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Boston's Best Budget Attractions

It is not always easy to find fun things to do when money is tight. However, Boston has plenty of budget and free attractions for families, couples, friends and individuals who want to get out and have fun without breaking the bank. Even specific interests are catered to with the multiple museums in the city that offer free or discounted admission. Those who would rather spend time outside will also find a few options that rate better than the average city park.
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Photo Credit: Larz Anderson Auto Museum

Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton St.
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 522-6547

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum houses the oldest car collection in the United States. It dates back nearly a century and first belonged to the Andersons, on whose former estate the museum and a large city park now reside. The collection includes automobiles from the turn of the century until about 1926, so it is very much focused on historic cars. Once a year, the museum participates in Free Fun Fridays, which allow visitors free admission all day long. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for young children, seniors, military and students.

Related: Ask A Boston Experts: Tips For Traveling Internationally On A Budget

(Photo Credit: BU)

Public Open Night At The Coit Observatory
725 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-2630

Public Open Night at the Coit Observatory is a program offered by Boston University's Astronomy Department. On every Wednesday night that the weather allows for looking at the night sky, visitors are given free access to telescopes and binoculars so they might see the night in a new way. Stargazing begins at 7:30 p.m. in fall and winter and 8:30 p.m. in spring and summer. Unfortunately, there is no handicap access, as guests must climb to the observatory.

Harvard Museum of Natural History
(Photo Credit: Harvard Museum of Natural History)

Harvard Museum Of Natural History
26 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-3045

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is one of the best museums in town. It is also accessible for people of any budget on free days. All year, Massachusetts residents are admitted free on Sunday mornings between 9 a.m. and noon. September through May, residents are admitted free from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons. Come see amazing taxidermy examples of creatures from all over, anatomically correct glass flowers and much more.

Boston Fire Museum
(Photo Credit: Boston Fire Museum)

Boston Fire Museum
344 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-9700

The Boston Fire Museum houses all kinds of fire history and memorabilia from the Greater Boston area inside an old firehouse in the city. Admission is always free, though the establishment is run on donations, so contributions of any size are welcome. This is a great attraction for kids, history lovers and those who want to help support firefighters in the area. The museum dates back to 1983, but many of the items on display date back much farther.

Related: Ask A Boston Expert: Shopping For Home Decor On A Budget

Arboretum of Harvard University

Arnold Arboretum
125 Arborway
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 524-1718

The Arnold Arboretum is a research and education facility of Harvard University. People are invited to guide themselves through the natural environment of the Arnold Arboretum for free. There are even tools and games like Discovery Packs and Wildlife Bingo to make things even more interesting. Volunteers located on the trails can help answer questions and point visitors in the right direction. Botany enthusiasts will really love the plants the arboretum brings in from everywhere.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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