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Amy Reusch

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Well, the day is approaching when I'll finally get to check out Boston Ballet and the Wang.. this Thursday... and of course they're predicting snow!

Any parking advice?

Any dining suggestions? I would want to park and be able to walk to both food and the Wang. Personally, I'd prefer to eat after the performance, but in consideration to my 5-year-old companion, we'd better dine before. She's well behaved in restaurants, but tends not to eat... so one with a children's menu is preferable.

What do parents usually do? (we'll have been in the car for close to two hours by the time we arrive).

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There is a parking garage next door to the Wang and lots of parking lots around the Wang. We've never had a problem with parking even in the huge snowstorm last weekend. However, we did arrive about 1-1/2 hours ahead of time to deliver my son for his performance. But since you want to eat before the performance, you will probably be arriving early anyway. Plenty of restaurants in the area also. There's a California Pizza Kitchen, Rock Bottom, and Bennigans right up the street. Also, a small food court is available. If you'd like a bit more upscale, there's a Legal Sea Foods, Fleming's, and McCormick & Schmick's further up Stuart St. If you wanted to wait until after the show, the Wang does have concession stands offering candy, soft pretzels, cookies, brownies, etc. I hope you enjoy the show. We have loved it!

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Our current preferred parking place is at 200 Stuart St, in the Radisson Hotel. One reason we like it is that we can scoot in there before the traffic jams that tend to happen in the following blocks, at the intersection with Charles St., and along the block before the Tremont/Stuart intersection. On weekends it costs $16, though if you eat in the Theater Cafe in the hotel, parking is discounted to $5. The downside of that is the food in the Theater Cafe is not especially good. I'm not sure of the weekday rates.

Anyway, from that parking garage it is about a 3 block walk to the Theater, and you'll be passing (across the street) all the restaurants mentioned above.

We used to park in the Transportation Building garage that is under those restaurants but recently found it harder to get in and out. Getting in there is a security inspection that slows things down and causes a traffic jam, getting out can be extremely slow if traffic on Charles St is heavy and much of the waiting is on steep up ramps. Escaping from the Radisson garage is much easier.

We saw The Nutcracker yesterday matinee, and enjoyed it - a volunteer in a bear costume was greeting the audience in the lobby and posing for pictures with youngsters, another was in a mouse costume, and all in all it was a jolly time. There was an information table on the way in where Nutcracker pins were available (free). Hope you enjoy the show and let us know how things went.

I'm not sure it will be snow Thursday, I think it might be rain instead.

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A couple more options:

You don't say which direction you're coming from, but you might want to consider parking (and possibly eating) at the last line on the T's Red Line, Alewife. There is a Bertucci's there, and from that station you can go directly to Park Street and then walk.

If you are coming from the west, you might also consider parking near a Green Line T station and then taking the T into Boylston or, for eating, Copley or Arlington.

If that sounds like too much adventure (not sure I'd want to try it with my 4-yo niece...), another option is to park at Copley Place, which has a number of restaurants including the aforementioned Legal Seafood (might want to make a reservation if you are going at a busy time) and the much more casual Au Bon Pain. I am pretty sure Legal has a menu for kids and in any case their service is usually terrific. Legal Seafood might validate so that parking is less expensive--I really have no idea since I always take the T.

There are also numerous cute cafes/restaurants along Newbury Street, which runs parallel to Boylston (Boylston roughly connects Copley Place and the Wang).

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The Wang Center is on Tremont St, just south of Stuart St. Stuart St, which turns into Kneeland St, chock full of business. Also, Chinatown starts on the the north side of Stuart St (opposite side from the Wang Center). There's a ton of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants in there --- walk, don't drive. These are real Chinese restaraunts, the best Chinese seafood in town, etc.

My favorite restaurant in the theatre district is a Vietnamese restaurant at the corner of Washington and Stuart, just two blocks from the Wang. I used to eat there all the time when we performed at the Emerson. It is definitely on the budget end of things, quite good and family run:

Pho Vietnam Restaurant

1 Stuart St

Boston MA 02116

(617) 292-0220

Don't get them confused with "Pho Pasteur", which is more of a chain in Boston and lacks in authenticity. I believe there's a "Pho Pasteur" right around the corner.

Parking at Alewfie is a good idea, it will make driving REALLY SIMPLE. Basically, you take the Mass Pike to Route 128 North to Route 2. It's all freeway. The freeway dead-ends at the Alewife parking garage. From there it's not more than a 20 minute subway ride downtown. Very easy.

If you don't want to drive as far, you can park at the Riverside stop on the Green Line. Take the Mass Pike to Route 128, then take Route 128 south for one exit to the "Riverside MBTA station". There's a big parking lot there as well, and the Green Line will take you directly downtown.

Alewife will cost you $2 round trip per person; Riverside will cost you $3.50.

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