Summer in Boston: 10 Things to Do Under $10

June 23, 2016 Blog, Fun, Money-Saving Tips

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Break out the sunscreen and the beach towels! Summer is finally here! I have rounded up 10 things to see and do with your family for under $10 (and most are FREE)!

photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

water park

photo credit: Theme Park Mom

1. No pool? No problem!

Hit the beach for less. Find out where to go for Free – $8!

Boston Common Frog Pond
Splash around in the Frog Pond, the the wading pool is free! There are concessions and public bathrooms. Kids can also enjoy playing in the Tadpole playground and can hop a ride on the carousel for $3. Meter parking is free on Sundays too!

Castle Island
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! Plus tons of FREE parking!

DCR Spray Parks & Pools
The State of MA Department of Recreation (DCR) manages a number of spray parks and pools throughout the state. While most are free, some do charge a nominal parking or admission fee. Check out the list below to find a pool near you!

Lynch Park, Beverly
A 16 acre park showcasing two ocean-side beaches and a rose garden, with bathrooms and concessions. There is also a brand new splash park opening this summer! Parking during the week is $8 (weekends are $20, but grab a parking coupon book and 6 visits can cost you less).

Nahant Beach
Nahant Beach is a beautiful ocean beach with distant views of Boston located just a few miles from Revere Beach. There are no food concessions, but The Tides restaurant does have take-out and ice cream. There are bathrooms and parking is now $5 (though they took away a large # of spaces with recent construction). The parking lot is very close to the beach, so no long walks while lugging all your beach stuff!

Revere Beach
Revere Beach is “America’s First Public Beach”! Enjoy soft sand and distant views of Boston while plans from Logan fly overhead. Lots of FREE parking and places to grab a bite within walking distance! If you can’t find a parking spot, the T lot is nearby and charges $6 for the day (or you could take the T too!).

Rose Kennedy Greenway Fountains
A summer trip into Boston is not complete without the kids enjoying the fun (and FREE) fountains of the Rose Kennedy Greenway (there are 6 to discover!). Walk along Atlantic Ave and splash around in the water fun. Kids can also ride the Greenway Carousel for $3. Buy a book of 10 and pay only $2.50/ride.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

2. Enjoy the Day at Salem Willows

Free Parking, no admission fee, and $10 gets your kids an afternoon of fun!

Salem Willows is a vintage-feel boardwalk attraction boasting fried dough, ice cream, kiddie rides, and arcades all while enjoying a beautiful ocean view (and a sandy beach too!).

For $10, your child can ride all 4 of the kiddie rides (carousel, boats, ladybugs, and cars), enjoy an ice cream cone, and play a round of mini golf. Ask for the “Kids Special” when purchasing tickets for the kiddie rides.

Game tokens can be purchased at the arcades for $0.25 each and there are a number of games that only cost 1 token to play.

Parking is FREE and there are no admission costs to walk around the park.

hayride farm

photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

3. Berry Picking and Farm Fun

Prices vary by farm, most are a few $ per pound.

While Fall is popular for picking apples, summer is the time to pick-your-own sweet and delicious berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (and peaches too!) – yum!! Most local farms have free admission and fun family activities like feeding the farm animals, hayrides, playgrounds, and more! Prices for PYO and activities vary by farm, so visit the website below to find a farm by you!


photo credit: torbakhopper

4. Free Fun Fridays from Highland Street Foundation

Family of Four: *Free!

Free Fun Fridays are back for the 7th year! These events, sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation, provide FREE admission to 66 selected venues each Friday during the summer (5-8 are free every week). *Parking/transportation fees may be additional. Event hours take place during selected venue hours. Be sure to go early, these are very popular events!! Check the calendar below to find out which venues are free each Friday.


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

5. Movies Under the Stars

Family of Four: FREE

Who says you need to sit in a theater to watch movies? Grab your blankets and beach chairs and get to these FREE movie showings with the kids. No tickets required! All shows start when the sun goes down.

Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City

Boston Parks & Recreation Department ParkARTS

Free Friday Flicks @ The Hatch Shell

Free Sunday Night Movies in the Park @ Christopher Columbus Park

Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival @ Prudential Center


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

6. Kids Bowl Free

Registration is now open for the “Kids Bowl Free” program! Sign up today at a local participating center and you will receive 2 free bowling passes per day all summer long for your kids! Who doesn’t love free bowling?!

Purchase an additional Family Pass for $25.95 and up to 4 adults can bowl 2 FREE games every day all summer with their kids. Parents, older children, adult babysitters and grandparents can join in the bowling fun too!


7. Song & Dance

Free concerts and fun performances to enjoy all summer long!

300+ FREE Concerts from Berklee College

Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City

Concerts @ The Hatch Shell

Elma Lewis Playhouse in the Park

Family Farm Night @ Wright Locke Farm

Family Hour in the Open @ Maudslay State Park ($5 Parking Fee)

Free Concerts @ Red Rock Park

Free Summer Outdoor Concerts for Boston Kids and Families (Thanks to Mommy Poppins, Boston)

Shakespeare on the Common


photo credit: Amanda Agoes Photography

8. Free Museum Admission for Kids

Boston is home to so many amazing historical sites and museums. Whether you live here year-round or are just visiting for the day you can enjoy these great attractions with your kids for less! You can’t beat Boston Free Museum Admission for Kids!

If you are planning for a certain date, don’t miss my events calendar for upcoming free and cheap family events in Boston and beyond!

If you don’t see a great museum deal here, don’t forget to check your local library as many have discount admission passes to area attractions!


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: Amanda Agoes Photography

10. Take Me Out to the Ballgame

$6 Tickets @ Brockton Rox
Head just south of Boston to take in a Brockon Rox game. Campanelli Stadium is home to this summer collegiate baseball team. Check their calendar for special promotions like kids eat free, fireworks, giveaways, and lots of family fun. Tickets start at just $6 and parking is FREE!

$6 Tickets @ North Shore Navigators
Hidden down the road in Lynn, MA is a newly renovated ball park that is home to the summer collegiate baseball team, the North Shore Navigators. Grab a hot dog and root on the home team! Tickets start at just $6 + FREE parking! There is a play area for kids with bouncy houses and games, enjoy fireworks after the games, and kids can run the bases and play catch on the field (check their website for schedule).

Lowell Spinners Kids Club
Join the FREE Canaligator’s Kids Club (Kids 12 & under) and receive FREE kids admission to Kids Club Games to every Monday home game and FREE kids attendance to Kids Club Clinics. Upgrade your child’s membership to include 2 adult tickets per complimentary game for $56, which ends up being $7/game per adult.

“Out of the Park” – Fenway Fun for FREE!
The City of Boston, Red Sox, and Highland Street Foundation have teamed up to bring the Red Sox to YOU at these fun and free “Out of the Park” events! Fenway Fun without the cost! Watch the Sox on a giant screen, enjoy hot dogs and ice cream goodies, dance to a DJ, meet Wally, face painting, and more!

What have I missed? What are your family’s favorite summer activities?