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Things to do around Boston

Things to do around Boston

From shows to sporting events, there is always something going on in Boston. We have information on theaters, museums, and free (and mostly) free things to do in the City.

Still have questions? Contact:
Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment
617-635-3911
1 City Hall Square
Room 802
Boston, MA 02201-2029
United States

Free (and mostly free) events

EVENT OR LOCATION

DETAILS

Boston Public Art

View the City's art collection, watch artist interviews, and find public art throughout Boston.

Boston Harborwalk Tour

Fort Point Channel Tour

Public Garden Tour

You can use your iPhone or iPod to help guide you on a free audio tours.

Tour the State House

Take a 35-45 minute tour of the State Capitol. Admission is free.

Get discounts with your Charlie Card

Many businesses will give you discounts if you show them the public transit card.

Mass Value Pass

The Mass Value Pass gets you great deals at hotels and attractions.

See the Bunker Hill Monument

Climb to the top of the monument to the first major battle of the American Revolution for free.

Ride the Swan Boats

Paddle through the Public Garden Lagoon on a 15-minute cruise. It costs $2.75 for adults, $1.50 for kids, and $2.00 for seniors.

Visit the Charles Street Meeting House

The Beacon Hill landmark has a collection of shops, cafes, and historical sites. (Located at the corner of Charles and Mt. Vernon streets)

P&G Gillette Floating Dock

The floating dock on the east side of Fort Point Channel is free to the public. You can launch non-powered crafts like kayaks and canoes. (Launching dock open from dawn until dusk, stationary dock open 24 hours)

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

There are roughly 450,000 objects in the museum collection. Admission is suggested donation on  Wednesdays from 4 p.m. - 9:45 p.m.

Visit the Mass Historical Society

The gallery and library have rare documents from our nation's history, including the “Remember the ladies” letter from Abigail Adams to her husband, John Adams.

Tour the USS Constitution

Visit the oldest commissioned warship in the world. Admission and guided tours are a suggested donation

Check out the Coit Observatory

The Coit Observatory at Boston University offers free observations of the night sky on clear Wednesdays. An hour-long program teaches you about astronomy while you're stargazing.

See a movie or concert at the Hatch Shell

The Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade offers free events throughout the summer.

Get a discounted pass to a museum

If you have a library card, you can get a discounted pass to many of the City's museums.

Tour the Museum of African American History

The museum preserves the contributions of African American in New England.  Admission is just $5.

Tour the Boston Public Library at Copley

The nation's first public library features architecture and artwork from many famous figures.

Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

If your name is Isabella, you can sign up for free admission for life. You can also get free admission on your birthday by showing your ID.

Check out the Faneuil Hall Street Performers

Faneuil Hall street performers include jugglers, magicians, clowns, mimes, and musicians.

Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art

The institute on Boston's revitalized waterfront features contemporary art and culture. Admission is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Ride the public transit ferry

Among its stops, the ferry will take you from Long Wharf in Downtown Boston to the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Visit the Children's Museum

The museum partners with Target to offer $1 Friday nights for families from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Walks and trails

Event or location Details

Walk the Freedom Trail

Through the self-guided Freedom Trail tour, you’ll see 16 historical sites in Boston.

Women's Heritage Trail
Black Heritage Trail
Irish Heritage Trail

The Heritage Trail explores the different cultures that are part of Boston's history. The tours are mostly self-guided and maps are available online.

Walk the JFK Trail

Visit the same places President John F. Kennedy often visited in Boston.

Walk the Boston Sports Trail

Take a tour along the trail and get your sports fix. You can download the route on your GPS or smartphone.

Rose Kennedy Greenway Walking Tour

Discover the story of Boston's newest urban park that connects people and places once divided by an elevated highway.

See the Bunker Hill Monument

Climb to the top of the monument to the first major battle of the American Revolution for free.

Boston Parks

Explore Boston’s many green spaces.

Walk to the Sea

Walk to the Sea is a tour of historical landmarks and City skyscrapers.

Shopping and dining

LOCATION OR VENUE

DETAILS

Boston Food Trucks

There are food trucks in 20 different locations throughout Boston, all offering various types of food.

Downtown Crossing

Downtown Crossing is home to boutiques, national department stores, and pushcarts.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall has more than 40 pushcart eateries and 16 world-class restaurants. There’s also plenty of great places to shop.

Haymarket

An open fruit and vegetable market takes place every Friday and Saturday. It’s located along Blackstone Street between Hanover and North Streets. Haymarket even has its own stop on the MBTA.  

Boston Public Market

The first and only locally sourced market in the US. Everything sold at the market is from local New England vendors.

Newbury Street

Some of the most chic and fashionable stores in Boston are located on Newbury.

Copley Place

The upscale mall is filled with great stores and restaurants.

Prudential Center

Located on Boylston Street, the Pru is packed with options for shopping and dining.

Theater

LOCATION OR SHOW

DETAILS

BosTix

Get half-priced tickets to performance arts shows in the City.

Boston Symphony Orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is now in its 129th season. They've performed throughout the US and the world.

Boston Opera House

The venue is full of French and Italian styles, and is a great example of the design from the vaudeville era.

Boston Colonial Theatre

Come visit the oldest continuously operating theater in New England.

Cutler Majestic Theatre

The well-known performance art venue is on Emerson College’s campus.

Wilbur Theatre

The Wilbur is a great destination for music and comedy in Boston.

Shubert Theatre

You can see world class acts of every genre at the Shubert.

Wang Theatre

The Wang offers many different types of performances, from Broadway shows to opera.

Calderwood Pavilion

Calderwood is both a theater hub and cultural landmark.

Lyric Stage Company

The award-winning nonprofit theater is in the Back Bay.

Shear Madness

A comedy play that's been active since 1980 and is different every time you see it!

Museums and gallery spaces

MUSEUM OR GALLERY

DETAILS

Abiel Smith School

The school remembers the life of African Americans from the beginning to the end of slavery, with a focus on the work to give everyone an education.

Boston Children's Museum

The museum has interactive and educational exhibits for kids, in addition to hosting a ton of awesome family friendly events

Boston African American National Historic Site

Learn the story of the African American community in 19th-century Boston.

Boston Athenaeum

The Athenaeum was founded in 1807. It's the oldest independent library and cultural institution in the US.

Boston City Hall Galleries

The Mayor’s Gallery and Scollay Square showcase local artists and groups. The temporary exhibits support the City's creative diversity.

Boston Fire Museum

The museum has taken up space in the old firehouse on Congress Street since 1983. You can see memorabilia and learn more about firefighting.

Boston Open Studios

Curious to see where artists create? Open Studios are a great opportunity to see behind the scenes of local artists’ spaces. You can purchase art work directly from local artists, see demonstrations, and enjoy music.

Boston Public Library

The nation's first public library offers free tours with plenty of architecture and art to explore.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Relive December 16, 1773, the famous day when American Colonists opposed British rule (and steeped the Harbor with liber-tea).

Boston University Art Gallery

The Stone, 808, Annex, and Sherman Galleries are all within walking distance to the school’s campus.

Boston Society of Architects Space

The home to the Boston Society of Architects features a gallery on architecture and design. Admission is free.

Commonwealth Museum

The museum about Massachusetts focuses on the history of the state and its people.

Congregational Library and Archives

The Library founded in 1854 features information about the religious activities of the early American colonists.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

The institute educates the public about the role of the Senate in our government.

French Cultural Center

The French Library and Cultural Center is a nonprofit that promotes the culture and language of France.

Gibson House Museum

The Back Bay museum is a historical single-family home that's preserved  with original furniture and features dating from the mid- 1800’s.  

Historic New England

The organization is the oldest and largest regional heritage preservation group in the US.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Located on Boston’s waterfront, the picturesque museum is home to works of contemporary art from the past 65 years. The unique architecture in the Poss Family Mediatheque alone makes a visit worthwhile.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A vibrant woman and patron of the arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner’s legacy lives on in her Venetian style home preserved as a Museum.  The Gardner Museum features contemporary and historic art, music, and even has an artist-in-residence program.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

The library located in Dorchester is a tribute to the life and leadership of President Kennedy.

Mary Baker Eddy Library

At the museum and research library, you can find out why Mary Baker Eddy was one of the most influential women of the 19th century.

Massachusetts Historical Society

The independent research library preserves the history of Massachusetts.

Museum of African American History

The museum works to maintain an accurate history of African-American lives in colonial times.

Museum of Fine Arts

The museum features many exhibits and galleries, including one of the world's largest Asian art collections in addition to one of the most important Egyptian collections both in breadth and depth

Museum of Science

From butterflies to nanotechnology: the  interactive museum features  hands-on exhibits and even a planetarium.

New England Sports Museum

Learn more about the City of Champions and Boston’s sports legacy at the museum inside TD Banknorth Garden.  

Nichols House Museum

The historic home shows what domestic life was like in Beacon Hill at the turn of the last century.

Old North Church

The oldest surviving church in Boston is also the place where two famous lanterns were lit to signal Paul Revere’s ride.

Old South Meeting House

The National Historic Landmark was part of the events that shaped democracy in the US.

Old State House

Find out the role the Old State House played in the American Revolution.

Paul Revere House

The former home of Paul Revere and the oldest building in downtown Boston.

Trinity Church

Trinity Church is still home to a thriving congregation in Copley Square.

U.S.S. Constitution Museum

Learn the history of the ship and the people who sailed her.

Russell Museum of Medical History and Innovation

Discover the story of Mass General Hospital through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and photos.

The Vilna Shul

A place to learn about Jewish culture and history for ages 12 and up.

Warren Anatomical Museum

The collection of roughly 15,000 artifacts and cases includes anatomical models, photos, paintings, and more.

Waterworks Museum

The museum has exhibits and educational programs about one of the country's first metropolitan water systems.

William Hickling Prescott House

Once home to the author William Hickling Prescott, the museum features his original study and a bedroom from the late 18th century.

West End Museum

The neighborhood museum preserves the history and culture of the West End.

Sports

EVENT OR TEAM

DETAILS

Boston Red Sox

Visit Fenway Park, home of the eight-time World Champion Red Sox.

New England Patriots The four-time Super Bowl champions play at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

New England Revolution

Head over to Gillette Stadium, where our Major League Soccer team plays.

Boston Breakers

The world-class Women's Professional Soccer team plays home games at Harvard Stadium from April through September.

Boston Cannons

The Major League Lacrosse team plays at Boston University's Nickerson Field.

Boston Bruins

TD Garden is home to the six-time Stanley Cup Champions play. The Bruins were the first team to be awarded an NHL Franchise.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics won 17 world championships, including eight in a row from 1959 - 1966.

Collegiate Sports

Our college teams have been gaining national recognition in hockey, basketball, and football.

Boston Sports Trail

The Boston Sports Trail takes you on a tour of our City's sports history. Download the guide on your phone or GPS.

 
OFF-SEASON TEAMS AND EVENTS
 

TEAM OR EVENT

DETAILS

Head of the Charles Regatta

The Head of the Charles is the world's largest boat race. Each October, rowers come from around the world to take part.

New England Patriots

Learn about the four-time Super Bowl Champions. The Patriots play at Gillette Stadium from November to January.

The Boston Pride

Our newest sports team won a championship trophy this year. Congrats to the National Women's Hockey League champs!

Boston Marathon

The Marathon is held each April on Patriot's Day. Learn about one of the most prestigious and oldest marathon events.