Boston Free Things to Do Overview

Newbury Street - Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Boston

City living can get pricey. Rent, groceries, parking, and even traffic tickets are always more expensive in America’s bigger towns. But a common trade-off for paying to live in a modern metropolis is the multitude of free things available for residents to do.

Free things to do in Boston tend to occur during the summer months. There’s outdoor movies, concerts, festivals, fashion shows, tasting events, and even block parties. The Longwood Orchestra performs classical music concerts at the Hatch Shell every Wednesday night throughout the summer. At the same time, the mayor's office hosts free movie screenings on the Common, and the Prudential Center hosts them on the lawn in the building's courtyard. The Boston Harbor Hotel hosts live jazz and salsa nights, as well as old movie screenings overlooking the harbor.

Many Boston museums offer opportunities for folks to enter – free of charge – at different points throughout the year. The Museum of Fine Arts has free open house days several times a year, with admission by voluntary contribution every Wednesday after 4pm. The Institute of Contemporary Art is free every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm, while the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is always free for visitors under 18, U.S. military members and their families, and anyone named “Isabella.” Visitors may also enter for free on their birthdays.

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