Spring in Boston: 10 Things to Do Under $10

April 7, 2015 Blog, Discounted Tickets, Fun, Money-Saving Tips

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Spring has finally sprung in Massachusetts! Hibernation is over! Now the question is, what should we do? I have rounded up 10 things to see and do with your family for under $10!


photo credit: Bev Goodwin

1. Take a spin on a carousel

Family of Four: $6* (adults ride for free with young children)

Rose Kennedy Greenway Carousel
Opens for the season starting April 10. Enjoy a ride on the beautifully hand-crafted showpiece featuring 14 different characters native to Massachusetts. Kids ride for $3 and parents are free to assist their children.

Boston Common Frog Pond Carousel
No visit to the Boston Commons is complete without a ride on the colorful and charming carousel. Kids ride for $3 and parents are free to assist their children.

swan boats

photo credit: David Paul Ohmer

2. Ride in a Swan Boat

Family of Four: $9 (Adults $3.00; Children $1.50 (age 2 to 15 years); under 2 free)

Opens for the season starting Saturday April 18. Enjoy a “peaceful and picturesque voyage on the waters of the lagoon” located in the magnificent Public Garden.

state house

photo credit: Manu_H

3. Tour the State House

Family of Four: FREE

Visit the Massachusetts State Capitol Building and watch the Senate and House of Representatives at work, where they have been for legislating since colonial times, admire the beautiful architecture and art collection. The tours are given weekdays year-round from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm, and are free of charge. The building is open from 8:45 am to 5 pm. Tours last approximately 30-45 minutes. Advance reservations are requested for conducted tours. The Massachusetts State House is closed on weekends and holidays.

children's museums

photo credit: David Salafia

4. 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 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. One of my son’s favorite places to visit!

Children’s Museum of NH
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!

navy yard

photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

5. Climb Aboard the USS Constitution

Family of Four: FREE

Visit the USS CONSTITUTION, “Old Ironsides”, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. Free guided tours available to the public throughout the year. Be prepared to show a valid Federal or State-Issued Photo ID or Passport to board the ship (for ages 18+).


photo credit: OliBac

6. 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
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 first Wednesday 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.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

7. It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

Family of Four: FREE

Minuteman Bikeway
Built by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on an inactive railroad right of way, the Minuteman Bikeway has become a popular place to bike and walk by all! 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. Work on the trail in Revere is expected to begin in 2014. And approval to build the trail through Lynn is still needed. Eventually, you’ll be able to ride the trail from Everett through Malden, Revere, and Saugus to the beaches in Lynn and Nahant.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

8. Explore Castle Island

Family of Four: FREE

Castle Island is a wonderful place to spend the day. Enjoy gorgeous harbor views, watch the planes from Logan fly overhead while your kids enjoy the playground and beach!

Castle Island at the entrance to Boston’s inner harbor is the oldest continuously fortified site in British North America having had a military presence from 1634 through World War II. The current Fort Independence, the eighth fortification to occupy the site was commissioned to active duty in 1851. Castle Island, once a half mile offshore is now connected to the mainland.

Free guided tours of Fort Independence will begin again on Memorial Day Weekend.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

9. Sunday Afternoons on the Charles

Family of Four: FREE

DCR closes Memorial Drive in Cambridge between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street for biking, skating, jogging, strolling, and lots of family fun! A festive atmosphere for all with vendors and live performances.

The closure is in effect from 11:00am to 7:00pm starting the last Sunday of April until the 2nd Sunday of November. Memorial Drive is owned and operated by the State Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).


photo credit: ‘Ajnagraphy’

10. Take a Hike

Family of Four: FREE

Massachusetts is home to thousands of acres of protected park land. Get out and explore these wonderful natural resources, either self-guided or DCR-guided. There is so much to see!

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

DCR Guided Hikes

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