Naysayers will tell you that nothing in this life is truly free. However those who live in Massachusetts may beg to differ with you. Check out the following 10 options for free things to do in Massachusetts. Then call the nearest naysayer and prove him or her wrong.
You can walk the Freedom Trail for free. The official sites on the route include Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, Granary Burying Ground, Park Street Church, King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House and more. Check the website for a complete listing and visit these sites that played significant roles in the American Revolution.
In February, families can enjoy several free events at the annual Lowell Winterfest. Ice skating, face painting, dogsled championships, magic shows, and more are all free. Check out the website for exact activities and a schedule.
A visit to Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield won’t cost you a cent, and it will beckon feelings of Christmas celebrations throughout the year. The landscape is, of course, designed using countless Yankee candles, so be sure you aren’t scent-sensitive when giving this freebie a go.
Free tours of the USS Constitution are available throughout the year. Docked in the Navy Yard in Charlestown, check out the oldest commissioned warship who earned her nickname of “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812.
Learn lots about the history and culture of Massachusetts by visiting the Commonwealth Museum in Boston, where the admission is free. The museum is open year-round on Monday through Friday and on weekends from May through October.
The Museum of African-American History has two branches—one in Boston and one in Nantucket. The main location—Boston—is free. Featuring art, artifacts, and interpretive exhibits, you can easily spend a couple of hours here.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, of course that’s free,” and you would be right if you’re thinking of laying on your front lawn and picking out constellations. This stargazing, however, takes place in Boston at Boston University’s Coit Observatory, and that means you have access to their telescopes and binoculars—and get to keep company with some pretty impressive stargazers at the same time. This is weather pending, of course. You can call the school at (617) 353-2630 to find out when at what time to come, but they do hold stargazing sessions year-round. Dress warmly if you go in the winter, because this observatory is outside.
Located in Cambridge—the home of Harvard University—a visit to Harvard Square after dark will find you enjoying some excellent free entertainment. This is weather-dependent, of course, as Massachusetts winters can pack a mighty punch. It’s not uncommon to listen to live music, view magic shows, dance exhibitions, jugglers, and more—all for free. You can also browse the shops, which tend to stay open late, since the university is close at hand.
While it isn’t free to run in it (you’d have to qualify, anyway) the Boston Marathon—held on the third Monday in April each year—is free to watch. Check out the website to learn exactly where to watch the runners—from all around the world—pass you by.
Located in Milton, Massachusetts, Blue Hills Reservation features 125 miles of trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing, and it doesn’t cost a thing to use them. Also available at the reservation is an observation tower that affords visitors a gorgeous view of the Boston skyline on clear days. So you see it is possible to enjoy something for free. When visiting Massachusetts, take advantage of one or more of these freebies. It’s always nice to leave a positive comment on the program or event website, however, so try to remember to offer your gratitude.