No one ever said living in and around Boston was cheap. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of free and cheap things to do with kids in the greater Boston area.
Check out my list of free kids activities in Boston:
Go for a bike ride
Even though we live in a big city, there are plenty of outdoorsy places for bike riding. There are short ones, long ones, and in-between so you can pick what’s best for you. Here are just a few to check out. The Charles River Bikeway is an 18 mile loop but you can get on and off where ever you want making it the right size for your family. There are a few bike options at Franklin Park, including a 2.5 mile loop. Here’s a map of the Jamaicaway Bikepath.
The Boston Public Library System hosts an assortment of free activities for kids and their various branches. From story time, to yoga classes, crafts, movies, and more. You can check the schedule here.
Enjoy the beautiful outdoors at the Arnold Arboretum
The arboretum is 281 acres of flowers, trees, nature walks, family-friendly activities and more in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. Kids ages 3 and up can borrow free Discovery Packs containing materials to explore the park as a Living Museum or Science Lab. There’s also a variety of family activities you can download before your visit to enjoy like a bingo game, and more.
Check out the Stars
Most Wednesday nights throughout the year you can take advantage of the Boston University Observatory FREE during their Public Open Nights at the Observatory. This is weather dependent, but on a clear night, its a great way to get up close and personal to outer space.
Visit the Boston Common Frog Pond
Check out a museum for free
Many museums in the Boston area have FREE days/hours. And, many let kids in FREE anyways. You’d still have to pay, but paying for one isn’t as bad as paying for 2 or 3 or more. Plus, on the first weekend of every month, thanks to the Museums on Us program, you can show your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card to get free admission to many museums. Those participating in the Boston area include Museum of Fine Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Home Depot Kids’ Workshops
Once (or sometimes twice) a month from 9:00 am to noon, kids ages 5 to 12 can enjoy FREE hands-on fun at Home Depot kids workshops. In addition to keeping their projects, kids receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops often have free workshops for kids at various times of the year. Especially near certain holidays and during school vacation weeks.
Most Saturdays every month, Michaels offers a variety of cheap crafts for kids. The crafts are usually seasonal or related to an upcoming holiday. The cost is just $2 and includes all supplies. Once on the site, you must check the schedule for your store to see what is be offered.
Lakeshore Learning Store
Every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm Lakeshore Learning in Newton hosts FREE craft workshops for kids.
Pottery Barn story time
Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., kids can enjoy a free story time at Pottery Barn Kids. There are three Pottery Barn Kids in the Boston area–Burlington, Natick, and Lynnfield.
Rose Kennedy Greenway
From an activity van, to splash pad, to carousel and more there’s a lot of fun to be had at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. These are usually better when the weather is mild to warm. Some are closed during the winter.
Free outdoor movies
There are FREE family movies all over the city through out the summer months.
Free Lego Minifigure Swap
Every Monday your kids can bring in any Lego minifigures (traditional or friends) they no longer want to your nearest Lego store and swap them with other kids or employees for new-to-them ones.
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Where kids eat free in Boston area every night of the week.
Fun activities for kids on rainy days.