Let’s paint a scene: You, picking over a soggy salad (because you put the dressing on it earlier in the morning) or one-handedly eating a burrito, while you hen-peck at your keyboard trying to catch up on emails. It’s your lunch break, and yet, you’re still working.
You let this happen way too often — we all do. But, now it’s time to change your plans. Take a deep breath and leave the office. Go out and enjoy the sunshine. Ease up on your focus.
We’ve made it a little bit easier for you to do so with our recommendations of a few fun, free lunch-time diversions, organized by office-dense neighborhoods.
Office Location: Downtown Crossing
If you work in the Downtown Crossing area, you’re just steps away from City Hall Plaza’s newly transformed public square, which features The Patios, an outdoor hangout with daily programming, a regular food truck schedule and wine and beer vendors.
Unwind on comfortable patio furniture or take advantage of the ongoing activities, like Wag Wednesdays (noon to 2 p.m.) during which dogs from the Shultz’s Guest House rescue home come to City Hall for a little play time.
Office Location: Kendall Square
Tucked away high above Kendall Square is Kendall Center’s Roof Garden, a hidden oasis offering beautiful views and a place to lounge over lunch in one of the on-site Adirondack chairs.
Ample programming allows you to get your hands dirty with a free gardening workshop held from noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday. Going back to the earth might be just what you need to brush off the stress of the day.
Office Location: Harvard Square
You’ll feel decades away from that two-hour conference call when you visit the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, just a few streets removed from Harvard Square in Cambridge.
Take a tour of the interior of the mansion or stroll its surrounding gardens for free. Tours range from 20 minutes to one hour in the middle of the day, depending on how much time you can spare.
Office Location: Seaport
Feast your eyes on color that extends beyond your color-coded spreadsheets with a self-guided art tour of the Seaport District.
Start with the vibrant Okuda San Miguel sculptures lining Seaport Boulevard and providing an intricate commentary on our relationship with nature.
Then, pop over the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston’s lobby to view Nina Chanel Abney’s site-specific installation just inside the museum’s doors, and top off the tour by snapping an Instagram at the “Boston is the New Boston” mural on Northern Avenue.
Office Location: Financial District
If it’s a Tuesday or a Thursday (11:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.) head to Dewey Square for Boston Public Market’s seasonal popup and snag your lunch from a local farmer. There is plenty of room to enjoy it on the Greenway lawn between Super A’s new mural “Resonance” and South Station’s majestic façade.