If you were hoping to get out and enjoy spring break this week but your budget is holding you back, we have some fun and frugal ideas for all ages. Pack a lunch, grab a friend and get ready to explore the Boston area without bumping your budget!
- The U.S.S. Constitution. The world’s oldest commissioned warship is located inside Boston National Historical Park at Charlestown Navy Yard. Visitors can take free public tours this week (through April 26) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Note: Beginning on Monday, April 27, the U.S.S. Constitution will temporarily close for a few weeks.) For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/constitution/visitors.asp.
- Edward M. Kennedy Institute. The new EMK Institute is free to all Massachusetts children ages 17 and under. In addition, through April 26, Massachusetts teachers and Boston Marathon runners get in at no charge. EMK Institute is located on Columbia Point on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) and adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. The highlight of a visit is the full-scale representation of the Senate Chamber. For details on the free admission offer for teachers and runners, visit www.emkinstitute.org.
- The Museum of Fine Arts Boston. This world-renowned museum includes art and artifacts to inspire imagination. Children’s activities are available at the information desk to make for exciting exploration at all ages. The museum is open to the public at no charge beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. Active duty military personnel and their families (the military ID holder, an additional adult, and ages 17 and under) can enjoy the museum year-round at no charge. The museum is also free for ages 17 and under on all weekdays beginning at 3 p.m., on weekends, and on Boston public school holidays. For more information, visit www.mfa.org.
- Harvard Museum of Natural History. An eclectic collection of animal specimens offers a fascinating look at the natural world. Birds, bugs, jungle life and other animals are on display next to an unusual and extraordinary exhibit of glass flowers. The Ware Collection of Blaschka glass plant models dates back to 1886 and was created by artisans Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolf. Massachusetts residents are admitted into the museum at no cost between 3 and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays (September through May) and on Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon year-round. Learn more at www.hmnh.harvard.edu.
- The MIT Museum. The creative energy of MIT is demonstrated in a range of scientific and artistic exhibits. Robots, photography and mechanical engineering are highlighted in an array of displays, many hands-on. Admission is free on the last Sunday of each month during the school year, and that means that you can take advantage of the complimentary access this week! For information, visit www.mitmuseum.org.
Do you know of other free places to visit during this school vacation week? Please share in the comments below!