Budget-Friendly April Vacation Ideas in Massachusetts

April Vacation Week in Boston

Here’s a few ideas of things to do in Boston and Beyond during April Vacation Week if you or your kids have the week off!

If you are looking for inexpensive ways to get around the city, don’t forget to check out my discount and alternative transportation options in Boston!

If I missed any fun events or activities during April Vacation week, please let me know in the comments!

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for April 18-20, 2015

Cheap Weekend Events in Boston

Here’s some fun things to do this weekend in the Greater Boston area for this extra long Patriot’s Day weekend! Keep in mind that parking is free on Monday but keep an eye out for parking restrictions and more for Marathon Monday! If you are looking for some alterative transportation options, don’t forget to check out this post!

2015 Boston Marathon: Monday, April 20, 2015 from Hopkinton to Boston. Spectate and cheer on the runners of the 119th Boston Marathon.

John Hancock Sports and Fitness Expo: April 17-19, 2015 at the Hynes Convention Center. Check out this free runner’s expo this weekend with seminar series, top companies and more!

8th Annual Bookish Ball & Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration: Saturday, April 18, 2015 in Harvard Square. Celebrate Harvard Square book stores and the birth of the Bard with free performances, cake and more

Cambridge Science Festival: April 17-26, 2015 in Cambridge. Enjoy this multi-day festival celebrating the sciences with many different events with some free ones.

Swan Boats Opening Day: Saturday, April 18, 2015. The Swan Boats in the Public Garden return for the season on Saturday! Adults are $3.50 and $2 for children 2-15.

South Street Diner Marathon Diner Special: Sunday, April 19, 2015. Stop by the South Street Diner on Sunday from 2-10pm for all-you-can-eat pancakes for $6!

Free National Parks Weekend: April 18-19, 2015. It’s Opening Weekend of National Parks and all National Parks are FREE this weekend!

Harvard Art Museums: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Saturday morning from 10am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Harvard Museum of Natural History: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Free Women’s Self Defense Class: Every Saturday from 10-11am in Charlestown. Krav Maga Yashir Boston provides free self-defense training to women living in Massachusetts on Saturday mornings.

Also, Papagayo’s Sing for a Free Brunch moves to South Boston on Sundays for the month of April and the Red Lentil Vegetarian Restaurant in Watertown is offering Free Brunch this Sunday from 9-3pm! Yum!

The Red Sox are in town playing the Orioles this weekend and you can find tips for saving money on Red Sox Tickets, Fenway Parking and more!

If you are looking for even more things to do, the Big Apple Circus is currently at City Hall Plaza in Boston and the Boston Duck Tour season has begun and discount tickets can be found for both.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Have Some Ice Cream and Join the Green Light Movement

*Below is a sponsored post. Please see my disclosure policy if you have any questions.

Stop & Shop is partnering with Ben & Jerry’s for a fun in-store event on Wednesday April 15, 2015. Ben & Jerry’s is committed to making a world of difference. So it’s no surprise that they’re taking their mission to the streets with an early Earth Day event. Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, will be there live talking about climate change and encouraging the audience to do their part to work towards 100% clean energy.Image 1

There will be fun giveaways, activities and of course free scoops of ice cream! Bring the kids, it’s sure to be a fun experience. The ice cream truck rolls in at 11:00am and Jerry will make a speech at 12:00pm.

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Remember that each time you make a purchase of some of your favorite products like Ben & Jerry’s made with fair trade ingredients, it helps grow green efforts in the community. Visit JoinGreenLight to learn more and sign up to receive savings and tips throughout the year. You can also enter for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Stop & Shop.

Sponsored post by Lunchbox

 

Postmates is Hiring in Boston!

Got wheels? If you’re looking for a fun, flexible way to earn extra cash, look no further – Postmates is hiring drivers and riders in the Boston area!

Make $25+/hour delivering food and other goods from popular local merchants, while exploring the best the city has to offer. The best part? You get to work when you want, on your own schedule.

You must be 18 or older to apply, with a valid driver’s license. Know a friend who might be interested, too? Join the fleet and you’ll get $50 for each referral you make.

Click HERE to get started!

*This is a paid post sponsored by Postmates. Please see my disclosure policy if you have any questions.

 

Red Sox Games on a Budget

Fenway park on a budget

Last year I wrote an in-depth post about saving money at Red Sox games, and I wanted to share a few tips and highlights for the 2015 Red Sox season for those visiting Fenway Park this year!

Cheap Boston Red Sox Tickets

There are many different ways to buy tickets for a Red Sox Game and to save money too. I do recommend buying tickets beforehand instead of at the gate because it is less hassle and you won’t save much (or if any) money.

Red Sox ticket prices actually vary depending on the game itself since the Red Sox have a tier-pricing system. Popular games (Yankees, weekends, etc.) have a higher face value than unpopular games (weekdays, cold months, etc.)

If you are looking for face value tickets, you can buy sox tickets directly through the Red Sox website. Remember to add ticket fees to the ticket amount. (Ticket fees are $4.50 per ticket and $7 per transaction, so for two tickets it would $16 in fees.)

You can find the 2015 Boston Red Sox Schedule for home games, ticket prices and more.

Here are some special red sox ticket deals and options:

Sometimes tickets through Third-Party sellers like Ace Tickets can be cheaper or similar to face value when you include ticket fees into the mix. The best value for Red Sox tickets really depend on the night and variables. Weather can also pay a huge factor in ticket prices, and they can change suddenly on third-party sites very quickly, for better or for worse.

Scalping is illegal in Massachusetts; however, there is a legal scalping zone at Gate C 90 minutes before the game. Also, the sale of tickets start 90 minutes before a game at Gate E and fans can wait up to 5 hours in line. However, game day tickets can be dicey, and it may not be the cheapest tickets available.

Cheap Eats Near Fenway Park

Just because beers are expensive in Fenway, doesn’t mean you can’t get an adult beverage for cheap near Fenway. You can also find cheap food near the ballpark before or after the game. You may just need to do some research beforehand since many bars and restaurants don’t advertise their promotions. To see every deal in depth, check out my Fenway Cheap Eats post from last year or my Boston Cheap Eats list if you are looking for food specials throughout the city that is updated often.

Yard House Happy Hour Chicken Fingers and Fries

It’s a poor picture, but these are delicious Chicken Fingers and Fries purchased at the Yard House before a Red Sox game last year. They have a Monday-Friday Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. daily and I placed my order before 6 p.m to get these for half off. The Happy Hour wasn’t advertised, but its not my first appetizer order from the Yard House ;) The best deals by Fenway are not typically advertised and you may find better deals the further you go.

Fenway Park Transportation Options

There are many ways to get to Fenway Park as mentioned in depth on my Where to Park for Cheap Near Fenway post. The best option can vary from person to person and also depends on where you are coming from.

Here are all your options:

Walking– Self-explanatory.

MBTAThe MBTA is a great (but very crowded) option, especially if you live near a station and/or already have a monthly pass. The T is $2.65 per ride per person with a paper ticket and $2.10 per ride with the plastic Charlie Card.MBTA Parking Garage rates and availability differ from station to station. However, parking ranges from $4-$7 depending on the garage.

Take the B, C or D Green Line to Kenmore (any except the E Line) and follow the signs to Fenway Park. If you are taking the commuter rail in from Metro West, the Framingham/Worcester Line stops at Yawkey Station. Commuter rail prices vary depending on location and distance.

MBTA Bus– There are multiple bus routes that have stops near Fenway Park and you can find them here.

Pedicab– Take a pedicab to a Red Sox game: A bicycle cab. Pedicab drivers work solely on tips, so make sure if you do take a Pedicab to the game, don’t save money by not tipping enough.

A Cab– This option will vary depending on where you are coming from. However, you can enter your estimated locations here to have an idea how much a cab will cost.

Lyft, Uber, Sidecar– Lyft, Sidecar and UberX are car sharing services that pride themselves with being cheaper than a taxi. However, they do have peak rates during high demand times, and can vary depending on demand, distance, etc. I like to have all three downloaded on my phone and then check availability.

  • Lyft: Free $10 credit when you sign up for car sharing app Lyft
  • Uber: Get a free ride (limits may apply) when you sign up for transportation app Uber
  • Sidecar: Use promo code KATE173 for a free $5 credit when you sign up for Sidecar!

Driving– The closer you are to Fenway Park, the more you will pay (and the more you may need to wait to get on the highway). If driving in is your best option, consider parking further away from the ballpark to save more money. Obviously, the cheapest option is finding a free street parking spot, but you definitely need a back-up plan unless you have a secret spot or tricks.

  • Meter Parking: This can be risky, but can be an inexpensive option, especially for night games. Parking further away from the ballpark may give you more options and make sure to read parking meter signs for restrictions and timing. For some specific ideas of where to looking for spots, check out this post here, however, I am assuming a lot of these spots fill up fast! Note: Starting this season, if you park in a residential spot in Fenway/Kenmore without a sticker, the parking fee is $100 during game days.
  • Prudential Center: $17 with Red Sox Ticket Stub during Night and Weekend Games; Approximately .75 miles from Fenway
  • MFA: MFA Members can receive discount parking at the MFA garage. $13 after 5:30pm for members only. Approx .9 miles from Fenway.
  • Garage at 100 Clarendon: Apparently the Official Parking Garage of the Boston Red Sox but it is also a hike. $10 parking after 3pm Monday-Fridays and enter after 7am on weekends with ticket stub. Approximately 1.3 miles from Fenway Park.
  • SpotHero App: A smartphone app that allows you to find available parking garages and pay directly through your phone! No cash needed! New users can get a free $5 credit with my referral link here. Available parking garages may vary.
  • Parking Panda: A smartphone app that finds available parking garages and you can pay through your phone. New users can get a free $5 credit with my referral link.

Also, ask friends and family for suggestions for parking because they may be able to give you some suggestions or tips based on their own experience.

 

Do you have any tips for saving at Fenway Park or for purchasing Red Sox tickets? What did I miss?

*This post does contain an affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s!

Ben & Jerry's Free Cone DaySave the Date! Ben & Jerry’s will be having their Annual Free Cone Day on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 from 12-8pm! No coupon or purchase is necessary, but limit one per person.

For more information or to find a participating location, please head here. *Note that not all locations participate including the Aquarium location if you are Boston specific.

Will you be attending Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s this year? Have you taken advantage of this freebie in the past?

Cheap Weekend Fun in Boston for April 11-12, 2015!

Cheap Weekend Events in Boston

There’s a lot of fun and cheap things to do this weekend in Boston! As you may know, I’m taking a few weeks off to spend time with my beautiful baby boy so I may have missed more events than usual. Please let me know in the comments below if I missed your favorite!

Wicked Wine Fest: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Boston Center of the Arts in the South End. Sample some delicious wines and enter to win some giveaways! Ticket prices vary but comp and discount tickets are available through Goldstar Boston (affiliate link).

Pics in the Park: Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the Boston Public Garden. Enjoy a free photography workshop with a professional photographer. All levels and skills welcome.

Shrink at Ink: Saturday, April 11, 2015 in the South End. Head to the South End from 10-11am on Saturday for a free Pilates class!

Harvard Museum of Natural History: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Harvard Art Museums: Massachusetts residents are admitted free every Saturday morning from 10am to Noon year-round with proof of residency

Free Women’s Self Defense Class: Every Saturday from 10-11am in Charlestown. Krav Maga Yashir Boston provides free self-defense training to women living in Massachusetts on Saturday mornings.

For the month of April, Papagayo’s Sing for a Free Brunch moves to South Boston on Sundays if you are interested!

Also, the Big Apple Circus is currently at City Hall Plaza in Boston and the Boston Duck Tour season has begun and discount tickets can be found for both.

Hope you have a great weekend!