Your Boston adventure is certain to be one that you will remember forever and will be full of experiences that will make you feel like a true Bostonian and have you longing to return to this historical city. And while there are many things you should not miss experiencing in Boston, sometimes the price can add up quickly. Luckily for Boston-goers, there are a myriad of experiences and lasting memories to be had through many of Boston’s fun and free activities.
What better place to start your free adventure than near the prestigious and historical campus of Harvard University. Walk amongst this beautifully landscaped campus and take in the marvel of one of the world’s most premier educational institutions. The oldest university in America also boasts the spot where George Washington took command of the Continental Army.
After visiting the campus, head just across Massachusetts Avenue to start taking in the rest of the world-famous Harvard Square. Situated right on the banks of the mighty Charles River, Harvard Square is home to numerous arts and entertainment options, dining spots, and plenty of shopping. But, with endless hoards of people, you might find yourself just seated quietly on a bench observing the passing waves of folks. You just may see one of the 300 registered street performers or find yourself exploring the intricate streets and incredible bookstores — including the Harvard Book Store, which often hosts book signings, free readings from area authors, and many other events.
Since the arrival of the first printing press in the Western Hemisphere some 350 years ago, Harvard Square has been home to many famous authors, poets, publishers, teachers, and students. Harvard Square is also home to one of the many free food festivals in Boston, and when timed right, this can be a highlight of your trip to Cambridge.
For more stunning views of crew teams practicing and folks leisurely canoeing and kayaking along the Charles River, head to the Hatch Shell. Located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, this amphitheater is home to spectacular views of Boston, as well as many free concerts and events throughout the year. For families or individuals, these events have the perfect background for any evening.
Fridays, starting in June, the Hatch Shell hosts a free outdoor movie night, featuring an array of family films and many popular and well-known musical artists and entertainers who perform free concerts at the Hatch Shell throughout the season. As the center for Boston’s large outdoor performances and open-air events, the Hatch Shell has a versatile offering of fun and entertainment. For travelers to Boston on Independence Day, be sure to head to the Hatch Shell and enjoy famous conductor Keith Lockhart as he leads the Boston Pops during a freedom celebration.
Just outside your hotel room in Boston, you can seize the opportunity to stand where history stood. Take the opportunity to explore the 2.5-mile journey of the Freedom Trail’s reverent efforts in preserving the story of the American Revolution and the self-determination that embodies the American spirit.
With 16 official sites along the Freedom Trail, your journey will ensure that you walk away with a new found love and respect for the American Revolution. Visit the site of the Boston Massacre and learn of its place in history. Take a tour of the Massachusetts State House or the Boston Common area. See Paul Revere’s house or head to King’s Chapel and embrace history. Whatever you choose, you’ll treasure every step along the journey.
You are free to take in the trail on your own starting at the beginning, middle, or end of the trail, or you can partake of one of the free public tours offered. The public tours depart from the Boston Common Visitor Information Center and feature several different tour options, including the Historic Pub Crawl.
Old North Church
Located along the Freedom Trail is the Old North Church, the perfect spot for those looking to take in just some of the highlights of the Freedom Trail. A beautiful, detailed, and intricately designed interior and exterior, the Old North Church is rich in history.
Perhaps you’ve heard the famous saying of “One if by land, two if by sea.” This, of course, refers to the night this church became famous in 1775 when two men climbed the famous steeple and held two lanterns upon hearing the news of the British arrival by sea from Paul Revere, and the rest is history. Stand where these men stood and take in the historical settings of what ignited the American Revolution. From services to historical presentations and tours about the church, your trip to the Old North Church will serve as a constant reminder of the ever-fiery history of America.
Located on the campus of Boston University is the Coit Observatory, a free experience for visitors to explore history beyond Boston and Earth and into the deep realms of outer space. Coit Observatory is host to a free public open night, which gives people the chance to use telescopes and binoculars to see many things they may not see otherwise. With educators in astronomy assisting, chances are you’ll learn a lot too. Public nights are offered on Wednesdays throughout the year.
One thing is for certain; there is no shortage of things to do in the Boston area. And while your Boston visit should certainly include many of the things that have a price associated with them, be sure to entertain yourself, and perhaps slow your visit down a bit, with one of these fun and free activities.