Free Kid-friendly Fun in Boston

Boston is the perfect city for families to explore, but your kids’ favorite activities can get pricey, especially for large families. If you’re tired of dishing out serious cash for museums, shows, and even food, check out our list of Boston freebies below.  All it takes is a little planning, and your family can enjoy their favorite city attraction – or even try something new –  while staying on budget!

1. New England Aquarium

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If you’re from Boston, or even New England in general, you know this is one of the most popular attractions for visitors – kids and adults alike.  Kids are amazed by the huge ocean tank in the center of the aquarium, where they can see sharks, giant turtles and other sea creatures swimming around together inches from their faces.  If you’ve been to the aquarium before, don’t worry!  There are new exhibits and shows added regularly, so there’s always something new to see.

Free tickets for general admission (not including whale watching or IMAX) are available through the Boston Public Library’s free ticket program. These free passes admit up to 4 people from September-June. See here for more details or to sign up!

2. Free lunch at Quincy Market

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Quincy Market is the heart of Faneuil Hall, and the most popular destination at lunch time, but their food stall prices are set high because of the touristy location.  Fortunately for those of us who live in Boston, we know to avoid the overpriced treats, except on Wednesdays.  Every Wednesday, Quincy Market hosts an International Food Festival at lunchtime where you can sample foods from participating vendors at no charge. It may not be a full meal, but if you have a taste at each of the food stalls, you’ll definitely be satisfied.

3. Stargaze at Coit Observatory

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You may not be an astronomer, but at Boston University’s Coit Observatory, you can test your skills by stargazing through their telescopes.  The observatory is open to the public most spring evenings after 7:30pm and summer nights after 8:30pm. In case of uncertain weather, visitors can call ahead at 617-353-2630 to check that the gaze is taking place on a given night.

4. Museums:

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Museum prices have risen drastically over the past few years, but thankfully, many museums still offer select times to visit for free.  See below for a list of Boston museums and their free visiting hours:

Museum of Fine Arts – Free Wednesdays 4:00pm-9:45pm

Museum of Science – Free ticket program through the Boston Public Library

Harvard University Art Museums – Free on Saturdays 10:00am-Noon

Harvard Museum of Natural History – Free to Massachusetts Residents on – Sunday 9:00am-Noon and Wednesdays from 3-5pm (September to May)

Institute of Contemporary Art – Free Thursdays 5:00pm-9:00pm

We hope this list is helpful for planning family outings on a budget.  Now get out and enjoy the Boston summer with your kids!

-The Savvy Staff

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