Wellesley College students, new and returning, welcome to Wellesley. We’re glad to have you here.
While we know there’s plenty to do on campus, there’s lots to do just beyond its confines, too.
Shopping and services
Both of these shopping centers, as well as Church Square at the edge of campus and Wellesley Hills and Lower Falls a few miles away, provide a great variety of places to eat, buy sundries, find fitness and personal care services, and shop for fun. Note that some businesses a bit further away from campus, like Andrews Pharmacy, offer delivery services to local schools.
Many places are also looking for employees, so don’t be shy about asking if you don’t see a “Help Wanted” sign. Businesses such as Truly’s ice cream and frozen yogurt shop are known for their support of the town’s younger residents, with many getting their first job there.
Speaking of jobs, there’s a ripe business for babysitting, pet sitting, and other such home services. Check out the What’s Up Wellesley Facebook group, for example, to find people looking for help or offering services.
Free or low cost fun
While Wellesley is an affluent town, there is free or low-cost fun to be had here, too. One good source of such activities can be our Events calendar. The town’s shopping centers sponsor outdoor music and various arts activities at different times of the year.
Then there’s the town’s off-road trails system, which includes nearly 30 miles of marked trails, and more unmarked ones, including some surrounding the college (be careful not to venture onto private property along Lake Waban—you used to be able to circle the lake on foot, but the family that owns property around half the body of water shut down access during the pandemic, and that’s been that to date…). The Wellesley Trails Committee leads hikes on trails each spring and fall.
As residents of Wellesley, you have access to the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility (RDF), though it certainly helps to have a vehicle if you want to drop anything off or pick anything up at the Reusables section, which is a free give-and-take area. You can get some great stuff there, though there’s plenty of competition for the goods. See the RDF website or download its app to get info on hours, etc.
You can also join the online Wellesley Give & Take group to give or take items.
If you tired of the Wellesley College scene, there’s Babson College and Olin College just 2 miles away, plus MassBay Community College on the other side of town along Rte. 9. Check their activities calendars.
If you’re into the arts, Wellesley Theatre Project offers high quality youth theatre products, as do the Wellesley Public School system and private schools, including Dana Hall School in Wellesley. Across the town line into Natick, there’s The Center for the Arts in Natick (TCAN) and renowned arts school Walnut Hill.
Finally, if you don’t already know, the Boston Marathon comes streaming and screaming past the Wellesley College campus every April.
Town government & community groups
While getting involved in the town government might not be an obvious activity for area college students, there’s actually plenty of action in Wellesley, which is led by an executive director and Select Board, and uses the Town Meeting form of government for its legislature. Town Meeting happens each spring, and often in the fall, if you want to get a flavor for how the municipality runs. Town committees are always looking for help as well, and a student’s outlook can never be underestimated.
If you’ve really exhausted every show on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Apple TV, etc., there’s always Wellesley Media for local happenings.
Looking for a volunteer opportunity beyond campus? Wellesley is home to many community and charitable groups that might welcome your help.
If campus worship options aren’t for you, Wellesley has a wide selection of welcoming religious organizations, some within walking distance of Wellesley College.
Wellesley College has its own transportation offerings, plus you’re in the middle of a town that has 3 stops on the Commuter Rail train (warning, awful for late night activities due to the limited schedule). You can, however, cobble together transporation on the MBTA greenline into Newton, and then ride-sharing. The town of Wellesley has also bulked up its shuttle options.
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