Jul 052017
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Inexpensive things that you can do with your kids this summer in Massachusetts, Rhode Island or New Hampshire!

Entertaining kids ALL SUMMER LONG can be exhausting and expensive. Let me save you the time thinking about what to do…Here are 17 free & cheap things to do with kids this summer in New England.

1. Unplug with good old fashioned outdoor activities at the Great Glen Trails. Located at the base of Mount Washington, families can bike, kayak, picnic, and see some spectacular wildlife. Rent equipment or bring your own.

2. Water park admission can really add up, so instead, take the kids to any number of community pools and splash pads your city has to offer.

3. Visit the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, where kids can explore caves, learn about dinosaurs, and get hands-on experience in the air conditioning all day for only $10!

4. Check out Summer Sundays at Harvard Semitic Museum, where families can play ancient board games, inscribe clay tablets, and create Egyptian accessories together for FREE all summer long! Recommended for ages 5–12.

5. See a FREE family movie in any one of 13 sites in the Boston area.

6. Let the kids get some energy out at Fun World in Nashua, New Hampshire. There’s a playground, bowling, and arcade games. There’s even a roller coaster for big kids and plenty of smaller attractions for the little ones. And everyone will love the two-story carousel!

7. Take kids 3 and up to create FREE crafts every Saturday at Lakeshore Learning.

8. There’s always something going on at the Boston Public Library, especially for kids. Make reading a fun, family activity and give little ones a chance to practice using their inside voices.

9. Load up the kids and go play a game of miniature golf!

10. Attend the Lowell Folk Festival to get outside and hear some amazing music from the world over. Your family can play games, craft, and eat delicious foods while there.

11. Do something fun and educational by visiting the Remich Museum & Farm. Get outside and explore the history of two country doctors, their community, and their farm for only $5!

12. Play at The Lawn on D!

13. While not necessarily cheap, Clark’s Trading Post tickets are inexpensive as far as family theme parks go. At $22 per adult, and with children 3 and under being free, you’re sure to have fun here! Complete with a bear show, shooting gallery, trains, thrill rides, rock wall climbing, face painting and so much more, no one in attendance will be bored!

14. Say goodbye to summer at the Revels RiverSing. Join thousands of voices in song at this FREE Autumnal Equinox celebration in Harvard Square and along the Charles River in Cambridge.  

15. Take kids on a historic (and fun) field trip along the Freedom Trail. Consider adding a scavenger hunt!

16. Visit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, where you can stroll through the rose garden, sign up for yoga, play games, and even catch a family movie in the fresh air!

17. Browse the epic creations at the International Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach at the end of July, and stay for the fireworks!

Do you have any free & cheap ideas to add to the list?

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  72 Responses to “17 Free & Cheap Things to Do with Kids This Summer in New England”

  1. We love to watch fireworks. There’s nothing better. In fact, we always say we wish the entire show was ALL finale.

  2. I must admit that I am totally jealous of this list. My kiddos and I had plans to be in NYC and New England this summer but we had to cancel.

  3. I would love to visit New England some day. I would like to go to the Great Glen Trails.and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy sounds very interesting.

  4. What a great list. If I would go in New England some day I would definitely do some stuff from this list.

  5. What a great list. If I would go in New England some day I would definitely do some stuff from this list. “Summer Sundays at Harvard Semitic Museum” made me looked into it and really wish I could go and play some old board games

  6. My favorite place to go as a kid in the summer was the library. We didn’t have the activities and stuff they do now in the summer, but getting those stamps showing I’d read all the books was the best feeling. This is a great list.

  7. I think number three sounds like the most fun for me! Even though I’m an adult, I’m still fascinated by the dinosaurs.

  8. This is a great list. We love to visit the library and participate in different activities there. We also love hitting the movies too!

  9. Wow you guys of a lot of things you can do for free. We are always trying to find creative ways to do stuff over the summer. I wish we live closer to Boston because it looks like there’s a lot we can to do out there.

  10. Oh gosh, I haven’t been to Clark’s Trading Post since I was a kid. We head to ME and NH in August. I think I’ll have to make that part of our trip.

  11. These are awesome ideas! I would add check Groupon or Living Socal for other great deals and opportunities!

  12. I feel like every city has great free summer things to do! Just takes a little research! great ideas to look up around here

  13. These are all great ideas. We spent a lot if time at the community pool when my son was younger.

  14. The Harvard Semitic Museum sounds absolutely amazing! I had no idea that it was even there. We are going to have to check it out soon!

  15. These all sound like some amazing things to do, it is great to know there are so many things out there to do that don’t actually cost much money.

  16. Great ideas for getting the kids out and enjoying the summer. I would love to hike those trails. On days when the weather is iffy those museums sound great.

  17. These are such good ideas. I’m glad there is a few museum options. I’m always down for a game of minigolf as well!

  18. Some of these sound really fun. My kids would enjoy the crafting day.

  19. We live in NY but I can see looking for some of the similar things on your list to do! Thanks for the ideas.

  20. I wish we were in New England! This all sounds like so much fun. We like to check out our splash pads in the area.

  21. A friend lived in Mass for a while and I was amazed at all the things to do there that cost nothing or very little. Those of you in the Qunicy area seems to always have something to do and it is all just a bus ride away. It is not like that here in my little Ohio town. I wish I would have had this list then.

  22. Wow there’s a lot of things to see and experience this summer! I love theme parks by the way, I am fond of thrilling and adrenaline-spiking activities.

  23. I absolutely love museum so I totally agree with this one! Never been to new England but museum are free in England so perfect for kids! xx corinne

  24. When I lived in Boston, we used to be able to score free museum of fine arts/science tickets from our local library! It was always a fun tradition–and the best part was it was free!

    • That is awesome. Here in Georgia you can rent a park pass from your library and get into state parks for free!

  25. These are some great options. We do love taking advantage of our town’s splash pad. We pack a picnic and spend a few hours there and it’s great, not to mention free.

  26. Thanks for sharing such good ideas! I hope I visit New England soon and can try them out.

  27. Wow, such a great list. It can get pricey to keep kids entertained during the summer but this should definitely help parents in the Boston area.

  28. I love Great Glen trails in NH. I’ve biked and snowshoed there; it is so beautiful.

  29. I would love to visit New England some day! I would love to take our kids, but with 6 kids, that can add up pretty quickly! This is a great list of free things to do!

  30. This is a great list of free and cheap things to keep the kiddos occupied. It is always nice to have a variety of options because you never know how the weather is going to be.

  31. Quite envious of this lovely list of fun family activities in New England. Hope I can visit someday with my family. In my part of the world we only have sand duning , mall hopping, a few children’s parks and desert safaris for holiday entertainment.

  32. These all sound like great idead. Although I live in South Florida, some ideas transfer because we have similar parks and the library offers similar things.

  33. Can you believe I have never been to New England? It looks like there are a lot of fun things to do in the summer time!

  34. I really like that there is a place that offers free crafts and activities – that is SO great for young kids. Our local library has offers some awesome free activities, which we take advantage of.

  35. While we’re a little out west in MA, this is still so valid! Thank you! I have one home from camp for most of the summer and I need to do a lot of day trips with him.

  36. That’s a great list for those traveling the area. Places like movies, museums and libraries are great because they’re air conditioned.

  37. Free and cheap is the way to go. My son always wants to do so much everyday. It’s nice to give my wallet a break.

  38. I definitely need to check out the Children’s Museum in Nh. Fireworks are always a given with us.

  39. These are all great things to do with the kids. We are lucky to have some fun things in our area that are very low cost. Water parks are a fun way to stay cool in the heat.

  40. I don’t live in New England, but I’m thinking I could do so many of these activities near my house. Or maybe I’ll just hop on over and do them with you!

  41. We’ve never been to England and I don’t have the slightest idea of how summer time works there. How hot is summer there anyway? Here in Manila , Philippines heat index registered up to 38.5 degrees Celsius. So most people are inside the malls or at the beach to cool off.

  42. Wow! I didn’t know that there are a lot of fun things we can do without spending too much. I like ideas 3 and 4. The kids love the museum.

  43. This is so handy! School holidays can be such a struggle trying to find things to entertain the kids so I know New England mums (or visiting!) will be so happy for this helpful list!!

  44. This list makes me want to go to New England right now. I love that these activities are affordable and some are even free.

  45. If you look around there’s always quite a few things you can do. Maybe go out for a picnic at the park and take blankets and play things with you x

  46. Who does not watching fireworks! With all these places to go and things to do, I’m thinking to plan a trip over to the New England soon. I really think that it is ideal for kids as kids will love every place and activity.

  47. I love your post. These events sound awesome and I want to go to some!

  48. I so needed this list! We are headed up to Boston in August!

  49. That’s an amazing list. Especially when having kids free events come in handy. With entry tickets of often around 20-25 Dollars you are easily at a 100 Dollar entry price for a little family excursion.

  50. I haven’t played mini golf in SO long! I’m all about saving money so this is totally my type of list.

  51. All these sound so fun! No kid would be boring this summer with these ideas!

  52. There used to be a Lakeshore in Kansas City that all of us teachers loved. We would go there and pick up supplies for the school year. It was always packed with kids making cute things!

  53. I feel like summer is the best time to find the free activities. You just have to look in your local paper and there are usually tons of things to do. I am a big fan of crafts for kids.

  54. We’re always on the lookout for free/cheap things to do with our kids during the summer. I’ll have to see if we have a sand sculpting festival in Michigan…we have loads of beaches.

  55. Really diverse list of summer activities. It’s so nice to see movies on the lawn that aren’t just for adults. It’s a great excuse to watch all those kids movies we adults love but claim not to.

  56. Wow, you got 17 great ideas on your list that are really easy and less expensive if not free!! The kids would have more fun time!

  57. I hear you on the water park admissions. It’s probably why I end up paying for the annual passes every year because of that. Although I should be taking my daughter to the local pools more often to give her lessons and practice as she needs more.

  58. We are planning a number of family road trips throughout New England this summer. These are great ideas on what to do to keep everyone entertained and content.

  59. These are great tips. There are indeed endless ideas to really have fun without robbing the bank. It would also not mean less fun. Very good post!

  60. This is a great list. I love taking my kids to splash pads. It’s great that there are so many free ones around.

  61. I knew I could count on you to have the bets ideas! Thank you!!

  62. These sound like great ventures for the kids, I think the sand sculpting event would be fun its crazy to see what people can do. I also think the museum sounds great too.

  63. Waterparks! I know I live in the country with lots of beaches but living in the city is different. We need waterparks 🙂

  64. New England looks like a great place to be a kid. Where I live has some of these features but not many.

  65. Awesome list Robin. Next time I head to New England I will have to show the kids around!

  66. great tips! we have our travel plans set for this summer, but New England is in the books for next! will pin this for later. thanks!

  67. These are all awesome thing to do with kids this summer that are free or cheap in New England. I love the idea of taking them to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and doing games or yoga along with an outdoor movie. Thanks for sharing this amazing list of activities.

  68. I liked the idea of family movie and water park admission.

  69. Those are a lot of activities for summer. We have been hitting community pool since day one and has been planning a lot of camping, picnic, and more

  70. This is a great list to make out for summer in New England with the kids. Thanks for sharing.