Jun 142015

10 More Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer

There are so many things that you can do for free in Boston this summer!  Last week I told you about 10 Things you can do for free in Boston, but today I wanted to tell you about ten more.

1.  Go Star Gazing

The Coit Observatory at Boston University has Public Open Night at their Observatory most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, weather permitting. Public Open Nights are a chance for people to come observe the night sky through telescopes and binoculars and see things they otherwise might not get to see, and learn some astronomy as well.

Starting times are 7:30pm during the fall and winter, and 8:30pm during the spring and summer. The program lasts about an hour. If the weather looks sketchy and you’re wondering whether the Open Night will be held, call their information number at 617-353-2630, no earlier than two hours before the scheduled starting time to find out.

The observatory is located at 725 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA, above the Astronomy Department. The stairwell up to the Observatory is on the fifth floor just to the left of room 520.

2.  Hike up the Blue Hills

Blue Hills Hiking

Ok, so technically this is not in the city, but it’s located only minutes from downtown Boston. The DCR Blue Hills Reservation stretches over 7,000 acres from Quincy to Dedham, Milton to Randolph and it provides a green oasis in an urban environment. The highest of the 22 hills at Blue Hills is the Great Blue Hill, which reaches a height of 635 feet.  You will have an awesome view of the city from the top. At Blue Hills, there are 125 miles of trails and terrain.

3.  Climb the Bunker Hill Monument

The 221-foot granite obelisk is a memorial built in memory of the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Once you climb the 294 steps, you will have an amazing view of Boston.  The monument is located in Monument Square, Charlestown, MA. The Monument is open daily 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Bunker Hill Monument

Fun fact – The Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed’s Hill, and the Bunker Hill Monument is actually located at the top of Breed’s Hill. The “real” Bunker Hill is actually about a quarter of a mile from the monument.

4. Window Shop on Newbury Street

I can’t afford anything on Newbury Street, but I love to look and dream about all the things I’ll buy when I hit the lottery (notice I said when). Just because you’re looking, doesn’t mean you have to buy and Newbury Street is paradise for shoppers and window shoppers alike. Eight blocks in the Back Bay are filled with fashion boutiques, salons, and trendy restaurants making is the perfect place to window shop, or even just people-watch.

5.  Free bowling!

Kids can bowl 2 free games per day for free at participating bowling centers all summer (May to September) throughout Massachusetts. And yes, we have candlepin bowling here, so if you’re not from here – you need to try it before you leave.  It’s a much better way to bowl and frankly, I’m not sure why it hasn’t spread past New England yet.  Oh, if you want to bowl with the kids, for an additional $24.95 up to four adults can bowl all summer as well.  I know it’s not free, but that’s not a bad price. Visit KidsBowlFree.com to sign up.

6.  Free Friday Night Fun

Again, this isn’t in the city, but it’s not that far and totally worth the drive. The Discovery Museums in Acton offers “Free Friday Night Fun!” on Friday nights in July & August.  Enjoy free admission from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  There are two museums there (science and children’s) where the kiddos can discover open-ended, interactive exhibits that encourage exploration and imagination.  My boys love it there.

Discovery Museum Acton

I actually wrote an article about my family’s experience there a few years ago, so if you’re curious about the museum, check it out here.

** They will gratefully accept non-perishable food donations that will be distributed to the Acton Food Pantry and the Concord and Maynard Open Table programs.

7. Get your historical research on!

The Massachusetts Historical Society, which is located on Boylston Street, has an amazing collection that includes a first printing of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s Newburgh address, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation pen, and other historical manuscripts, maps, letters, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.  If you are a history buff, you can’t miss it.  They are open Monday – Saturday from 9am-4pm.

8.  Go see the Old North Church

Old North CHurch

Located along the Freedom Trail in Boston’s historical North End,  it is the oldest active church in Boston and home to the famous steeple where Paul Revere’s lanterns (“one if by land, two if by sea”) were hung to signify the arrival of the British before the first battle of the American Revolution.

9.  Spend the morning at the Boston Fire Museum

The Boston Fire Department is one of the oldest in the country, so what better place to learn all about the history of fire fighting.  The goal of the Museum is to preserve and display fire fighting memorabilia from the Greater Boston area, educate and inform the general public on fire safety.  You’ll find the museum located in an old firehouse at 344 Congress St. The museum is open every Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM.  The museum is usually open on Wednesday from 11 AM to 2 PM and on Friday from 5 PM to 9 PM.

10.  Tour a real fort!

Fort Independence

At the entrance to Boston’s inner harbor on Castle Island in South Boston, you will find Fort Independence.  Volunteers give daily tours of the fort in the summer. Castle Island is the oldest continuously fortified site in British North America having had a military presence from 1634 through World War II.  Castle Island, once a half mile offshore, is now connected to the mainland and may be accessed by foot or by car.

Are you ready to book your trip to Boston yet?

  138 Responses to “10 More Free Things To Do In Boston This Summer”

  1. This is a great list and wondering what I could find in my neck of the woods free now, as well.

  2. My boys would want to climb the Bunker Hill Monument for sure! How fun!

  3. The Fort looks like something my family would definitely LOVE! What a great list of things to do!

  4. I think touring a real fort would be awesome! I know my kids would love it and my boys would still love it and they are adults.

  5. There’s so much to do in Boston! I wish we lived in a historical town where there was a lot to do. We do have the free bowling, but do have to pay $3 for shoe rental. So I guess that’s not totally free lol.

  6. We lived in Boston for five years and didn’t do all of these! Time to come back for a visit.

  7. Great list which I really appreciate living in the Boston area! Thanks much!

  8. I’m all for star-gazing. I haven’t gone star-gazing in a loooong time and the last time I went to one was back in high school ( it was a school requirement ). It would be awesome to be at the observatory and I’m glad that it’s free 🙂

    The fire museum is also something that I find interesting. I have not been to one.

  9. We are definitely planning a weekend trip to Boston this summer. It’s not that far for us and there really is so much interesting stuff to do! I love that the The Discovery Museum offers “Free Friday Night Fun” for the kids during the summer. We’ll have to check that out!

  10. The star gazing sounds great, this is right up my husband’s alley. I could see him doing it with the boys and teaching them about the stars.

  11. There are so many benefits to living near a larger city. Here,… we sit and watch the grass grow.

  12. I have to laugh at Terry’s comment. Great list – so many fun things to do in Boston and yes, they are all free! 🙂

  13. This is awesome! I would especially enjoy #7 🙂

  14. I bookmarked the last article on this,a nd I’m bookmarking this one, too! I’ve always wanted to see Boston.

  15. I think you need to enlighten me more on candlepin bowling! These all look like great activities to do in your area!

  16. Boston is high and mighty on my travel bucket list. I have so many friends up in the New England area. I swear I am renting a motor home and traveling one of these days.

  17. I think this article and the last one you shares are both so great. I’ve been trying to get up to Boston for a visit. I haven’t made it yet, but when I finally do, I’ll know where to go!

  18. Ok that dino in the front yard is way to freaking cool!

  19. I love this. I need to figure out what we can do in Philly for free this summer!

  20. I haven’t been to Boston in years and need to plan a trip now. Great travel ideas, thank you!

  21. The Blue Hills look awesome. I really want to visit Boston – on my list!

  22. we’d love to get to Boston. There is so much history to see. Love all your ideas

  23. There is so much to see in Boston. I need to get back there with the kids.

  24. I signed my son up for the free bowling here where we are. We went one day last week and he had a blast! He got his 2 free games and then I had to purchase another 2 games because he was having so much fun.

  25. this is such a nice reference. I also worked out a free things to do post in our town.

  26. I’ve never been to Boston! It looks like a great place to visit though.

  27. I’ve never been to Boston either! This is a great list I’d refer to!

  28. I’ve always wanted to visit Boston so I love these ideas! I think star gazing would be exceptionally awesome.

  29. Seeing attractions when travelling sure does add up! Love this list, they all sound like great things to do!

  30. Beautiful pictures – definitely on my list of places that I want to see one day!

  31. This was the post I was looking for! I’m going to Boston next month and I’m very excited ^_^

  32. I wish we had more things like this in our little town! More so a children’s museum! It’s one of the things I want to put into place, but know that I’m not the right type of person to do something THAT involved. o.o;;

  33. I would love to tour a real fort or go see Old North Church! Sounds like a great bunch of opportunities.

  34. I absolutely love Boston. Thanks for sharing these great spots!

  35. Wow! This is making me wish we lived closer to Boston! So many good ideas 🙂

  36. How fun! As a fire family, we would LOVE to visit the fire museum. Gosh we need to make our way to Boston for sure. Thank you for sharing!!

  37. Star gazing is probably one thing I love most about warm summer nights. It’s so relaxing, and the best time to chill out on a deck, or at a cottage just pointing up at the stars seeing what shapes you can make out of them 🙂

  38. These are really great ideas for planning a trip to Boston. I haven’t been back in years but would love to visit soon with my family.

  39. Man! You are really making me want to come to Boston! There are so many amazing free things to do there and I’m totally jealous!

  40. What a great list of things to do. I really want to visit one day!

  41. I love to visit Boston! Never knew there were so many free things to do there, this is such a great list!

  42. With all of these free things to do in Boston, you could really have a frugal vacation if you had a great priced place to stay. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Yes, it does make me want to book a trip to Boston! What great freebie fun! Now I’m humming Please Come to Boston . . .

  44. wow, there is so much to do there! Now I just need to get to Boston!!

  45. So fun. Guess I will have to come and visit you and check out these sights 🙂 looks like lots to see and do!

  46. The Blue Hills looks like a fin place to trek. MY kids would sure love to explore there.

  47. Boston is one of my favorite cities. One of the things I love is window shopping on Newbury Street.

  48. I cannot wait until I make it to Boston to take advantage of all of this fun! I am so jealous!

  49. how I wish I would I could go visit!! I love all what you point out

  50. Wow! This is another great list! I really need to plan a trip there!

  51. I love Boston – but haven’t visited in many years. This is a great guide for places I wouldnt have thought of!

  52. I love that you are giving others ideas for fun summer days. There are some fun ideas here!

  53. Someday I would love to visit Boston! It is on my bucket list of places to visit. 🙂 You have compiled a great list of places to visit while there.

  54. More spectacular ideas. I just love hearing all the great places to visit.

  55. Oh Boston your my home! Love your list Robin. I’ll be heading your way in a few weeks. Going to check out some of these mentioned.

  56. Next time I’m on the East coast I’ll have to take my nephew to Fort Independence. He loves visiting historical sites.

  57. I would love to visit Boston!
    So much heritage to glean from.
    That’s where wallburger is filmed right?

  58. These are a lot of great ideas. We would love to visit Boston again and I will have to keep these places in mind for when we do.

  59. there are so many fun things to do in Boston! I Think star gazing would be a lot of fun!

  60. I love how much fun Boston lets history be to learn! There are so many great things to do free in Boston!

  61. This is a great list of things to do. If we are ever fortunate enough to find ourselves in Boston, we will have to visit some of these fun places! Thanks for sharing!

  62. I knew Boston was historical but there is truly so much to do there, especially for families. I love the idea of a vacation with some added educational value.

  63. This is really awesome! Who knew you could do so many amazing things in Boston for free, I am super impressed.

  64. So I would hike up Blue Hlls, Visit the Museum then have a nice afternoon stroll Window Shopping. There is so much amazing things to do , if only we would stop and look 🙂

  65. What a great way to learn about history! I’ve never been to Boston. As a matter of fact the only state I’ve been to is Florida and we live in Ohio.

  66. What great ideas! I have never been to Boston, but it looks like a lot of great ideas.

  67. We have a lot of great ideas in St Louis too. It sounds like Boston has a lot to see this summer!

  68. I’ve toured the Old North Church. It was really cool. Boston looks beautiful this time of year. I will need to go back to see the rest of what I missed.

  69. What a cool place to visit. I have never been to Boston, but it seems so rich in American history. Definitely on my list of places to go!

  70. Ooh, I love to hike in the summer. I’ve never been to Boston though…maybe one day!

  71. I love star gazing and looking at historical things! Looks like a fun place to visit!

  72. I love star gazing. When living in a city, it can be hard to do that. This sounds like a lot of fun.

  73. I love these lists of yours! So many fun ideas for all ages.

  74. I’ve never been to Boston. The stargazing looks really neat. And you can’t be free bowling.

  75. I would like the observatory. I went to one as a kid and still remember how cool it is

  76. PM at [email protected]. I have some questions to ask you about Boston and New Hampshire.

  77. I’ve always wanted to visit Boston. Hopefully I can get there in the next year. My kids would love the fort!

  78. Great ideas! I haven’t been to Boston in forever. Sounds like it’s way over due!

  79. Great tips, I’m actually trying to visit Boston this summer. This list will come in handy.

  80. We’ve never gone star gazing, but I know my son would love it. KidsBowlFree is nationwide, so we partook of that last week too! Tons of fun! I suggest investing in your own shoes. The rentals can get expensive.

  81. We are hoping to do an east coast trip with the family in the next year so will be bookmarking your ideas to keep them handy! Thanks!

  82. There are so many fun things you can do in Boston. I would love to go to The Coit Observatory. I have always wanted to go star gazing at an observatory.

  83. I have not been to Boston in a while but I know it is pretty pet friendly. Great place to take the family for a summer getaway, too.

  84. Boston is a city that I would love to visit. So much history and fun stuff to do

  85. I want to try climbing Bunker Hill! That looks like an awesome thing to do!

  86. Climbing Bunker hill and Bowling! They are doing the kids bowl free thing in CO too! I am excited to try it this summer.

  87. I was a Girl Scout leader in the 1980’s when my daughters were growing up. I took the troop to Boston from Atlanta and saw many of the places you mentioned here. It was a fun way to see the historical places they had learned a bout in school.

  88. I’ve been to Boston several times, and I’m always finding new things to see or do. I can’t wait to go back to try out your list.

  89. Those all sound amazing! I won;t be anywhere near Boston this summer but I’d love to explore this beautiful city and check out some of these sights someday. I definitely plan on star gazing though, that is something we love to do with our girls. We drive up to the mountain away from city lights and enjoy the star filled sky, marveling as we keep discovering more!

  90. I really love your travel posts. Next time we visit Boston, we will have so much planned thanks to you!

  91. I would love to visit Boston! It would be a great vacation.

  92. You certainly seem to know your way around Boston!

  93. I am jealous that they offer free bowling in Boston. My kids love to bowl and we’re actually thinking of enrolling them for some lessons.

  94. There’s so much fun things to do and they all for FREE!

  95. It’s nice to know that there are still many things that you can do for free.

  96. Thank you for these fun ideas. My family never been in Boston before. Thank you for sharing.

  97. I will be pinning this. I am trying to head up to Boston this summer for the sand castle festival and would love to check out some of these things.

  98. This really makes me want to travel and visit Boston! These things look like so much fun!

  99. I visited Boston over 10 years ago. I am ready to come back for another visit.

  100. I am loving these posts, thanks for this. Bookmarking for our next trip up!

  101. I’ve never been to Boston, but I have a lot of coworkers from that area. I would love to go someday – I know I’d love it!

  102. Pinned your post – next year we are planning a trip back to the NE coast. I know we will be stopping in Boston – these are some fun things to see and do.

  103. SUCH a great list!! I would love to visit Boston and do those things. I think the Old North Church would be my fave.

  104. Oh this is awesome. I would love all of these. lol

  105. Sounds like a visit to Boston is in order! I’ve always wanted to go but I really had no idea they had so many neat things to do for free

  106. I’m pretty proud of myself for climbing up the Bunker Hill monument! It was certainly an experience but I wasn’t sure I’d make it all the way! LOL

  107. Castle Island is one of my favorite places to take the kids! I love how the airplanes make it even more special!

  108. I haven’t been to Boston yet. I would love to visit some of these places. I don’t care for history unless it’s hands on or can be something I can physically see.

  109. That’s a great list. I’m going to look and see if there are attractions in our area that offer FREE activities for kids. I bet there are lots of options.

  110. Hubby and I were just talking about Boston last night while watching the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox play. He so badly wants to visit Fenway Park. And maybe we could go visit the fort too.

  111. My kids have a love for history, so visiting the Bunker Hill monument would be really cool for them.

  112. We don’t plan to be in boston anytime soon but I have a friend that is traveling the USA. I’ll have to pass this to her.

  113. I had no idea there was so much to do in Boston. I’ve only ever been to Quincy market myself.

  114. Omg! Boston seems to be the place to live for summer freebies 😉 unless you wanna go drive by some Amish people where I live ughhh….. Lol

  115. I’m thinking that we could go there cheaply. I’m going to have to put it on our list.

  116. I have never been to Massachusetts before, but I’ll keep this in mind if I ever visit Boston. Thank you for sharing!

  117. So good to know, whenever we do go there. I know my kids would love the Discovery Museum

  118. I love this list. I didn’t realize that free bowling was offered. I will have to check that out.

  119. I’ve only been to Boston once but I wold love to go back. This is a great way for me to check out the city. Thanks for sharing.

  120. My husband and I both want to visit Boston and never have. Someday and I will have to remember some of these. Thanks.

  121. I’ve never been to Boston but it sounds like a great place to visit! I love places that have a lot of history!

  122. All of these sound like good family fun! I would love to visit Boston!

  123. I would love to go to Boston. I drove by it, but we couldn’t atop. There is so much amazing history and a lto of my relatives lived there in colonial days!

  124. Lots of fun stuff to do in Boston for sure.

  125. Seems like a lot of things to do in Boston. Pity I don’t live there.

  126. Some great list of things to note. The pictures you have shared are amazing, especially the Blue hills looks awesome. It all sounds like a wonderful place to visit with family. I never been to boston before, will add to my bucket list.

  127. Ooow… I just can’t wait to go and see beautiful Boston.. Hopefully this summer we can make it..

  128. Star gazing is such a romantic thing to do with your partner. I imagine that the views are breathtaking.

  129. I went to an Observatory once when I was in college. It was located on our campus, and it was a lot of fun. I think that would be something I’d like to do while in Boston.

  130. What a great list. I have a friend moving to Boston that I need to pass this list on to. And of course do several when we visit!

  131. Great List. Boston is on mt bucket list and when it can be this frugal- WHY am I putting it off?!

  132. These are all such cool ideas! I went to school to learn history so I’d especially love to try these places.

  133. Boston is on our family vacation bucket list. one day we will get to use your tips!

  134. I would LOVE to go the Observatory — what an amazing activity that would be for the kids. I love all the history that is offered and would definitely love to soak it all up. My hometown has a working military fort that was built during the War of 1812 is one of the oldest in Canada, and whenever we go home to see my parents, we visit. the kids love running around that place.