lee Burton and Uncle Ton's Cabin is an amazing story.
    The architecture info you shared is very interesting. I'd like to spend some time in the Newton Centre Playground!

  2. It looks live a lovely place to live but I cannot believe $200 million for a high school! Wow!! It was so interesting to read about Newton and all the famous people who come from your town. I love the heartbreak hill statue!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

shares
Scroll to Top