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.


Pre-register to ensure your spot on the tour. Walk-ups on tour day are allowed if there is space. 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

NOTE: These 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. Watch this space for more information.

Sunday, June 21, 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

Tuesday, July 21, 6:30 pm

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.
Location: Meet in front of the chapel to the right of the cemetery’s main entrance at 791 Walnut Street, Newton Centre. Park in the lot adjacent to the chapel.
Suggested donation: $10 per person

Watch this website for additional 2020 tours. If you would like to book a tour for a small group before our tour season begins, 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.


Saturday, August 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon
(Rain date, Sunday, August 2)

The Lakes District of the Charles River in Newton Lower Falls and Auburndale used to attracts 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.

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
Location: Meet at the parking lot of the duck feeding area, 148 Norumbega Road, Weston (just across from the boat house in Auburndale). Bring your own bike.
Admission: Pre-registration required. A waiver will also be required to participate.
Suggested donation: $10 per person.

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 or come on tour day. Suggested donation, $10 per person. A waiver will be required to participate.