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Fun, Low Cost Activities for KIDS In and Around Boston

Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoor Activities  Not inexpensive but AMC offers great programs. Annual Dues: Individual $50; Family $75; Junior (under 30), $25; Senior (over 69) $25. Online discounts are available. Events FREE to members. Nation's oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization; trips are a wonderful way to introduce your kids to outdoors activities from hiking and climbing to paddling to snowshoeing and skiing. 800-372-1758. 

Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130. For info: 

Bank of America's Museums on Us
  Visitors present their Bank of America cards for free admission to 150 museums nationwide like Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the first full weekend every month. 

Boston By Little Feet, Congress St, Boston, MA 02109. A Children’s Tour of Boston. View the famous Freedom Trail through the eyes of children 6 to 12; $12 each ($10 if purchased online). Meet tour guide at the statue of Samuel Adams front end of Faneuil Hall. Accessible by T. One hour tours, please call or check online for dates and times 617-637-2345.

Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210. FREE, fun, learning opportunities for families. Accessible by T. Admission is just $1 from 5-9pm every Friday; last hour discount – half price after 4pm Saturday – Thursday. Admission $17 for Adults/Seniors/Kids age 1+. Kids (0-12 mos) free. 617-426-6500. 

Boston Public Libraries   All 27 branches accessible by T. FREE kid friendly movies, story hours, special activities open to all. Call BPL 617-536-5400 or for details about passes for library members for local museums.

  • Children’s Museum:  half-price discounted pass, up to 4 people.
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History: Discounted pass $6 per person admits up to 4 visitors.
  • Museum of Fine Arts: Pass entitles 1-2 people MFA admission $10 each.
  • Museum of Science:  Pass will admit up to 4 people FREE.
  • New England Aquarium – free pass; will admit up to 4 people; September - June only 

Boston Common Swan Boats at the Public Gardens, 1 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02116. Come ride the only boats of their kind in the world. Open April-mid-Sept.  $4.00 age 16+, kids 2-15 $2.50, seniors $3.50.  

Children’s Museum of Providence100 South St. Providence, RI 02903. FREE after 5pm on MetLife Family Fridays (check calendar). Otherwise admission $12 babies under 12 mos FREE).401-273-5437. 

Classes for Kids and More  The following stores have free classes for kids which included building and craft classes on the weekends:

Apple Store:
Disney Store:
Home Depot:
Lakeshore Learning Center:
Lego Stores:
Pottery Barn:
Toys R Us:

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA 01773. Cyclists who pedal to DeCordova are FREE anytime. 1st Wednesday is FREE for all. Outdoor Sculpture Park is open every day 10am-5pm. Adults $14 Seniors (65+) $12 Students $10 Children 12 and under FREE. Lincoln residents, active duty military personnel and the military families are admitted FREE anytime with proper ID. 781-259-8355;

Edward M. Kennedy Institute, 210 Morrissey Blvd, Columbia Point, Boston, MA brings the history of the Senate alive, with interactive exhibits and a reproduction of Senator Kennedy’s office. Admission free for children under 18 and active duty U.S. military. Tues-Sat 9 am - 5 pm; Sun 10 am – 5 pm. 617-740-7000.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109. FREE. Watch street jugglers, clowns, musicians and other street performers all year round. 617-523-1300. 

Free Fun Fridays, Highland Street Foundation. Offers visitors no cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. 617-969-8900.

Friday Night Flicks and Concerts, Hatch Memorial Shell, Storrow Drive, Boston, MA, 02108. FREE kid-friendly movies under the stars Fridays. Special concerts Wednesdays 7-9pm. 

Girl Scouts  Boston Headquarters, 95 Berkley Street, Boston MA 02116. Help girls build courage, confidence and character. $25 registration fee entitles girls ages 6-18 to participate in all programs. 800-882-1662.  
Central Western, MA
Eastern, MA 
Rhode Island: (if link is not working please call (401) 331-4500.)

Harvard Museum of Natural History26 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138. FREE for MA residents 9am-noon every Sunday and Wednesdays from 3-5 September - May.  Adults $12, Non-Harvard Students & Seniors (65+) $10, Kids 3–18 $8. 617-495-3045. 

Harvard University Tour, 
The tour is student-led and comprises an outdoor walk (please dress appropriately) through Harvard Yard, providing a history of the university, general information, and a unique view on the student’s individual experience. The tour is around one hour long, and completely free of charge.

Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210. Admission is always FREE age 17 and under. FREE admission for families (up to two adults accompanied by children ages 12 and under) on the last Saturday of each month (excluding December). Free for all visitors on Thursdays, from 5-9pm. 617-478-3100; 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115. Admission is always FREE for kids under age 18 with a parent, U.S. military and their families, and all named “Isabella.” 617-566-1401. 

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125. Open daily from 9am-5pm. Admission is always FREE for kids ages 12 and under. Enter the recreated world of the Kennedy Presidency for a “first-hand” experience of John F. Kennedy’s life, legacy, and leadership. 617-514-1600. 

Mapparium 200 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA 02115.  World-famous, three-story, stained-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, Closed Mon, Open Tues-Sun 10am-4pm. $6 for adults, $4 for students and youth w/ID, children under 6 FREE.  Accessible by T.  888-222-3711. 

MIT Museums, 265 Massachusetts Ave. Bldg N51, Cambridge, MA 02139. This is a true science museum for the budding scientist in the family. Open daily 10am-5pm.  FREE admission last Sunday of each month September to June. Adult $10, Students w/ID, Seniors & Youth $5. Kids under 5 FREE. Accessible by T. 617-253-5927.

Also at MIT - Hart Nautical Gallery, 55 Massachusetts Ave, Bldg 5, Cambridge, MA 02139. Life sized ship replicas, explore the craft of shipbuilding FREE.  Mon to Fri 10am-5pm. 617-253-4444.

Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115. Always FREE for children ages 6 and under. Kids ages 7-17 FREE on weekends, public school holidays, and after 3pm on weekdays, otherwise $10. Adults $25, Seniors and students (age18+) $23. 617-267-9300. 

New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110. Take a trip to exotic waters with more than 70 exhibits featuring aquatic animals from around the world. Adults $27.95, Child (3-11) $18.95, Senior (60+) $25.95, Child under age 3 - FREE.  617.973.5200.  Discount passes available at many town and city libraries and through the Partners Perks program.

Old State House Museum, 206 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02109. Learn about the Boston Massacre and walk in the footsteps of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and other patriots who set in motion the American Revolution.  Always FREE for kids age 5 and under. Kids under 18 FREE. Adults $10, Seniors/students $8.50. 617-720-1713. 

Paul Revere House, 19 North Square, Boston, MA 02113. Visit one of the earliest historic house museums in the U.S. Adults $5.00 for adults, $4.50 Seniors & College Students, $1 kids (ages 5 -17). 617-523-2338. 

Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St. (East India Square) Salem, MA 01790. See more than 840,000 works of art and culture featuring maritime art and history, American art, Asian, Oceanic, and African art and Asian export art. Adults $20, Seniors $18, Students w/ID $12, FREE for Youth (16 and under) and Salem, MA residents. For late nights, $15 after 5 pm. 978-745-9500.

Sports Museum, TD Banknorth Garden, Causeway St (100 Legends Way), Boston, MA 02114. Come celebrate the character of Boston sports. Open daily 10am-4pm. FREE for kids under 6. Adults $15, kids (7-18) and Seniors (60+) $10. 617-624-1235. Contact Brian Codagnone during regular business hours (9AM-5PM Mon - Fri) at 617-624-1235. Information is also available by calling 617-624-1234. 

Summer Kids Bowl Free Program. Kids up to age 15 can bowl two FREE games every day with the “Kids Bowl FREE” Pass. You can also purchase a family pass that includes 1, 2, 3, or 4 adults. How to get your FREE kid's passes: visit the website of a bowling alley near you; register directly on the bowling center page; once the program has begun, you will get a weekly email with your coupons and family passes for that week. 

The Boston Parent’s Paper  FREE and low cost activities for families. 617-522-1515.

The Mayor's Youthline  617-635-2240 for the latest information on activities.

USS Constitution Museum, A Sailors’ Life For Me?, Charlestown Navel Yard, Charlestown. MA 02129.  Follow the experiences of the crew of the USS Constitution of 1812. The museum opens daily. April 1 – October 31 (9am-6pm) November 1 - March 31 (10am-5pm) FREE (suggested donation of $5-$10 for Adults, $3-$5 for Children, and $20 - $25 for Families.) Recommended for ages 6 and older.  Accessible by T. 617-426-1812. 

Zoo New England – 2 locations. Children under age 2 are always FREE. Everyone pays children’s admission on the first Saturday of each month from 10am to noon.

  • Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester (Boston), MA 02121. 617-541-LION(5466). Admission:  Adults $19.95, Senior (62+) $16.95, Children (ages 2-12) $13.95.
  • Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA 02180. 781-438-5100. Admission: Adults: $16.95, Senior (62+) $14.95, Children (ages 2-12) $11.95.

For infornation about Summer Camps or activities for families, go to EAP Summer Camp Resource List.

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For more information or to discuss parenting concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.       

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This content was last modified on: 04/25/2018

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