It’s the middle of winter and raining and instead of nursing a coffee, we’re heading to the Boston Tea Party Museum.
The Boston Tea Party, a rebellion between the colonists and the British over extra taxes being placed on bales of tea is the event that kick started the American War of Independence. What was basically an ambush where the aggrieved locals dressed as indigenous folk boarded a ship and tipped the tea overboard into the harbor rather than pay the taxes. Now you can share this disdain for English Breakfast and Earl Grey and tip your own tea overboard and sing the praises of a grande peppermint mocha with whipped cream.
The Boston Tea Party takes you back to the 1700s, where you’re initially corralled into a town meeting of sorts. The locals are restless and you’re invited to join in the airing of grievances on the pressing political issues of the day. We are issued with cards depicting a historic character we will need to role play and feathers to waive as a sign of disdain (“fie”) and support (“huzzah”). A little cheesy, yes, but if you embrace the experience it is certainly offers a little tongue in cheek humor.
We are then herded to the decks of the Museum’s ship, right on the Charles River, to see the living quarters of sailors of the day, and to practice our own tea dunking skills. The most interesting part of the tour for us is being transported through time by costumed actors who take you through the museum and explain the events leading up the dumping of the tea. Holograms are used to explain elaborate on key moments and fill in the huge gaps in our knowledge of American history.
To finish the visit, guests can access the Museum’s tiny café, Abigail’s Tea Room, complete with Devonshire tea with English scones and jam and cream, a delicious and sweet nod to British involvement in U.S. history.