Boston is a great place for families to have fun on a budget! Click here to find out about discounted or free cultural offerings, museums, and enrichment activities across the city.
Located in Jamaica Plain, the arboretum offers 265 acres of walking paths full of a wide variety of plants and trees. Free!
Boston Children's Museum
Three floors of exhibits designed to engage the whole family in fun, hands-on experiences that teach children about the world in which they live. $1 admission on Friday evenings.
Boston Nature Center
Located in Mattapan, the Center offers two miles of stroller/wheelchair accessible trails and walks that traverse meadows and wetlands where wildlife abounds, including coyotes, pheasants, and many species of birds. Access to the grounds is free! They also offer an Early Explorers program for children 2-5 years of age. Call for price and details.
Boston Public Library
All branches have children’s materials that are available to borrow using your FREE Boston Public Library card. They also offer programs for young children, including preschool story hours and free or reduced-price passes to local museums, cultural events, and more.
Franklin Park Zoo
Located in Dorchester, the zoo has a wide collection of animals, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and gorillas. Children under the age of 2 are free!
Free "Fun Friday" Activities for the Entire Summer!
Free "Fun Fridays" throughout the entire summer brought to you by the Highland Street Foundation for young children and their families in Boston! Visit www.highlandstreet.org for call 617-969-8900 for more information.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Harvard Museum of Natural History has dinosaurs, meteorites from outer space that you can touch, over 500 animals from all over the world, as well as family programs, classes, and Animal Artists and Science Clubs for kids. Kids love the 'frozen zoo' of whale skeletons, tigers, lions, elephant, giraffe, polar bear, a huge tunafish..not to mention colorful live dart frogs in the new Language of Color exhibition..and live scorpions in Arthropods: Creatures that Rule!
Admission is FREE to Massachusetts residents on Sunday mornings from 9 AM to noon and Wednesday afternoons from 3 PM to 5 PM during the school year. Regular admission costs are: $12 adults; $10 seniors (65+); $10 for students with ID, FREE for Harvard students ID holders and one guest, $8 for children 3-18, and FREE for children under 3. Ask your local library for a discounted $2 pass for regular admission.
Museum of Science Discovery Center
Designed for children from birth to eight and their accompanying grownups, the Discovery Center offers hands-on activities that are designed to encourage discovery through play. Children under age 3 are free!
New England Aquarium
Introduces visitors to the world of water and its fascinating inhabitants. The first and third Monday of every month is Aqua Kids Family Day, with activities created especially for young children, including stories, games, and live animal presentations. Children under age 3 are free!