Fall in Boston: 10 Things to Do Under $10


The dog days of summer are winding down now and a chill is in the air. Time to break out the coats and grab a pumpkin latte! Fall is a beautiful time here in New England and Halloween is fun for the whole family! I have rounded up 10 things to see and do with your family for under $10!

fall treesphoto credit: Werner Kunz

1. Enjoy the Foliage

Family of Four: Free (except for gas and snacks!)

By Car
MassVacation.com has created an interactive map highlighting driving routes for maximum statewide leaf-peeping enjoyment!

By Foot
The Trustees of Reservations – Visit the Trustees of Reservations website for a listing of picturesque hikes on their properties – http://www.thetrustees.org/about-us/press-room/press-releases/get-out-foliage.html

Self-Guided Family Hikeshttp://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/programs-and-events/

DCR Guided Hikes

By Bike
Minuteman Bikeway
Built on an old railroad, the Minuteman Bikeway is a popular place to bike and walk. The bikeway connects: Bedford, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge.

Bike to the Sea
You can now ride or walk the trail in Everett, Malden, and Saugus. Eventually, you’ll be able to ride the trail from Everett through Malden, Revere, and Saugus to the beaches of Lynn and Nahant.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

2. Spooky Fun for Kids

Family of Four: Cost varies by event (FREE – $5)

Wilson Farms Hay-Maze – FREE
This year it looks like they are introducing a new Hay-Maze instead of the Hayrides. We haven’t been yet to check it out! Don’t forget to visit the farm animals and the stroll through the extensive farm store offerings. It’s a great place to spend a few hours!

Mayor’s Fall Pumpkin Fest at Frog Pond – FREE
October 23
Looking for an event to get your kid in the Halloween spirit and to get even more use out of that costume this year?? We took my son here a few years ago and he had fun (it was very crowded!). Enjoy entertainers, take part in the costume parade, and don’t forget your carved pumpkin to float on the Frog Pond!

Woburn Lions Club Annual Halloween Parade – FREE
October 30 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
An annual tradition – don’t miss this year’s 61st Halloween Parade!

Northshore Mall’s “Kidgits Boo Bash” – Free for members, $5 annual membership fee
Thursday, October 27th – 4:30pm to 7pm
Festive activities and a Halloween costume parade!

halloween ghost

photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

3. Salem Haunted Happenings

Family of Four: Cost depends on event and activity

You can’t think of Halloween without thinking about Salem, MA! Salem is the heart of Halloween in New England. Choose from hundreds of events and activities during the month of October. You are sure to find something that will tickle your skeleton bones! Be sure to go early and take public transportation!


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

4. Trick or Treat!

Family of Four: Cost depends on event (FREE to $5)

Here are a few trick-or-treat opportunities this year to show off your adorable kids in their costumes!

Prudential Center’s “Pru Boo!” – $4 Donation
Sunday, October 30th – 11am to 1pm
Kids can trick-or-treat at over 50 stores and restaurants. Halloween activities include face painting, cookie decorating, a magic show, kids concert, and more! Kids Concert with Stacey Peasley at 1:30pm.

New School of Music “Trick or Treat to the Beat!” – FREE
October 29 @ 5pm – 6:30pm
Dress up in costume and enjoy family fun playing musical instruments, join the sing-a-long, check out the petting zoo, and trick-or-treat!

decorated pumpkins

photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

5. Fun & Festive Arts & Crafts

Family of Four: FREE – $1

Kids Crafts @ Lakeshore Learning – FREE
Every week Lakeshore Learning offers free craft activities in their stores. Don’t miss the ‘BOO’ glasses on 10/29!


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

6. Pumpkin Picking

Pies, Jack-O-Lanterns, festive home decor. The perfect pumpkin is out there waiting for you! Check out this interactive map to find a place to pick that perfect pumpkin near you!


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

7. Head Of The Charles Regatta

Family of Four: Free

October 22 & October 23 (All day)

Since 1965, the Charles River has been home to this renown 2-day rowing competition. Cheer on the teams at the event that attracts 11,000 athletes and 400,000 spectators each year. Don’t miss this Cambridge tradition!


photo credit: Muffet

8. Providence WaterFires

Family of Four: FREE

Enjoy an evening strolling through historical Providence and take in the beauty of the fires adorning the river. Stroll, shop, dine, take a boat ride. A fun night for all!

From their website: “All Full WaterFire installations light up over eighty braziers from Waterplace Park to Memorial/South Main Street Park on scheduled evenings. Lighting occurs shortly after sunset and the event continues until just past midnight.”

children's museums

photo credit: David Salafia

9. Play at the Children’s Museums!

Family of Four @ Boston’s Children’s Museum: $4
Family of Four @ Acton Discovery Museums: FREE
Family of Four @ Children’s Museum of NH: $4
Family of Four @ Providence Children’s Museum: FREE

Boston’s Children’s Museum
Friday nights from 5-9pm admission to the museum is only $1/person! Learn & explore at Boston’s only children’s museum. Blow giant bubbles, drive construction vehicles, climb the 3-story maze, enjoy live performances, splash around, and visit Arthur! So much to do and see!

Acton Discovery Museums
Visit both the Science Center and the Children’s Discovery Museum on the first Friday night of each month from 4:30-8:30pm (October – June) with free admission for the entire family. Play in the jungle, cook in the diner, climb a rainbow, learn the wonders of the world around us.

Children’s Museum of NH
$3 Dollar Deal Nights are on the First Friday of each Month, October – June, 5:30 – 8pm. All families are welcome to play and learn together! Excavate dinosaur bones, play in a submarine, be a train conductor, and more!

Providence Children’s Museum
Providence Children’s Museum is open free from 5:00 – 8:00 PM for “MetLife Family Friday – Free at Five!,” sponsored by MetLife Foundation. “Stay out late and splash, play, explore and discover!”


photo credit: OliBac

10. Awaken Your Artistic Side

Family of Four: FREE*

Family Play Dates @ ICA
Admission is FREE for families (up to 2 adults accompanied by children 12 + under) on the last Saturday of each month (except in December). “Play Dates offer a full day of activities for families–including hands-on art-making, performance, family gallery tours, films, and more. Play Dates may include films, performances, art-making activities, gallery tours, and more. All activities are designed for children and adults to do together. No prior registration is necessary, but families are encouraged to arrive early to take full advantage of the day’s events.”

Voluntary Admission Fee Contribution @ MFA
Don’t miss FREE Admission during the Fall Open House on Monday, October 10!

Wednesday nights after 4 pm, admission is by *voluntary contribution. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is home to the world’s best paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. My son’s favorite exhibit is the Mummies!

deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
On the 2nd Saturday morning of every month admission is FREE for all non-group visitors. “Established in 1950, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is the largest park of its kind in New England encompassing 30 acres, 20 miles northwest of Boston. Providing a constantly changing landscape of large-scale, outdoor, modern and contemporary sculpture and site-specific installations, the Sculpture Park hosts more than 60 works, the majority of which are on loan to the Museum. Inside, the Museum features a robust slate of rotating exhibitions and innovative interpretive programming.

What have I missed? What are your family’s favorite fall-time activities?