Enjoy Downtown Boston with Walgreens

I came back to visit Walgreens on behalf of Collective Bias®.  I was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias ™ and Walgreens #CBias #SocialFabric  All Opinions are my own.

If you’re a family living in the Boston area or a family traveling to the Boston area, the odds are you will find yourself in Downtown Crossing with young children. It can be delightful, but with children it can be kind of overwhelming. Which is why I suggest you pack light and just take advantage of our lovely new DTX Walgreens. (As you can see from the map, it’s just off the park, up Washington Street a bit from the Downtown Crossing T stop and the Macy’s.)

walgreens map
Click to Enlarge

I know, you are thinking, Again with the Walgreens? Actually, among my in-the-city friends this has been a pretty regular topic of conversation. It’s a much-needed addition to downtown, especially since it’s hard to find one-stop-shop anything when you’re in the heart of the city. 

And one-stop-shop is pretty huge when you have kids. Did you forget wipes? Do you need snacks? Need emergency backup pants? Is someone thirsty? Need band-aids for scraped knee? All these hazards make fun with kids extra tough, but you don’t need to bring all your supplies if you know you have a place to go.

To prove it, I recently brought the kids into the city to have a little fun and hit up our Walgreens. Our plan was to head out to the Common but, sure enough, we were rained out. It has been the rainiest June here, so so wet. But we were still able to have a pretty fun time with just the store. Here are some ideas from our trip to use for your next downtown Boston excursion.

Picnic on the Common

Okay, so we got rained out. But usually summer weather is gorgeous. Here’s my recommended itinerary:

  • Boston Public Garden Swan BoatsSwan Boats. Great for younger children, very low-key, and you usually get a nice view of swans, ducks and a turtle if you’re lucky.
  • Make Way For Duckling photos. You may have to wait a while since everyone wants to snap a pic of their kids with the lovely duck statues, but it’s such a great photo-op.
  • Frog Pond. It’s only about a foot deep, a great way to cool down without the stress of a pool. 

Walgreens is just a couple blocks from the Common (on the North-ish side, by the State House). I recommend popping in for fresh fruit and cold snacks. 

There are a whole bunch of fresh cut fruit combinations. Besides just the usual one with melon, pineapple and berries you can find just about anywhere, they also have a tropical mix, a just-berries mix, a berries-and-mango mix and more. My kids will take the berries, please and thank you.
Fruit at Walgreens

The grab-and-go section is one of my favorite things about the store. You will not have to settle for sad looking sandwiches. Get chips and some hummus!  Have some cold noodles! Have a sandwich that looks like you’d really like to eat it!

Walgreens Sandwiches


They even have a container of plastic silverware with napkins right by the cashiers. (Chopsticks, too, if you decide to go the sushi route…)

Get Pampered

If you’ve got a nail polish lover, you can probably get a good 45 minutes out of a walk through the Walgreens beauty section and a nice, cheap manicure.

Graham, our resident nail polish lover, requests daily polish changes at home and insists on having every color of the rainbow. He was blown away by all the colors he found at Walgreens. Seriously, he was so excited. And the beautiful displays were way cooler than the ones we normally see at the drug store.

 Pop Nail Polish


Along with your regular brands, there’s plenty of high end and some really sweet colors, like the super-bright pop shades. Plus, this family on a budget is happy to see the 99-cent Wet & Wilds still around. 

I’m happy to indulge Graham’s love of nail polish, and the $9 polish change at Walgreens was a fun way for him to get a fun and fancy experience. Their manicurists are also trained on all the products in the store. I’ve found them to be really sweet, too. 2 days later Graham’s polished isn’t scratched, a miracle, as his morning polish is usually a wreck by the end of the day.

 Graham gets his nails done

Graham gets his nails done 2

If you’re wondering, Graham immediately picked out OPI’s Cajun Shrimp (affiliate link). He could not be deterred.

I think he’s still too little for a spa day or something like that, but a fun sit down to get his nails painted for under $10? I’ll totally support that. 

Another easy way to please your beauty-loving littles is the sample machine (samples of a variety of products for just $1) and the super cool computer that lets you take a picture of yourself and see how different products look on your face.

Stop in for a Snack

Maybe you’re shopping. Maybe you’re waiting for a show. Maybe you’re just wandering through the city and need a little break. You’re covered.

 First up: Fro Yo.FroYo Toppings
Kid and FroYo


You’re in New England so they’re called “jimmies.” Just so we’re clear. 

Fro Yo is the new cupcake here in Boston. You can’t really miss it. But your wallet will be much happier going to Walgreens where you can get 6 flavors and unlimited toppings without being charged by weight. (Graham, as you can see, prefers the heavy gummy bears to the lighter toppings. So we approve.) 



For the discerning palate, all kinds of goodies from 2 of Boston’s best bakeries.  Black and white cookies, macarons, cupcakes, all brought in fresh.

And don’t forget the drinks. There’s a juice and smoothie bar with a billion different possible flavors. And also this, my best friend:


Freestyle Machine


Oh, Coke Freestyle. You are a thing of beauty. You let me have my fountain Diet Coke just the way I like it, with 75% regular and 25% Diet Coke with Lime. You can add flavor to any drink and the touch screen is still all new and fancy to us old timers. Now we just have to convince Walgreens to start carrying some of those gallon-sized mugs…

And don’t forget…

For the kid-free outing you can pick up a bottle of wine, a 6-pack of beer or a bottle of spirits to take back to your hotel room and enjoy. That sounds nice to me…



  1. Karen says

    This is awesome! I’m definitely incoroprating this Walgreens into the itinerary for our next Boston visit in July. I wish we had a Walgreens like that in Maine!

    • says

      I wish every Walgreens was like this one, but alas! It’s funny, I use this one more than the one by my house. I just end up at DTX a good amount and it’s super convenient.

  2. alevai says

    Okay, you’re going to have to warn me if the adorable child is going to be wearing an adorable bow. Too cute! And I love the Pop colours!

    • says

      There were even more Pop colors but I didn’t get a picture as I’d already gone a little overboard on nail polish pics. But SO cool.
      And sorry about the lack of a bow warning. Just assume all the kid’s pictures will have them from now on as they’ve both gone on a big bow kick. Yesterday they each demanded 2.

  3. Abby says

    I can vouch for the deliciousness of that chicken salad sandwich – when I worked in Manhattan, it was my go-to commuting meal most nights on my way home from work. I’m so excited to see that they’re available at Walgreens a bit closer to home … it will make satisfying that nostalgic craving a little bit easier!

    Thanks for this post and the ideas for enjoying Downtown Boston!

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