Boston February 17, 2018
16 Legitimately Fun Things You Can Do In Boston Without Spending A Dime
One of the downsides of living in Boston is cost. When a city is this appealing, lots of people want to call it home and that drives up the price of rent and… well, everything. So we like to save money when possible. Fortunately, free attractions abound here. You just have to know where to look and when to go! Next time you’re seeking some budget-friendly fun, consider trying these 16 activities:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Relax on Boston's beaches.
Head to Castle Island, Revere Beach, or the long list of beaches in the Greater Boston area. You never have to choose between city and sand here.
2. Stroll through Arnold Arboretum.
This pocket of peace and tranquility is the ideal spot for a picnic, provides a feast for the eyes in spring and fall, and is a pleasant walking destination in winter months.
3. Tour Sam Adams Brewery.
Learn about the beer-making process on an hour-long brewery tour that includes free samples. Tours are available on a first come, first serve basis (don't forget your ID) and run every day save Sunday. Although technically free, a $2 donation to the charities that the brewery supports is requested. Sam Adams Brewery is located at 30 Germania Street in Boston.
4. See world-class art at the Museum of Fine Arts.
After 4:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, admission to the museum is free. You do need to line up and present ID, and a donation is appreciated, but no payment is required to enter. You can lose yourself for hours admiring the permanent collection and varied, yet fascinating temporary exhibits at this renowned institution.
5. Walk the Freedom Trail.
Step back in time as you travel this 2.5-mile long trail that connects 16 historical sites. You can do a self-guided tour using
. Some stops, like Paul Revere's House charge an admission fee, but many highlights on the route are free.
6. Follow the Black Heritage Trail.
Free African Americans in Bostonian were leaders of the country's Abolitionist Movement. Discover the vital role they played in advancing equality and see the schools, homes, and meeting houses where change was born on this trail. Seasonal guided tours are available, free of charge, starting at the Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial. You can also do a self-guided tour with help from
the tour maps
on this site.
7. Explore the Irish Heritage Trail.
The impact that Irish immigrants have had on Boston is still apparent today. Many of the attractions of historic significance are free - this trail in particular is heavy on statues, memorials, and burying grounds - and you can combine them together to best suit the amount of time you have available. Learn more
8. Stroll in Boston's green spaces.
There are so many free parks and green spaces to choose from in Boston, but you can never go wrong with an amble across the Common, through the Public Garden, and down the Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
9. Commonwealth Museum
No need to wait for a specific day or time to tour this museum - it's always free! Highlights include original copies of The Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere's engraving of the Boston Massacre, and so much more. The museum is located at 220 William T Morrissey Boulevard in Boston.
10. Listen to free music at Berklee.
One of the many benefits of being surrounded by colleges is that you can take advantage of events like the musical performances - many of them free - hosted by institutions like Berklee. Check out upcoming events
11. Go to college.
Okay, attending college is definitely not a cheap endeavor but you
appreciate a campus free of charge. Many of our universities have lovely grounds and architecture. MIT makes things easy with
and Harvard offers
guide to Harvard Yard.
12. Play a game.
Recapture the fun of childhood with games that are fun for kids and adults alike. On Sundays, in summer, the Charles River Conservancy partners with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to host Sunday Parkland Games, from corn hole to Frisbee. Similarly, the Seaport's Lawn on D (pictured) offers games along with special events.
13. Visit the Massachusetts State House.
Soak in the splendor of this building's architecture, especially the dome. Then view the Sacred Cod in the House of Representatives chamber and the Holy Mackerel in the State Senate! The New State House is located at 24 Beacon Street in Boston.
Boston's Chinatown is a fun neighborhood to explore. You don't have to go on a shopping spree to appreciate an afternoon browsing the stores - although you may cave and spend a little money once the scents drifting out of the restaurants reach you!
15. Climb Bunker Hill Monument.
This monument offers a fun climb, great views, and the chance to learn a little more about history. The attraction does close during bad weather, but admission is free. It's located in Monument Square in Charlestown.
16. See a Hatch Shell Movie.
In the summer, you can catch a free movie on Friday nights or a concert at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. You'll find it at 1175A Soldiers Field Road in Boston.
What are your favorite free-yet-awesome things to do in Boston? Let us know in the comments.
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affordable places to live in Boston.