Budget Travel

Boston 'Free' Party: why winter is a great time to visit Boston

Yes it's cold, company there will be snow, but winter is a great time for you to visit Beantown. Boston may be an expensive city to live in, but it is easy to go through the best that is available having to break your budget. Here's the scoop on 21 top things to do in the city free of charge.

Boston Common

Take a wintery stroll in America's oldest park. In summertime you might want to picnic or catch Shakespeare in the park, however in winter you'll enjoy Christmas festivities, sledding down Flagstaff Hill, and ice skaters on Frog Pond (and for a little fee you could join them).

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library was built like a 'shrine of letters' but it's additionally a temple of art and architecture. Free guided tours depart from the main entrance; or you can pick up a brochure and guide yourself around the stunning, mural-painted halls. The BPL also hosts author talks, musical performances along with other free events.

Boston's art museums

Boston is the Athens of America, so be sure you take a look at its art museums, especially attractive in the depths of winter. Although not usually liberated to enter, on Wednesdays after 4pm, admittance to the Museum of Fine Arts is as simple as a "pay what you can" donation (although $25 is suggested). On Thursdays after 5pm, the Institute of Contemporary Art hosts Free Thursday Night.

Massachusetts State House

Visit the Massachusetts State House, the so-called "hub from the solar system" to learn about the state insect (the ladybug) and to pay your respects to the Sacred Cod. Free tours led through the Doric Docents (volunteer tour guides) are Monday through Friday and go to the ceremonial halls, the legislative chambers and the executive branch.

The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is the best summary of Revolutionary War-era Boston. This 2.5-mile, red-brick path winds its well beyond 16 sites that earned this town its status as the Cradle of Liberty. Hook up with a free guided tour by the National Park Service. Departing from Faneuil Hall, the tours max out at 30 people, so arrive at the start of summer to secure your spot. During the cold months season, you can download a map for any free self-guided tour. Most of the sites along the trail can enter.

Faneuil Hall

Take a glance round the Great Hall and listen to a ranger talk about historic Faneuil Hall and its role as a market and meeting place. To carry on the tour of Boston's historic marketplaces, visit Quincy Market to choose from dozens of affordable food stalls.

King's Chapel

The stately Georgian architecture of King's Chapel includes a bell crafted by Paul Revere and also the prestigious Governor's Pew, where George Washington once sat. Admission is definitely free, but a $4 donation is recommended.

Black Heritage Trail

On Beacon Hill, the 1.6-mile Black Heritage Trail explores a brief history of abolitionism and African American settlement in Boston. Download a map for a self-guided walking tour; or meet up with the free NPS tour, which departs in the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial.

Bunker Hill Monument

The landmark obelisk marks the website from the fateful battle in June 1775 that turned the tides of the War for Independence. Climb the 294 steps of the Bunker Hill Monument to the peak to have an impressive panorama of city, sea and sky. You'll expend only energy.

JFK's birthplace

John F. Kennedy was created in this modest clapboard house in Brookline, now listed because the JFK National Historic Site. Listen to Rose Kennedy's reminiscence, while you peruse the item of furniture, photographs and mementos which have been preserved since the Kennedys lived here. The website is going to be closed until spring 2022 for renovations.

Harvard University

Students lead free historical tours of Harvard Yard, also sharing their very own perspectives on student life. The one-hour tours depart from the Smith Campus Center. Space is limited, so arrive early during busy seasons.

Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments

Science-lovers and history buffs can geek out at this small but fascinating museum. Located within the Harvard Science Center, it showcases a selection of the 20,000 components of the university collection, most of which date to the 15th century. Search for the geometric sector created by Galileo, and the clocks illustrating the introduction of modern timekeeping.

Longfellow National Historic Site

For 45 years, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived and wrote poetry within this stately Georgian manor near Harvard Square. The mansion contains most of the poet's personal belongings, as well as lush period gardens.

USS Constitution

The USS Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship, and it is docked within the Charlestown Navy Yard. Navy officers lead free around the upper decks, in which you will learn concerning the ship's exploits in America's earliest naval battles. You do not need money, but you will need a photo ID.

Castle Island

Castle Island isn't really an island, but an enormous, green waterside park with amazing skyline views. The massive Fort Independence is open for exploration and free tours. Otherwise, you are able to relax on the beach, fish from the pier or dip your toes in to the chilly harbor waters.

Hatch Memorial Shell

The Charles River Esplanade is Boston's backyard, an excellent venue for picnics, bike rides and leisurely strolls. Better still, all summer long, the Hatch Memorial Shell hosts free events like outdoor concerts, family flicks and Dancing around the block.

SoWa First Fridays

From the previous factories and warehouses in the South End, artists have carved out studios and gallery space. The SoWa Artists Guild hosts a wide open studio event around the first Friday of every month (5 to 9pm). Come examine the skill and mingle using the resident creatives.

Fenway Park

If you can't get tickets to the big game, you may still sneak an appearance inside Fenway Park. The Bleacher Bar is obtainable from the street, with a window looking onto center field. The bar gets packed during games when there's often a waiting list for window seating.

Samuel Adams Brewery tour

Head to Jamaica Plain to determine the birthplace of America's original craft beer. On the Samuel Adams Brewery Classic Tour, learn about the history of the organization, witness the brewing process and sample the products. By 'goods', we mean frothy lagers, refreshing pilsners and attractive ales. Tickets are first-come, first-serve; tours run Monday – Saturday (11:15am-5pm) and therefore are open to all ages. Must be 21 to drink. The suggested $2 donation is forwarded to local charities.

Arnold Arboretum

The 265-acre Arnold Arboretum is planted with more than 15,000 exotic trees and flowering shrubs. This gem is pleasant year-round, but it is particularly beautiful within the bloom of spring. Dog walking, Frisbee throwing, bicycling, sledding and general contemplation are encouraged (but picnicking is not allowed).

You may also like