Watch CBS News

Boston's Best Free Summer Activities For Kids

Get the kids outside and encourage them to enjoy all of the culture, splendor and history our great city has to offer! From the beach to museums, graveyards and outdoor movies, there are free activities for all ages and fields of interest. Make sure to consider taking public transportation in order to further reduce the day's costs.

Christopher Columbus Park
(Photo Credit: Friends Of Christopher Columbus Park)

Outdoor Movies At Christopher Columbus Park
Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 02110
(781) 639-6002

One of the most fun summer activities is watching a movie outside. There is nothing like bringing lawn chairs and a blanket to the park with some snacks and juice boxes and setting up to watch a film with the whole neighborhood. Every year, the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park set up a series of family-friendly free outdoor movies that air from late July throughout August. The movies begin at sunset on Sunday evenings and are a great way to close out another summer weekend. For a full list of films and exact showtimes, visit the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park website and stay tuned by signing up for the North End Waterfront newsletter.

Castle Island
(Photo Credit: Boston Harborwalk)

Stroll Around Castle Island
2080 William J. Day Blvd.
South Boston, MA 02127

Kids that love to play outside and run around will love exploring Castle Island. This easy, stroller-friendly pedestrian trail takes walkers on a short, but scenic tour of the island. There are plenty of entrances to the beach if kids are interested in building sand castles or looking for sea creatures! This is also a great place to take dogs that love the outdoors. The park is completely free and open to the public. It is accessible by bus, but there is also street parking available.

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

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

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is one of the most interesting and "old school" museums in the city. Massachusetts residents of all ages can enjoy the museum for free every Saturday morning. This is a perfect activity for kids with a budding interest in nature, animals and science. There are hundreds of real stuffed animals in the wildlife gallery, and some incredible colorful gems in the collection of minerals, but the museum is probably most well known for its collection of glass flowers. The glass flowers were painstakingly created by hand to be exact replicas of the hundreds of plant species studied by scientists. It is an exhibit that all ages can appreciate.

Related: Boston's Best Art Classes For Kids

Mount Auburn Cemetery
(Photo Credit: Mount Auburn Cemetery)

Explore Mt. Auburn Cemetery 
580 Mt. Auburn St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 547-7105

Ghost stories aren't just for Halloween! Exploring a cemetery can be an interesting and educational activity all year round, especially in such a historical place as Mount Auburn. Kids will love looking at all of the intricate graves and exploring the winding landscape, while grownups can enjoy the gorgeousness of the grounds. Then together, families can climb up to the top of the Mt. Auburn Cemetery Tower in order to glimpse some amazing views of Boston.

Free Fun Fridays
Highland Street Foundation
(617) 969-8900

Unfortunately, many of Boston's most fun summer activities for children are not free, but through the generous support of the Highland Street Foundation, many museums and parks are able to offer free visit days throughout the summer. The foundation has compiled a list of fabulous places that families can gain free access to every Friday. Everything from the Museum of Fine Arts to Battleship Cove, the Greenway Carousel, and the Franklin Park Zoo all have free visit days! Print the list and plan some great local activities without the price.

Related: Boston's Best Children's Bookstores

Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston's North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.