Top 5 Free Things to Do in Boston This Summer
Planning a vacation to Boston? Our insiders put together a list of our top free things the city offers so you can have some affordable fun on your trip!
1. SoWa Sunday Vintage Markets
Sunday’s are the best days to find outdoor activities happening during the summer months. We Bostonians take full advantage of the warm weather to be outside!
Address: 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston. GPS address 324 Albany St for SoWa event parking under I-93 (fee based during SoWa Open Market Season) All street parking is FREE on Sundays in Boston.
When: Sundays 10-4
What you’ll find: A ton of local vendors! SoWa is organized into 3 sections:
- handmade craft stands with everything from one-of-a-kind paintings to Boston-themed home goods.
- produce and food stands from local farmers and artisans where visitors can sample gourmet foods, stock up on fresh produce and more.
- food trucks from some of the best eateries. Insider tip: the food trucks have become very popular so we recommend going before noon to avoid waiting in line, but either way, it’s worth the wait!
In case you were wondering: SoWa stands for ‘South of Washington’ street.
2. Boston Public Gardens
For a slightly more mellow experience, the Public Gardens are absolutely beautiful during the summer months. You can people watch with a view!
Address: 4 Charles st. Boston, MA 02114
What you’ll find: The statue of George Washington on his horse, people picnicking, colorful flowers, swans, and swan boats. Look for the iconic “Make Way for Ducklings” statues which are always a hit with the kids.
3. The Freedom Walking Trail
Break out your walking shoes! This is a 2.5 mile trail marked by a line of red brick that guides you around the city. The trail begins in the Boston Common right near the Public Gardens and takes you to the next two destinations on our list.
Where: 139 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111
What you’ll find: 16 historically significant sights and markers that include information about the American Revolution and historical significance of each stop. Insider tip: download a helpful map and list of the stops.
You could easily spend the day wandering around Faneuil Hall. There is always something to see in this area of town during the warmer months, whether it’s the street performers, shopping, or historic bars and restaurants, Faneuil Hall is one of the most popular places to visit.
Address:1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109.
What you’ll find: Street performers, festival-style jugglers, and musicians all competing for attention and small change. There are also a number of souvenir shops, restaurants, and outlet shopping as well.
In case you were wondering: This historical site has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742! Insider Tip: (Faneuil pronunciation: “Fan-Yule”)
5. The Charles River Esplanade
The Esplanade runs for a 3 mile stretch along the Charles River between Boston Museum of Science and the Boston University Bridge. This waterfront park is very popular in the summertime and is one of the most beautiful places to walk and see views of the city. Insider tip: walk across the Boston University Bridge near sunset; you will get amazing photos of the city!
Address: Storrow Dr. Boston, MA 02116. The easiest way to get here would be by taking the T via the redline and getting off at the Charles/MGH stop. Here is a link to directions and map.
What you’ll find: Swingsets, sailboats, sculptures, and more! During July and August “Friday Flicks” are held every Friday night with a free (kid-friendly) movie you can watch on the grass. The movies start when the sun goes down, usually between 8-8:30.
One more tip: Boston is a very “commuter friendly” city, so we highly recommend walking or taking public transportation (MBTA) over driving; you know what they call the Boston drivers… plus, you won’t have to worry about parking.