A Perfect Day in Newton, Massachusetts

Suggestions if you visit my hometown.
  1. Breakfast and/or ice cream at Cabot's.
    Been there forever. A real deal diner with especially beloved ice cream. Huge windows open out onto Washington Street, the main thoroughfare of West Newton and Newton Corner.
  2. Newton Center Playground
    I grew up within walking distance to this park. We called it "the park." It never occurred to me how rare and idyllic such a park is. Stunning in fall, spring, and summer; the perfect small hill for sledding in winter. Basketball court, two baseball diamonds (including one with a fence that is the childhood dream to hit one over), clay (!) tennis courts, stuff for kids, a small brook, all in the backyard of Mason-Rice Elementary School. Maybe the world's perfect park.
  3. Lunch at Johnny's Luncheonette
    Built in the 90s in the style of a 1950s, center of town, everyone-goes-there diner. But you know what? It worked. Food is delicious and there are healthy options, everyone in town goes there, upbeat environment. @LevNovak was raised on their chicken fingers.
  4. Crystal Lake in Newton Highlands
    There's a lake in the middle of Newton, and it's really nice. Walk around it as part of a stroll through Newton Highlands, a small happy neighborhood with some nice shops and houses.
  5. Bill's House of Pizza
    Sorry - "Pizzeria." They've gone more upscale. But they're even better. If the clock ran out on a parent cooking dinner, the answer was always "Bill's."
  6. Home with your family and/or friends
    I could recommend a bar, I guess - Union Street is the default one, and I like it - but Newton is best for just being with people at night. Watch TV or something! Or go to Boston.