Boston is a blast! I’m not sure if I could see myself living there, but I’m glad it’s only 90 minutes away for us to enjoy the day or an overnight on occasion.
I’ve compiled a list and links of several fun places to go and lots of tips to have a Boston On A Budget kinda day!
We live in NH and enjoy heading to Boston for the day with the family. I’m always glad when hubby is leading our pack, but I have to say, I’m feeling more comfortable with my surroundings when we go there. Boston is a lot of fun and there are plenty things to do on a budget. I hope you’ll enjoy my list of fun below:
First, I’d like to say check with your local library in your area. Even though you may not live in MA, a lot of libraries have passes for museums and aquariums. I know at our library, we can reserve the date we want which is helpful in planning out a family day.
A list I have from the Boston Public Library :
Museum of Science: up to 4 admissions
New England Aquarium: up to 4 admissions September-June
Boston Children’s Museum: up to 1/2 off admissions
Museum of Fine Arts: $10 off per person up to 2 people
There are many other discounts offered but each MA library is different. You don’t have to live in the city of Boston to get these discounts, but you do have to live in MA. Call the libraries to see which fun places they offer discounts at. Here’s more details from the Boston Public Library. You can also reserve your passes here.
Other deals to found:
Some of your stops along the Freedom Trail:
-Benjamin Franklin Chapel and Boston Latin School
-Old South Meeting House
-Bunker Hill Monument
-USS Constitution: you can choose to take the Harbor tour and pay $15.00 for children and $19.00 for adults or you can forget the tour and go on board for free during your Freedom Trail Tour.
Old Town Trolley Tours: When planning on getting around and if you’re there more than one day, take into account the the trolley tours offer the next day free.
Sam Adams Brewery Tour: This is free – donations welcome
Boston Fire Museum: Saturdays they are open 11:00-6:00 and offer free admission. Donations welcome.
Harvard Student-Lead Walking Tour: Get a free hour tour of Harvard Yard
Swan Boats: Adults $3, Children 2-13 $1.50, Seniors $2.50
Paul Revere House: Adults: $3.50, Children 5-17: $1, College students: $3
Franklin Park Zoo: from 10-12 on every 1st Saturday of the month, adults pay kid prices for admission-$11.95 instead of $17.95
New England Aquarium: Park yourself outside the aquarium and enjoy watching the seals swim around for free. They have a few feeding times as well, which is fun to watch.
***When we were here, there was a cart on the corner closer to the road that sold Boston sweatshirts for $20 and Boston baseball hats for $7. If you’re looking for some memorabilia, this was a great price in my book.
Rose F Kennedy Greenway: On a hot day, roam across the way from the NE Aquarium and have fun in the fountains and sprays of water. What a way to cool down. The Greenway has many extras such as free exercise programs, art exhibits and free events put on by non-profits.
Greenway Carousel: Rides are $3 each-a book of 10 are $25
Haymarket Farmer’s Market: A fun experience of an open air market on Fridays and Saturdays. They have discounted fruit, veggies, bread, cheese and even fish. Don’t expect the produce to be in perfect condition. You are getting an extremely low price, but note that you’ll either have to use or freeze some items within 2 days.
Quincy Market & Faneiul Hall: Enjoy free live street performance – donations welcome, many food court vendors, restaurants such as Cheers, shops and exhibits.
Christopher Columbus Park: The park is beautiful and is a great place for a picnic, for playing a friendly game of football, splashing in the fountain, playing on the playground and watching the boats come in.
Free Concert Series and Outdoor Movies:
Berklee Summer In The City: Enjoy over 200 performances from Berklee’s most promising young artists. You’ll enjoy pop, jazz and more.
Summer In The City with Boston Harbor Hotel: Sit outside the Boston Harbor Hotel along the water or join them for a drink and listen to an array of waterfront free entertainment. Choose your night, here’s what they have – Summer Soul, Rat Pack, Blues Barge and Movie Night.
All this touring may make you hungry for some North End Sweets!
Mike’s Pastry: Mike’s is our favorite and you’ll see by the line, it’s other people’s favorite too. Have cash ready and choose one for then and a few to take home. An average pastry price for a Canolli, Carrot Cake, Tiramisu is around $5. Remember, it’s cash only.
The great thing about all these attractions is that most of these are all within a 5-10 minute walk of each other.
More fun things to do in Boston:
Blue Man Group: What a fun experience. I went with friends years ago and hope to take my kids here this summer!
Duck Boats: When our family went on the Duck Boats we went from the Boston Science Museum. We took the early tour and then spent the day at the museum.
Some extra tips:
When visiting on a weekend, Sunday is usually the slower day for admission to the NE Aquarium, Museums, etc. If it’s a 3 day weekend, Monday is quieter.
The parking in the garages is cheaper on the weekends than during the week, but do expect to still pay between $15-$25. There is free parking on Sundays and Monday holidays on the streets, but I’d suggest you get a spot before 11am or you may miss out.