The state capital of Massachusetts and the biggest city in the New England area, the USA’s Boston is a terrific place to visit at any time of the year. Many people visit in autumn / fall, however, so that they can see all the changing colours of the leaves on the trees – New England is very famous for this!
Boston has numerous attractions and activities for all including museums, galleries, parks, sports, great food, historical spots, and shows. There are also many great free things to do in Boston, meaning that you can spend more time enjoying the many interesting features of this town without spending a fortune.
Some top free things to do in Boston include:
Wandering around Harvard Square
A vibrant part of a lively city, this is where you will find the prestigious and renowned Harvard University. The streets are choc-a-block with interesting book shops, cafes, and restaurants, and a plethora of street performers provide lots of free entertainment. Watch musicians, singers, artists, magicians, and many other types of street entertainer for a fun, and free, time.
Touring Massachusetts State House
This grand and impressive building attracts numerous visitors in the tour season. It is the oldest building on Beacon Hill and sits on land that initially belonged to the very first governor of Massachusetts. The views from the grounds are really attractive. Admire the building from the outside, gazing upon the beautiful gilded dome and fancy white columns, and then step inside to explore the various stately rooms with rich décor and furnishings.
Visiting Museums and Galleries
A lot of the museums and galleries in Boston are either free to go inside at any time, or have periods of free admission on certain days or at special times of the year.
Take a stroll along Newbury Street if you’re into art and you can browse a wide array of interesting and colourful pieces in the galleries that sit alongside the street. Other places for art lovers include The Institute of Contemporary Art and The Museum of Fine Arts, both of which offer free admission at set times of the week. The Institute of Contemporary Art has a wide variety of modern works and it is free to enjoy every Thursday afternoon / evening. The Museum of Fine Arts boasts one of the widest and most varied collections across the whole world, with items from many different time periods and from all four corners of the planet. There is no admission charge on Wednesday afternoons, but donations are appreciated.
Harbor Gallery is free all the time and has a great selection of pieces by lesser-known artists.
If star gazing is more your thing, head to the Coit Observatory on a Wednesday evening when there are free public open nights. Learn a little bit about the night sky and peer through binoculars and telescopes at the stars.
The Museum of African American History is a terrific place to learn more about the history and culture of different groups that make up the USA’s diverse population. As well as seeing plenty of exhibits and displays you can also take a self-guided walk along the fascinating and informative Black Heritage Trail. It is free to visit the museum at all times, although donations are very welcomed.
Another free museum at all times is the Boston Fire Museum, where you can see lots of old equipment as well as learning a few things about safety and fire awareness. Boston Public Library is also free to enjoy.
Following Fascinating Walking Trails
There are several walking trails to explore different parts of the city. You can get a free map to follow some routes on your own, and others are led by a guide.
One of the most famous is the Freedom Trail. Although you can pay to join a guided group tour it is also very easy to complete the route under your own steam. It will lead you past more than 15 of the city’s most important historical sites including churches, museums, monuments, parks, and cemeteries. It provides a unique insight into the American Revolution and you can see where the infamous Boston Tea Party was planned at the Old South Meeting Hall.
Other free things to do in Boston include the old and serene Copp’s Hill Burial Ground, Bunker Hill Monument, the strong and proud USS Constitution, SoWa Market, with its vast assortment of products, Arnold Aboretum, the lovely Boston Common, the harbor, and the Esplanade.