Massachusetts State House in Boston

Massachusetts can be expensive to live but there’s so many free things to do across the state!

Boston has a lot of FREE things to do with kids, including the Freedom Trail. I selected a few of my favorite stops along the freedom trail as well as some of my favorite attractions and parks!

Boston Common and Boston Public Garden (Boston)

The oldest public park in the U.S., Boston Common, features large open spaces for relaxing, picnics, playgrounds, and the Frog Pond, which offers seasonal activities like ice skating in winter (fee) and a spray pool in summer (free!).

The adjacent Boston Public Garden is home to the famous Swan Boats (small fee) and beautiful walking paths as well as the famous duckling statues!

There are also a ton of free events in Boston Common, especially in the summer! For a list of free programs, and events, please head here.

For more information, please visit Boston Common.

USS Constitution (Boston)

The USS Constitution located in Charlestown Navy Yard is open and free to the public year round!

*Pease keep in mind that you are boarding a ship and will be going through a security check point and will need proper ID.

There is a USS Constitution Museum which is nearby and has a small cost, but you can board the boat for zero dollars and skip the museum entirely.

For more information, please visit USS Constitution.

Massachusetts State House Tour (Boston)

Free tours of the Massachusetts State House are given weekdays year-round from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., free of charge. Tours last roughly 45 minutes long.

For more information, please head here.

Charles River Esplanade (Boston)

A beautiful park along the Charles River, The Charles River Esplanade is great for all ages. There’s also some fun playgrounds, walking and biking trails and plenty of things to see!

There are also a lot of free events and concerts in the summer at the Hatch Shell.

For more information or for a list of free events, please visit Charles River Esplanade.

Castle Island (South Boston)

Castle Island is such a fun visit for kids! There’s great views of the ocean and Boston, a playground, beach, picnic sites, and great opportunities for plane watching! Don’t forget to bring a kite on a windy day or a bathing suit for a hot summer day!

For more information, please visit Castle Island.

Minute Man National Historical Park (Lincoln, Lexington, Concord)

Discover the history of the American Revolution with walking trails, historic sites, and reenactments. There are no fees to visit!

For more information, please visit Minute Man National Historical Park.

World War I Park (Attleboro)

This park in Attleboro, Massachusetts is a great place to spend the day with your kids for free!

They have a giant playground, a giant sandbox area and the best of all– a giant slide that goes down a big hill!

They also have animals on site where you can view a few different type of animals!

They also have a disc golf course for bigger kids as well as picnic sites where you can park and have a picnic table and grill right next to you if you want to make a day of it!

This is such a great little gem for kids in the area and everything is free!

For more information, please visit World War I Park.

Cape Cod National Seashore (Cape Cod)

Explore miles of pristine beaches, hiking trails, and visitor centers with educational programs.

Some beaches on the National Seashore do require fees. But keep in mind that fourth graders, people with disabilities and the National Park pass, receive free admission as well as everyone on certain days of each year.

For more information, please visit Cape Cod National Seashore

Arnold Arboretum (Boston)

Located in Jamaica Plain, this 281-acreoark is dedicated to the study of plants and features walking trails, beautiful gardens, and more.

For more information, please visit Arnold Arboretum.

Blue Hills (Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Canton, Randolph, and Dedham)

Blue Hills Reservation is a state park located fifteen minutes from Boston– Hike the mountain and be rewarded with great views of Boston!

The Blue Hills Trailside Museum also has small animals for kids to visit, mostly birds, owls, deer. There is a small fee to visit the museum, but you can visit the outside area for free! This is a great little area for toddlers!

Also, there’s Houghton’s Pond that’s located within Blue Hills reservation that has swimming, fishing, and relaxing on the sand! There’s also a playground and picnic area. No fees and free parking!

Martin’s Park (Boston)

Located close to the Boston Children’s Museum, Martin’s park is an inclusive park and play space that is the first of its kind in the heart of Boston.

It’s also quite large and a great spot to get energy out for children of all ages!

If you have multiple children, you may want to have an equal parent-to-child ratio as the playground is quite large.

For more information, please visit Martin’s Park.

The Boston Public Library (Boston)

One of the largest municipal public library systems in the U.S., The BPL offers story time for kids, activities, free architecture tours, and a beautiful courtyard to enjoy!

Also, all Massachusetts residents can receive a free Boston Public Library card so you can reserve FREE Museum passes to so many attractions including the New England Aquarium and Boston Science Museum! *You’ll want to reserve in advance for the most popular attractions.

For more information, please visit Boston Public Library.

Highland Street Foundation Free Events (Statewide)

The Highland Street Foundation is such a wonderful asset to Massachusetts as the foundation hosts a lot of free events and attractions across Massachusetts!

They also sponsor August Adventures which features an attraction in Massachusetts for FREE every day in August! Some attractions may require tickets in advance.

For a list of free events and programs sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation, please head here.

Also– Don’t forget those library passes! Massachusetts has a lot of FREE Library Passes for a lot of different attractions including the Boston Science Museum, New England Aquarium, Boston Children’s Museum, and much more! Any Massachusetts resident can qualify for a free Boston Library card too, to expand their museum passes!

Also– if you are looking for more free options for family fun, you may want to consider getting a membership to a local zoo or museum for FREE reciprocal admission! For example, membership to the Capron Zoo starts at $35 year for a year membership and you can get into that Zoo for free + AZA reciprocal benefits. For example, you can get into the Museum of Science and Buttonwood for free, up to 4 people per visit. The membership pays for itself in one visit!

What are your favorite FREE things to do in Massachusetts with kids!?

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