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Tag: boston

20 Meals You Can Get in Boston for $10 or Less

20 Meals You Can Get in Boston for $10 or Less

My last post, 7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity, offers my advice on cutting out some unnecessary spending so you can afford to travel. One of my pieces of advice is to cut out going to restaurants, as restaurant bills […]

7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity

7 Tips for Saving Money for Travel While Maintaining Your Sanity

Can’t afford to travel? Sorry, but that’s not a good excuse. So many millennials “can’t afford” to do certain things, like go on a life-changing trip or make their monthly payments on time, yet they’ll post a picture of their Starbucks venti macchiatos on Instagram […]

15 Free Things to Do in Boston

15 Free Things to Do in Boston

Boston has become a popular hub for millennials over the past several years. Sadly, the cost of living in Boston has risen as well. Actually, it’s the 4th priciest city in the United States, following New York, San Francisco, and San José. If you — like me — are working an entry-level job and paying up the nose in rent and expenses while also managing your student loan debt, you’re probably on a pretty tight budget.

I’m not proud to say this, but I’ve definitely gone to meetings and events primarily for the benefit of a free meal many times throughout my life. Allow me to paraphrase the famous Kate Moss quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Nothing tastes as good as free.

Local budgeters and cheapskates, I’ve done some research so you won’t have to! I’ve found 15 free things to do in the 4th most expensive city in the nation.

Disclaimer: A lot of these types of lists exist for Boston, but so many of them have made me roll my eyes. If I see someone else post “Walk the Freedom Trail” or “Go to Boston Common” as free activities, I’m going to… well, I probably won’t do anything. Of course they’re free! They’re public parks and walking trails! That’s why I decided to dig a little deeper. Lifelong Bostonians and tourists alike, I promise you’ll find at least one free activity you didn’t know existed.

 

Get Entertained

Improv Asylum graduation shows

If you live in Boston and haven’t seen an Improv Asylum show, you’re truly missing out. However, this is one of the most hush-hush deals in the whole city. Improv Asylum, which offers improv and scriptwriting classes, usually offers pretty cheap prices on their shows. But every once in a while, they will hold a Graduation Show for the Level 6 Improv students to showcase their talents in one last hurrah that is open to the public and… free! The tickets for these shows usually sell super quickly, as priority is given to the students’ families and friends, so you’ll need to act quickly! Trust me, very few people know about this hidden gem; the only reason I know it exists is because I’m currently taking improv classes with IA.

 

Shakespeare on the Common

Every year, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on a Shakespeare play in the Boston Common that is free to the public. What’s on the schedule for this year? You’re going to get some flashbacks of high school English class with the CSC’s performance of Romeo & Juliet, which will run every day (except Mondays!) from July 19 to August 6. The cast and crew is extremely talented, coming from all over the country to perform in this multi-week residency. It’s comparable with all of the incredible performances at the Opera House and Wang, but it’s completely free!

shakespeare on the common love's labour's lost
A shot of the stage of last summer’s show, Love’s Labour’s Lost | Source: The Boston Globe

 

Watch movies for free

A few locations in the city offer free movie nights, in which the public is invited to watch a film together, oftentimes under the stars. The Harbor Hotel and Hatch Shell are the two most popular free movie night spots in Boston, but you can find free movie showings all around the city!

 

Comedy nights at McGreevy’s

On Mondays and Tuesdays in the summer, McGreevy’s — a bar in Back Bay — holds free stand-up comedy nights starting at 8:00 PM. They’ve even had some huge comics drop in unexpectedly, like Louis C.K. and Jeff Ross. If you check it out on a Tuesday, you’ll make it for $1 burger night. While the burger will cost you a whole dollar — not quite making it a free night — $1 for dinner and a show is a steal!

 

Get Cultured

Check out some art exhibits on Newbury Street

Newbury Street is often not synonymous with “free” or “cheap.” However, multiple galleries along the luxurious street allow visitors free entry to view the exhibits of local artists. The Barbara Krakow Gallery and Robert Klein Gallery are just two places that showcase free art.

Boston newbury street

 

GO stargazing at the Coit Observatory

Boston University’s Coit Observatory is open to the public on Wednesday nights. You can bring your own binoculars — a very different BYOB than I’m used to — or use the facility’s telescopes. During the summer, it begins at 8:30 PM, just after dark; be aware that they’re very strict about the start time, as they don’t allow entrance after the set start time. So don’t go strolling in at 8:31 PM.

 

Get Smart

Go to the Commonwealth Museum

Are you a secret or open history geek? You’ll love a visit to the Commonwealth Museum, which will immerse you in the history of one of the original colonies. The museum has a permanent exhibition, which focuses on the broad history and heritage of Massachusetts, as well as various traveling and alternating exhibitions, focusing on specific topics. Right now, there are exhibitions on the Underground Railroad, Massachusetts African Americans during the Civil War, cartography and map-making, and the origins of Massachusetts food.

 

Tour the State House

Though this building is called the New State House, it’s anything but new, as it was completed in 1798. On weekdays, you can tour the State House, learning about the history and understanding the architecture of this gorgeous building. If you don’t want to spend 30-45 minutes on a tour, you can even take a brochure and do a self-guided tour of the Capitol. In order to reserve a tour time, you’ll need to call the Massachusetts State House.

 

Tour the Harvard campus

Visit one of the most prestigious colleges in the world for free, either through a self-guided walking tour or by hopping onto a free tour. Don’t worry, you won’t be rubbing noses with prospective students; the campus has a different type of tour for visiting tourists. You’ll be learning less about cafeteria food and dorms and more about the history of John Harvard and each of the campus’s most prominent buildings. You’ll walk the same grounds as some of the college’s most famous alumni, including Mark Zuckerberg, John F. Kennedy, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Natalie Portman.

Harvard University campus tour Cambridge Massachusetts

 

Tour the Boston Public Library

One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in Boston, the Public Library, offers free tours to visitors. The walking tour through the building highlights the ornate architecture and breathtaking art that decorates its walls. You don’t need to make a reservation if you have a small group — of less than 8 people — and plan to be on the tour for about an hour.

 

Get Drunk

Visit Downeast Cider

Take the Blue Line to Maverick and head over to the Downeast Cider House over in East Boston. You have the option to schedule a tour or just stroll right in and to the bar. If you go the former route, you’ll receive a free flight at the end of the (also free) tour, featuring some of their most popular blends. If you just want to go in there to drink, you’ll receive 5 tickets to redeem free samples at the bar of anything on tap. These samples aren’t too stingy either, as the 5 samples are about equal to a pint! If you’re lucky — like I was — a stranger might offer you their extra tickets. Who could turn down free cider?!

downeast cider east boston brewery

 

Tour the Samuel Adams Brewery

The tour at Samuel Adams is pretty long, coming in at about an hour, but for one of the most famous American-made beers, this hour is worth it. The first 30 minutes walk you through the brewing process and the history, while the second 30 minutes occur in the taproom, in which you will taste 3 different styles of beer. Unlike Downeast, Sam Adams allows people under 21 to tour the brewery, but of course they can’t participate in the tasting portion. Also unlike Downeast, you don’t need to make a reservation for a tour; it’s first come first served, literally. As a huge fan of the Summer Ale, I definitely need to check out the brewery this summer.

 

Get Active

Climb Bunker Hill Monument

Want a good aerial view of the city without having to pay astronomical prices for the Top of the Hub? Put on some comfortable shoes and climb Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown for free! Your glutes will be screaming, but it’ll be worth it when you get to the top. Bonus points if you strike the Rocky pose!

Bunker Hill Monument

 

Free fitness classes

Are you in gym limbo?  For a schedule of the weekly free classes that are offered 7 days a week, click here. Some of the most popular free classes are offered by the Norman B. Leventhal Park, the Seaport, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. What’s extra great about these free classes is that a majority of them are outdoors; you’ll be able to get your sweat on while enjoying the gorgeous weather! Before you sign on for a July and August membership at your local gym, check out some of these free classes to see if you want to substitute your summer membership for these free opportunities.

 

Free yoga on the Boston Common

Every Thursday from 6:00 to 7:15, there’s a free yoga class on the Common. You’re recommended to bring your own mat, but a lot of people just work out on the grass. It gets pretty crowded and with outside noise, it’s pretty hard to hear the instructor if you’re not close to her, but you’ll still be able to follow along by watching other people. These free sessions last until August 31st, so take advantage while you can!

 

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free things to do in boston

Ch-Ch-Changes: Life Update, May 2017

Ch-Ch-Changes: Life Update, May 2017

I wanted to post a quick update about two new and exciting things in my life. As of now, I’ve been working my current job since October and living in Boston since November. However, as a 23-year-old, my life is bound to go through some […]

My 23rd Birthday Weekend

My 23rd Birthday Weekend

I aged one year since my last blog post! That’s right, this girl is now 23, which, according to Blink-182, means nobody likes me. But that’s okay! My birthday week was pretty busy and exciting, so I decided to dedicate a blog post to recap […]

Visiting the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Visiting the Harvard Museum of Natural History

This Friday, I was able to take a half day (hooray for vacation rollover!), so I decided to use my time off to do something fun and different. Earlier that weekend, my boyfriend, Matt, found out about the Harvard Museum of Natural History while looking up fun things to do in Boston. I was surprised that after several months of living in Boston (and 22 years of living in the Greater Boston Area), I didn’t know this place existed. Since the weather was less than desirable — AKA, several inches of heavy snow — we figured spending time walking around a museum would be a good way to go somewhere cool and different but stay shielded  from the snow.

LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY:

The museum is a short walk from the Harvard T stop and practically steps from Harvard Yard. The museum is located at 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, which sounds like a very British address to me. Various buildings of sciences, from zoology to computer science to chemistry, surround the museum; this is no coincidence, as many contributions to the museum are from student and faculty research.

Harvard Museum of Natural History
This section is part of the Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
This section named each of these rare and interesting rocks and named the country in which each was discovered. I was surprised by all the cool varieties in the U.S. alone!

THE MUSEUM’S EXHIBITIONS:

The exhibitions, though very different, are very interesting, with a great amount of artifacts and replicas. I found myself immersed in the animal kingdom of Africa, in a New England forest, in Native American villages, and in prehistoric times through the highlight of sights that make up the museum. Anthropods: Creatures That Rule is another highlight; this exhibition includes a honeybee installation at certain times of the year. Finally, the famous glass exhibitions, Glass Flowers and Sea Creatures in Glass, are captivating and memorable spots.

Peabody Museum
This exhibition, which was part of the Peabody Museum, called Arts of War, included weaponry, armor, and helmets used throughout various periods and cultures.
Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum also features ceramic pieces from different nations, cultures, and eras.
Peabody Museum
One ongoing exhibition features artifacts from different Native American tribes. It was fascinating to see differences in their day-to-day lives, transportation methods, and housing styles.

ADMISSION:

If you have an active Harvard ID, admission to the museum is free. However, if you aren’t an employee or student at Harvard, admission is $12.00 for adults, or $10.00 for students with a non-Harvard student ID. (Unfortunately, my college ID says “Class of 2016” on it, so I can’t milk those discounts anymore. So sad.) Admission to the Peabody Museum Of Archaeology and Ethnology, which is next door and attached, is included in the purchase of entry to the Museum of Natural History.

Harvard Museum of Natural History
Equus: a genus of mammals in the family Equidae, i.e. horses, donkeys, etc. Also, the play that featured a naked Daniel Radcliffe standing beside a horse.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Even some prehistoric animal bones make up a prehistoric exhibition. This guy is the world’s only mounted Kronosaurus, a marine reptile at over 40 feet. I definitely wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with that thing.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Evolution exhibition explores Charles Darwin’s famous theory.

HOURS OF OPERATION:

The museum is open almost every day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with the exception of a few holidays. However, they stayed open a little later than 5:00 when I went; people were coming in and out when Matt and I left around 5:15.

Harvard Museum of Natural History
Several rooms are designed to immerse you in different ecosystems and animal habitats. This one, which reminded me of trips to Canada in the summer as a child, is intended to be a New England forest.

 

If you decide to visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History or have been there before, let me know what you think!

 

Want to see more of my face and read more of my voice? Subscribe to my blog via email and follow me on my various social media outlets!

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hello, world! Just in case you’re new to the internet, you’ve stumbled across this twenty-first century form of technology in which millennials talk shamelessly about themselves… a blog. Also, if you’re new to the internet, I probably don’t know you, which means my SEO is […]