Historic Walking Tours

Learn about history with Historic Newton on guided tours of neighborhood landmarks and historic areas with Newton Walks tours. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and is designed for walkers of all ages wearing sturdy shoes, unless otherwise noted in the description. The suggested donation, $10 per person, may be paid in advance by using the donation link below or at the start of the tour.

NOTE: The following tours are planned, but we will base our decision about whether to hold the tour by following official advice from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Newton about the safety of public gatherings. Specific safety protocols for each event will be published here and sent to all registrants. Changes or cancellations will be posted on this page and on Historic Newton's facebook page.


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tour information changes rapidly. Sign up to express interest in a particular tour and we'll contact you to tell you more about its date and format. Walk-ups are not allowed this summer due to guidelines for safe public gatherings. For information, please call 617-796-1450.

Weather cancellations are announced on our web site at least two hours before tour time. 

Our 2020 Walking Tours are presented in partnership with

2020 Schedule of Newton Walks Tours

Watch this website for additional 2020 tours. If you would like to book a tour for a small group, contact education@historicnewton.org.


This series invites tourgoers to actively engage in a sport as they learn about history. The tours are supported in part by Newton-Wellesley Hospital, as well as a grant from the Newton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.


Sunday, August 16, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
(Rain date, Sunday, August 23)

This safe and easy (no hills) ride takes you past historical sites related to bicycle history in Newton. Visit where bicycles were built and raced in the 1890s, and also see where bicyclists (men and women) by the hundreds met up and picnicked in the Lakes District of the Charles River in Newton Lower Falls, Auburndale, and part of Waltham. Learn how cyclists used the rail and streetcar lines for multi-modal transportation, exploring some little-known connections. We will ride approximately 14 miles in a group with nobody left behind. The ride, co-sponsored by Charles River Wheelers, is led by Larry Finison, author of two books on bicycle history; and John Allen, League of American Bicyclists, CyclingSavvy Instructor, and author of Bicycling Street Smarts

 Pre-registration is required through Charles River Wheelers. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and insurance regulations , if you are not a CRW member, you need to join by August 12, through www.crw.org. Cost $15 per person (includes CRW bike shop discounts, Ride with GPS, Ride Library). After you join, wait a day for your membership to go through and then register for the history ride through this page and sign the on-line waiver. The group size will be limited by CRW according to COVID-19 protocols.


Sunday, August 30, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Join Paul Clerici, author of Images of Modern America: The Boston Marathon and 23-time Boston Marathon finisher for a special run up Heartbreak Hill to Boston College. Learn about Boston Marathon history along the Newton route and see other local landmarks along the way. The route goes approximately 4 miles at a slow pace.
Location: Meet at the Johnny Kelley statue at the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Walnut Streets opposite Newton City Hall.
Admission: Pre-register. Suggested donation, $10 per person. A waiver will be required to participate.


VIRTUAL PROGRAM! Check back for the date and to register for the program

The Lakes District of the Charles River in Newton Lower Falls and Auburndale used to attract thousands of paddlers each weekend. This special tour with PaddleBoston tells you about attractions that once lined the river, including Norumbega Park, and takes you past boathouses and bridges that are still standing. The route goes upstream and downstream, with a stop in between for restrooms and those who want to end the tour after approximately one hour. Bring your own boat or rent one at a special group rate from PaddleBoston.
Location: The tour leaves from PaddleBoston, 2401 Commonwealth Avenue, Auburndale
Admission: Pre-registration required. A waiver will also be required to participate.
Suggested donation: $10 per person.


VIRTUAL PROGRAM! Check back for the date and to register for the program
Find out who invented the microwave oven, the flat-bottomed paper bag, a bread machine, and many more items both useful and fanciful at our tour focusing on the lives of clever individuals whose final resting place is at Newton Cemetery.

NEW DATE! Saturday, September 26, 2:00 pm

This tour with Historic Newton and the Wellesley Historical Society focuses on the rise and fall of industry in Lower Falls. Learn how the Charles River once powered nationally renowned paper mills. Also see the village that early residents built, including St. Mary’s Church and the one-time community hall that is now Lower Falls Wine Company. The tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and is recommended for adults and teens.
Location: Meet outside Starbucks, 2322 Washington Street, Newton Lower Falls
Suggested donation: 
$10 per person