Boston is a great city for a variety reason, but I also think it’s great because there is so much to do and there’s so much history. But whether you’re visiting the city or you live near it, it can be difficult to find things to do that aren’t super expensive. To help you sort through your options, I’ve pulled together a list of free or cheap things to do in Boston. The cheap list is broken down by price per ticket, and I’ve listed the costs for adults, students, and children. I hope you have a great time in my city, regardless of what you decide to do!
Free Things To Do in Boston
Boston Public Garden & Common – These two large parks are next to each other and they’re gorgeous. The Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in the nation, and the Common is oldest city park in the nation.
Freedom Trail – This is a 2.5 mile trek through Boston that goes to various historical sites in the city. It is free to walk this on your own, but there are tours that require purchasing tickets.
New England Holocaust Memorial – This is a beautiful memorial, and if you have the time to swing by it, I suggest you do.
Boston Public Library – I love the library! It’s a gorgeous building, and tours of it are free. I’ve done the art and architecture tour, and I strongly recommend it.Cheap and free things to do in Boston Click To Tweet
Cheap Things To Do in Boston
Skate on the Boston Common Frog Pond: $12 for adult skate rentals + $4 for renting a locker + $6 adult admissions = $22 per person – This seems like a really fun winter activity! (I am not exactly able to skate.) And if you already have your own skates, this would only be $10 per person.
Museum of Fine Arts: $25 for adults, $23 for students, free for students from participating universities – I looooove the MFA. They have such a gorgeous collection, including exhibits about New England history and impressionist art, my favorite section. Plus, wheelchairs and rollators are free, which makes it even better in my book.
Museum of Science: $20 for adults, $15 for ages 13-19, $10 for ages 4-12, free for under age 3 – The Museum of Science was always my favorite place to visit when I came to Boston when I was growing up. There are so many different exhibits, so there is sure to be something that your family will enjoy.
Fenway Park Tours: $20 for adults, $14 for children – If you like the Red Sox, you have to go on a Fenway tour at some point in time. We did this for my birthday one year and it was awesome.
Prudential Center Skywalk: $19 for adults, $15 for students, $12 for people under 12 – This is the best view of the city because it’s the only sky-high, 360 degree vantage point.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: $15 for adults, $5 for students, free for people under 18, free if your name is Isabella (I’m serious), free if it’s your birthday – While I’ve never been, my mom and sister rave about it.
Institute of Contemporary Art: $15 for adults, $10 for students, free for students – This museum “strives to share the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, provocation, and imagination that contemporary art offers through public access to art, artists, and the creative process.”
JFK Library & Museum: $14 for adults, $12 for students, $10 for people 13-17, free for children 12 and under – Not only does this museum show the life and impact of John F. Kennedy, but it also has a collection of historical materials related to mid-20th century politics.
Museum of African American History: $10 for adults, $8 for students, free for people under 18 – This museum is “dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans in New England from the colonial period through the 19th century.” It has the African Meeting House (the oldest black church in America) and the Abiel Smith School (the oldest public school created entirely for educating black children).
Old State House: $10 for adults, $8.50 for students, and free for people under 18 – This is “the birthplace of the American Revolution in Boston”. They two tours available, the tour of the Old State House and the Boston Massacre tour.
USS Constitution: suggested donation of $5-$10 for adults, $3-$5 for children, and $20-$25 for families – Want to see a ship that was launched in 1797 and is still in the water? It was commissioned by George Washington himself. The museum teaches the Navy’s role in war and peace.
Old South Meeting House: $6 for adults, $5 for students, $1 for children 5-17, free for children under 5 – If you’re not familiar with this by name, I have a question for you: You know the Boston Tea Party? This is where it started.
Paul Revere House: $5 for adults, $4.5 for students, and $1 for children – Learn all about Paul Revere and his midnight ride!
Historic Old North Church: suggested $3 donation – Speaking of Paul Revere’s ride, this is the place where the lamp was that told him whether the British would come by land or sea. It’s a cool place to check out!
Swan Boats: $3.50 for adults, $2 for children up to 15, free for children under 2 – A classic Boston thing to do, especially if you have kids. This is done in the Boston Public Garden.Your guide to cheap things to do in Boston Click To Tweet
Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market – This is a great area for shopping and food. Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 and was a marketplace and meeting house. There are some shops on the first floor, a meeting room on the second floor, and a museum on the third floor. Quincy Market has sooooo many food options that it’s a great bet if you have multiple people who all like different types of food. There are also restaurants in Quincy Market, and shops in the North and South Market.
North End – If you like Italian food, you have to go to the North End. There are a ton of Italian restaurants, big and small, and I’ve never gone to a bad one.
Mike’s Pastry – You haven’t gone to Boston if you haven’t gone to Mike’s. They have amazing desserts, especially cannoli (their website’s title is literally “Home of the Cannoli”).
Cheers Boston – The famous bar where everyone knows your name!
What are your favorite things to do in Boston?
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