Top 10 Things to Do in Harvard Square Before you Die

Top 10 Things to Do in Harvard Square Before you Die

10. Take the Hahvahd Tour!

Without question the very best way to see Harvard is on the Hahvahd Tour! Started by Harvard students in 2006, the tour continues to be led by current students filled with little known-facts, exciting stories, and gut-busting puns. We’ll bring you not only through Harvard Yard, but into the streets of Cambridge to see upperclassmen dormitories and much more! Reserve your tickets now on or give us a call us at:
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9. Watch the Harvard Crew Team Practice on the Charles River

No trip to Boston is complete without a stroll along the Charles River, but in Harvard Square, you get the added bonus of watching the Harvard Crew teams practice. Whether you see the men launch from Newell Boathouse or the women from Weld, it’s a spectacular display of graceful athleticism. Benches abound along the shore, so grab a seat! But be warned, in the early spring it can get mighty windy!

8. Meet Your Favorite Author at the Harvard Book Store

While not officially associated with Harvard University, The Harvard Book Store has been around for so long (est. 1932!) that they get to use the name. In addition to a wide selection of books, HBS has their own printing press called the Espresso Book Machine, which can print books in the public domain on-demand. They also house book readings with famous authors all the time. Check out the list here!

7. Whisper Secrets under the Whispering Arch

In Sever Quad within Harvard Yard there is an archway admitting entrance into the west façade which possesses an acoustical oddity. Whispering directly into the bricks of the archway, while standing very close to one side of the arch, can be heard clearly on the other side of the arch (approximately twelve feet away). The building was designed by architect H.H. Richardson and makes for one heck of a telephone game!

6. Get a Slice of ‘Noch’s Pizza

It might seem tacky to include a slice of pizza on a “must-do” list, but trust us – Pinocchio’s Pizza is worth it! You’ll find the walls of this small shop covered in photos of their famous patrons. Mark Zuckerberg, Matt Damon, Steve Carell – Noch’s fans all. Be sure to try their sicilian style slices, big enough that just one is a meal. And don’t overlook the grinders either!

5. Visit the Square at Night

While Harvard Yard provides beautiful views on a sunny day, the Square at night is an adventure all its own. You can catch an independent or classic movie at the Brattle Theatre or laugh yourself silly at a Comedy Studio stand-up show on the top floor of the Hong Kong restaurant. Or just wander the streets with an ice cream from Lizzie’s and enjoy the street musicians.

4. Make a Pilgrimage to the Divinity School

Located beyond the Science Center and past the Museum of Natural History, Harvard’s Divinity graduate school is one of the great unknown beauties in Harvard Square. Just far enough away from the action that tourists often miss it, but not so far that you can’t walk there, HDS is home to a pristine campus that rivals Harvard Yard itself!

3. Sneak Into Primal Scream

At midnight on night before finals, over a thousand Harvard students gather together in the Yard to participate in an ancient Harvard tradition known as the Primal Scream. Students yell to the sky to release all their pent up studying stress, and then go running around the yard together. So why should you try to be one of the 6,000 spectators to the annual winter event? Because the whole thing happens completely in the nude! You don’t want to miss it!

2. Explore the Harvard Art Museums

Why put up with the throngs of tourists at the Louvre when you can see Monets’ and Van Goghs’ right here? The recently renovated Harvard Art Museums are three distinct museum collections, now housed under one roof. The Fogg, The Sackler, and the Busch-Reisinger contain works from Ancient Greece & Rome, the Middle Ages & Renaissance, Asia & the Middle East, along with many more modern pieces. When you first walk in, you’ll encounter a piece known as Triangle Constellation. It doubles as an instrument that can be played with a giant stick from the 2nd floor!

1. See the world-famous Glass Flowers Exhibit

The Harvard Museum of Natural History showcases mammals, undersea life, ancient dinosaurs, and much more. But no visit to them is complete without a stop at the famous glass flowers exhibit. Long before digital imaging was possible, Harvard recruited a glass artist and his son, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, to design and create a collection of glass models to aid in teaching botany. After almost 50 years they ended up with 847 life-size models representing 780 species and varieties of plants as well as over 3,000 models of enlarged details.