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
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.
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.
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
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!
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?