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Fun and Free Things To Do in Boston This Summer

  • May 30, 2019
  • By Stephanie, The Roving Fox
Fun and Free Things To Do in Boston This Summer

Fun and Free Things To Do in Boston This Summer

Summer is almost here in Boston! That means long walks on the Esplanade, fireworks, outdoor concerts, and more fun and free things to do in Boston. Free events in Boston can be found in every neighborhood across the city, so get pumped for a fun summer!

Boston and Cambridge are thriving city filled with arts, culture, and outdoor events in the summer. There’s always lots to do once the warm weather hits.

Whether you live here or are visiting, summer in Boston is like no other. We wait all winter for the warm weather, and Bostonians can’t wait to soak up as much of the sunshine and warm weather as we can! Cheap things to do in Boston abound in the summer time.

If you’re looking for some fun and free things to do in Boston and Cambridge, here are a few of my top suggestions.

This site contains affiliate links which means The Roving Fox might make a small commission if you purchase something I recommend, at no cost to you. 

1. Bike Along Memorial Drive on Sundays

Every Sunday from the last Sunday of April until the 2nd Sunday of November, the City of Cambridge closes Memorial Drive to cars from 11:00am to 7:00pm. That means bikers, pedestrians, skateboarders, and rollerbladers can cruise down Memorial Drive right along the Charles River. You’ll see lots of  people out enjoying the stretch of road in the summer! Continue the ride down the Esplanade bike path.

If you don’t own a bike, you can rent a Blue Bike for a few hours. There are many Blue Bike pickup stations all around Greater Boston.

This is one of the best cheap things to do in Boston in the summer. Bike rentals start at just $2.50 for a single trip!

DCR closes Memorial Drive between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street

2. Pack a Picnic for one of the Free Concerts at the Hatch Shell

Head down to the Hatch Shell along the Esplanade on the Boston side of the Charles River for some concerts and free things to do in Boston this summer.

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra offers free classical music concerts this summer from July 17-August 21, 2019, and a free family “Tune Up” Party on July 10, 2019. Pack a picnic and a blanket and enjoy this summer concert series along the river!

And don’t forget the Boston Pops 4th of July concert at the Hatch Shell, too! They always do a dress rehearsal concert the night before, which is a lot less crowded than the big event on July 4.

You’ve got to check out these free events in Boston at least once per summer!

Hatch Shell: 47 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108

3. Take the Kids to Free Fun Fridays for Free Museums in Boston

Since 2009, the Highland Street Foundation has been sponsoring Free Fun Fridays, one of the most robust things to do in Boston with kids programs.

Every Friday from the end of June to the end of August, Free Fun Fridays offer visitors no-cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. That includes the Franklin Park Zoo, Tanglewood, the Normal Rockwell Museum, Boston Harbor Islands, Mary Baker Eddy Library & Mapparium, and dozens more cultural organizations.

This is a perfect family-friendly cheap thing to do in Boston this summer if you’re looking for free museums in Boston!

Learn more about Free Fun Fridays 2019

4. Listen to Free Concerts by Berklee Students and Faculty

This summer, Berklee students and faculty will perform a jaw-dropping 400 free events in Boston as part of their Berklee Summer in the City Concert Series. Taking place at venues throughout Boston like the Boston Public Library, the Prudential Center,  and Roxbury’s Highland Park, the concerts feature jazz, R&B, pop, world music, and more. These concerts are one of the best free things to do in Boston this summer!

Berklee Summer in the City Schedule

5. Free Boston Outdoor Fitness Classes

One of my favorite free things to do in Boston is to take advantage of free outdoor fitness classes!

Healthworks is offering a free summer fitness series along the Esplanade which features goat yoga (squeeee!), high intensity interval training, Zumba, self defense, and more.

P. O. Fitness in Post Office Square offers free fitness classes before and after work June 25 – August 31, 2019. With yoga, kickboxing, qi gong, pilates, and bootcamp, your mind and body will be in great shape.

Seaport Sweat offers the most exciting free summer fitness classes in Boston. With classes led by brand ambassadors for Equinox, lululemon, SoulCycle and Outdoor Voices, and a live DJ, these classes will rev up your heart rate and fun factor. Classes run Tuesday, May 28 – Saturday, September 28, 2019 and are free and open to the public!

Assembly Row in Somerville also offers a suite of free summer fitness classes. They’ll offer free yoga, Pilates, Barre, cycling, and more all summer long.

6. Take a Free Walking Tour

Free Tours By Foot offers free Boston walking tours daily throughout the summer and is one of the great free things to do in Boston. Their most popular routes are on the Freedom Trail and the Cambridge/Harvard tour. Even though the tour is free, please tip your guide! I usually tip $5-$10 per person.

View the Free Tours By Foot website for more details

7. Browse SoWa Market in the South End

Wander through the SoWa Market in the South End of Boston and check out the more than 200 local vendors. Galleries, food, and fun intersect every Sunday May-October. This is one of the perfect free events in Boston if you love handiwork and meeting local artists.

Learn more about SoWa Market

8. Explore Boston Parks

Boston is home to a number of lush and dynamic parks. There are even some right in the heart of downtown Boston! Whether you’re looking for things to do in Boston with kids or just some solo time to relax, my favorite Boston parks for free things to do in Boston include:

Boston Common: The quintessential park to visit in Boston! With 50 acres of green space, you can meander though the Common, taking in view of the Prudential Center, State House, the Frog Pond, and a carousel. There are frequently free concerts and events in the Common, and this is where many walking tours begin. Take the Red Line to the Park Street T stop and hop out to enjoy food trucks and more!

Boston Public Garden: The Public Garden is right across the street from the Boston Common, and it’s one of my favorite parks in the city. They have seasonal flowers planted throughout the summer, and it’s a perfect spot to watch the Swan Boats go by. Be sure to check out the “Make Way for Duckling” sculptures at the corner of the Garden towards Charles Street!

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway: The Greenway sits over the former part of the highway which was transformed during the “Big Dig.” It’s now a green, walkable space that runs from Chinatown to the North End. It’s a great route for a free self-guided walking tour of Boston. You can stop by one of the food trucks or beer gardens along the park, branch off for a cannoli in the North End or a lobster roll near the Seaport.

Arnold Arboretum: One of the largest Boston parks, you’ll find lots of free things to do in Boston just in this one park. You can walk through the park or enjoy one of the many free events in Boston they offer like guided tours and exhibitions.

9. Visit the Boston Beaches

I used to live in South Boston for 8 years and loved to go to the beach near my house! We still go there in the summer, and you’d never know such a nice and clean beach is just minutes from downtown Boston. My favorite Southie beach is at Castle Island, where you look out onto the Harbor Islands and can watch kite surfers test out new tricks. Get a snack at Sullivan’s and take a walk around the walking path, too!

Revere Beach is also a great free Boston beach option, although we go there less since it’s farther away from us now. But an amazing fun free thing to do in Boston every summer is to check out the Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival, this year July 26-28, 2019. It’s amazing what these sand artists can make, and it’s a free event in Boston!

10. Visit Boston City Halls for Food, Pet-Friendly Nights, and Free Entertainment

You might not think Boston’s Brutalist-style City Hall as the site of some of the most fun and inventive free things to do in Boston this summer. But their programming is looking lit af right now. They’ve designated a swath of the plaza to what they’ve dubbed as “The Patios.” On the patio section you’ll find outdoor co-working spaces, free grills for you to BYOM (bring your own meat), Wachusett Brewing Company pours, locally sourced food pop ups, and food trucks.

The popular ‘Wag Wednesdays’ will return to City Hall Plaza, and will take place every Wednesday from 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. They’ve partnered with Shultz’s Guest House, a dog rescue based out of Dedham, MA, to bring a variety of puppies to meet and play with visitors in hopes of fostering and adoption (I’m dead; so cute). Other family-friendly activities like putt-putt mini-golf holes will be free for public use seven days a week.

View all of the Boston City Hall Plaza summer events

11. Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company mounts a full production of various Shakespeare plays every summer on the Boston Common! This year, they’ll perform his mystical dramedy Cymbeline. Just another reason to enjoy the Boston Common and the variety of cultural entertainment in Boston!

Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common

12. Take a Free Tour of the Boston Athaneum

Did you know the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States? It was founded in 1807 in its home right near Government Center and the Boston Common. They offer free tours with RSVP every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Be sure to make a reservation at least 2-4 weeks in advance as these free tours are limited in size and often sell out since it’s a popular free event in Boston!

Learn more about the Athaneum free tours

13. Take a Free Coffee Class

George Howell Coffee offers a variety of interesting and free things to do in Boston this summer – namely, their coffee classes and demos! Learn how to taste different beans, perfect your pour-over, or train your palette.

View the free George Howell Coffee Classes

14. Visit the Boston Public Library Copley Branch

The Boston Public Library Copley Branch is a wealth of interesting free things to do in Boston. You can check out books, of course. But you can also watch a live WGBH radio broadcast, have high tea complete with scones, drink a craft cocktail in their new bar, or admire the open-air courtyard. They have a host pf programs for things to do in Boston with kids, too! Be prepared to spend at least 2 hours enjoying this free resource for residents and visitors!

View all of the BPL events and information

15. Walk Through The North End

The North End is Boston’s “Little Italy.” Here, you can sample various Italian restaurants, visit the two most popular North End bakeries, Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry, and wander through the cobblestone streets. Be sure to pass by the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, the site of Revere’s ride.

For some cheap things to do in Boston, don’t miss the free summer Italian festivals all summer long! The real question here is: will you be able to get out of the North End without spending money at one of the delicious restaurants or bakeries??

Learn more about the North End Festivals

Which of these cheap things to do in Boston this summer will make your list for 2019?

Best Places to Stay in Boston

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15 Free Things To Do in Boston. Free events in Boston this summer

Free Things To Do in Boston. Free events in Boston this summer

By Stephanie, The Roving Fox, May 30, 2019
  • 2
  • Ashfina
    June 2, 2019

    That’s a great list of things to do for Free! I love taking Free Walking tours you get to meet so many people.

    • Stephanie
      June 2, 2019

      That is so true! I’ve met many cool people on walking tours and hung out with them more after the tour!

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Stephanie Janes The Roving Fox blog
Hi, I’m Stephanie

Hey there, I am Stephanie, aka “The Roving Fox!” I started this blog to share travel tips with friends, and eventually started incorporating more info about my hip labrum surgery, beauty products I love, and restaurant reviews. Please say hi here on the blog, on Instagram, or Facebook!

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