Boston is great for people who enjoy visiting museums since it has a number of those with artistic, historic and scientific exhibitions. The city was at the centre of many key historic events such as the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution and they left behind numerous artefacts that have been put on display for people to see. Moreover, many museums display some wonderful pieces of art ranging from paintings to sculptures, as well as exhibitions related to technology, artificial intelligence and robotics.
The following are some of the museums that are free to visit:
• USS Constitution Museum
• The Waterworks Museum
• Museum of Fine Arts
• Harvard Museum of Natural History
• The Institute of Contemporary Art
• Boston Fire Museum
Owing to its rich cultural and historical background, there are ample options when it comes to free live shows and entertainment. From parades, concerts and street performances to comedy nights, fairs and movies, there is something for everyone. Visitors can experience Boston’s heritage as well as a variety of live events while in the city without having to pay for any of it, such as Friday evening movies under the stars at the Hatch Shell between mid-June and August-end.
Here is a list of some of the free live shows to catch:
• St. Patrick’s Day Parade
• May Fair
• Boston Harborfest
• Open Mic Comedy Night
• Hatch Shell 4th of July concerts and fireworks
• Boston Globe Book Day
Having been one of the cities to have an immense presence of the British colonial government, Boston now boasts of many monuments that were either erected during those times and played a crucial role in the country's independence, commemorate key figures, or were the sites of major events like the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party or even government proceedings. These monuments and sites (statues, naval vessels, houses, government buildings, churches etc.), a lot of which have no admission fee, are great for those who wish to learn about the city's colonial past and its involvement in the country's freedom from the British.
Monuments and historical sites with no admission or entry fee are:
• USS Constitution
• Bunker Hill Monument
• The site of the Boston Massacre
• Massachusetts State House
• Faneuil Hall
• Benjamin Franklin statue and the site of the former Boston Latin School
While Boston is a metropolitan city with numerous skyscrapers, it has its fair share of green open spaces. There are a lot of gardens and parks that are perfect for visitors looking to take a walk, sit under a tree and read, play basketball, baseball, soccer or just run around, admire the flora and fauna, and even learn a little about the city's illustrious history since many parks and gardens have memorials and statues or are located near key monuments.
Some of the gardens and parks in Boston that visitors can go to for free are:
• Boston Common
• Castle Island
• Public Garden
• Rose Kennedy Greenway
• Christopher Columbus Park
Located right next to the historic Faneuil Hall, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is an outdoor/indoor mall as well as an eatery that is a great choice for a day out. While it would obviously cost money to purchase or eat something, visitors can still go around looking at the various stores, some local while others well-known brands, that sell jewellery, clothes, souvenirs, footwear, pet products amongst others. They can get an idea of what the many eateries have to offer and can also enjoy watching street performances that include choirs, musicians, singers, school groups etc.
Address: 4 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109, United States
Timings: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm (Monday- Saturday), 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Sunday)
Buildings: North Market, Quincy Market, South Market
Suggested Duration: 1-3 hours
Official Parking Garage: 75 State Street Garage
Held almost every Wednesday, the Coit Observatory’s Public Open Night is a wonderful chance for lovers of astronomy to gaze up at the sky through telescopes and look at the stars free of cost. Open throughout the year, the program begins at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm respectively during the fall/winter and spring/summer months, and admission requires booking a ticket in advance. This evening program above the Astronomy Department at Boston University not only offers visitors the possibility of enjoying a calm evening stargazing, but it is also a chance to learn about astronomy itself.
Location: Boston University
Address: 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, United States
Public Open Night Days: Wednesday
Timings: 7:30 pm (fall and winter), 8:30 pm (spring and summer)
Pre-booking Required: Yes
Maximum Tickets per Person: 5
The fact that Boston has a long shoreline means that visitors can go on a relaxing day trip to one of the many beaches and take a dip in the waters. The sandy and stone beaches of the city provide visitors with an excellent opportunity to engage in beach sports like volleyball, sunbathe, walk along the shore (often with their pets) and just take in the cool breeze. Since some of the beaches have play areas, children can run around and have fun on the swings and slides. Also, while it isn't free of cost, there are several food shacks that offer some delicious treats at really low prices.
The city is lined with churches in almost every neighbourhood that people can visit for absolutely no cost. These churches, some of which are National Historic Landmarks, appeal to visitors because of their architecture (Georgian, Gothic, Revival etc.) and unique architectural features (pulpit, pews, steeple, spire, stained glass windows etc.), their diverse denominations, their use of music during Sunday services, and of course, their historical significance.
A few of the popular churches to visit free of cost are:
• King’s Chapel
• Park Street Church
• First Church Boston
• Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Boston
• First Baptist Church of Boston
The Boston Public Library, Beaux-Arts and Renaissance Revival style building in Copley Square is an absolute treat for book lovers. The National Historic Landmark houses millions of books, postcards, papers, maps, photographs and literary works, in numerous languages, many of which are rare manuscripts. Not only is this an excellent space to sit and read books, but the murals, the inscriptions, the Bates Hall, the open-air courtyard, the arches, the sculpture and painting exhibitions are just some of the other factors that attract large crowds.
Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Monday- Thursday), 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Friday- Saturday), Sunday closed
Address: 700 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, USA
Architectural Style: Beaux-Arts and Renaissance Revival
Buildings: McKim Building, Johnson Building
Area: 930,000 square feet
Services Available: Desktop computers, free wireless internet, pay-for-print, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs, ebooks etc.
Programs: Author Talks, Lowell Lecture Series, Concerts in the Courtyard, Local and Family History lectures, art exhibitions, history exhibitions etc.
The oldest institute of higher education in the States, Harvard is an Ivy League university in Boston that many aspire to get into. It is possible to go on a self-guided tour of the university and check out some of its key spots such as the Harvard Yard, where many events take place, Allston Campus, where the Boston Business School, stadium and athletic facilities are located, Harvard Museum of Natural History that houses various skeletons, mineral samples, meteorite samples, plant specimens etc., along with Graduate School Campuses like that of the Law School or the Public Health School.
Address: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Nickname: Harvard Crimson
Type: Private Ivy League University
Schools: Harvard Business School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences etc.
Motto: Veritas (Truth)
Campus Area: 209 acres
The Boston Harbor provides people with the perfect opportunity to take in the gorgeous Boston skyline from various locations. Visitors can sit on the benches, bike or simply walk around on the walkway or pier while enjoying the view or can opt to skate, play basketball or hockey at the designated courts. These sites are not only great to visit during the daytime but also at night when the city lights make for a gorgeous sight.
Some locations that provide the perfect view of the skyline are:
• LoPresti Park
• Boston Harborwalk
• The Waterfront neighbourhood
• Top fo the Bunker Hill Monument
• Piers Park
Boston has a lot to offer for those who enjoy going on long walks and hikes; there are a number of trails that people can explore at any given point of time for free. While some trails are meant simply for hikes or walking dogs, others are of great significance, providing those who walk on these with an insight into the city's rich culture and history through the monuments and sites they connect. When it comes to the latter, people can walk slightly off the path and visit these historical sites, a lot which are free too.
Some of the commonly visited trails include:
• Emerald Necklace
• Freedom Trail
• Battle Road Trail
• Blue Hills Reservation
• Black Heritage Trail
• Castle Island Loop and Pleasure Bay Loop
• Women’s Heritage Trail
Let us know in the comments below if this list of free things to do in Boston was helpful.
This post was published by Arushi Bhowmick
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