Life on a Budget: 10 Free Adventures This Week in Massachusetts

Summer in New England is a treasure, and exploring it does not have to break the bank. If you are on a budget, there is plenty to enjoy this week — something for all ages. As my dad often repeated throughout my childhood, “Go outside. The sunshine is free. Best bargain ever.” Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 1
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Opening Celebration of Frog Pond and Spray Fountain
Boston Common

The spray pool on Boston Common opens to the public for the summer, and it will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. Frog Pond Freddie will be on hand for the opening ceremonies as well as face painters and magicians. Get ready to cool off in the 30-foot spray plume that attracts all ages.

Thursday, July 2
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
34th Annual Boston Harborfest Opening Ceremonies
Faneuil Hall, 4 South Market St., Boston

This year’s holiday weekend kickoff ceremony includes the Navy Band Northeast, city officials, National Park Service rangers in period costumes, and an unusually large cake. This is the opening event for the five-day Harborfest — a festival that attracts an estimated 2.5 million visitors annually.

Friday, July 3
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Boston Children’s Museum
308 Congress St., Boston

Free admission is courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays program. The museum is expecting a crowd for the special offer, but the website says that it is prepared to provide entertainment for those who have to wait in line. Inside, children of all ages will enjoy hands-on science, art, and other activities.

Friday, July 3
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Old Manse
269 Monument St., Concord

Also part of the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Fridays, Old Manse is open for the day at no charge. The National Historic Landmark sits on the Concord River, just a short distance from where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. Built in 1770, the stately residence includes nine acres of land to explore.

Friday, July 3
4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Discovery Museums
177 Main St., Acton

As a special treat for the summer, both museums will be open to the public on Friday evenings through August. The Children’s Discovery Museum is a favorite for young children (toddlers through early elementary years), and the Science Discovery Museum has hands-on exhibits for children and adults.

Friday, July 3
6 to 8:30 p.m.
Swinging Summer Nights: The Berklee Navy Yard Series
Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston

Weather permitting, the show features Jive McFly, a Boston-based band that plays funk, pop and rock. Presented by the Boston National Historic Park, Berklee College of Music, Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard and Summer on the Waterfront, the show takes place on the Commandant’s House Lawn. Take lawn chairs and blankets.

Saturday, July 4
11 a.m.
Burlington 4th of July Parade
Begins on Wilmington Road and ends at Memorial School

Meet the crew from our Burlington iBranch as they join the fun at the Burlington town parade! Look for the Hanscom Federal Credit Union ice cream truck. While supplies last, we’ll be handing out ice pops and American flags! The iBranch folks will also be ready to answer when you yell, “What is an iBranch, anyway?”



Saturday, July 4
10 a.m.
Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Faneuil Hall, Boston

The significance of being in Boston during the 4th of July will not be lost when you stop to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The presentation takes place from the balcony of historic Faneuil Hall, just as it did when it was read on July 18, 1776.

Saturday, July 4
10:30 to 11 p.m.
Boston Fireworks
Esplanade along the banks of the Charles River

What better place to celebrate American independence than at the place where it all began? Over 10,000 fireworks follow the annual Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell. You’ll know it’s time for fireworks after the Pops perform Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannon fire and citywide church bells.

Sunday, July 5
Sunrise to sunset
Shining Sea Bikeway

This Massachusetts treasure is open all year round, and is a great idea for winding down your holiday weekend. The paved bikeway stretches nearly eleven miles along the shoreline of Cape Cod, following prehistoric Wampanoag Indian Trails. The scenery is selfie-worthy, including salt marshes, cranberry bogs and woodlands.

Now that you found our weekly blog post of free events in the area, we hope you use your savings to build an amazing budget. To get started download your Build-a-Budget eBook now!

Download your Build-A-Budget eBook

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Life on a Budget: 8 Free Events This Week in the Boston Area


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About Author

MaryJo Kurtz
MaryJo Kurtz

MaryJo Kurtz is the assistant vice president of marketing and communications at Hanscom FCU.

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