Boston Museums with Free Admission Every Day of the Week

Free Admission Days at Boston MuseumsTaking advantage of Museum Free Days is a great way to see and visit Boston on a budget!

I have a page on Boston on Budget that tries to list every discount and deal for every Boston attraction, but I know it can be a little overwhelming especially if you are just looking for a free museum to visit or are looking for plans for a specific day!

This is an old favorite post updated for 2018. Please let me know if I missed any free Museum days in the Greater Boston area!

Here are Boston (and beyond) museums where you can get free admission by each day:

Wednesdays:

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is free on Wednesdays after 4pm (suggested donation of $25)
465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge offers Massachusetts residents free admission every Wednesday from 3-5pm from September to May each year with ID
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology in Cambridge offers Massachusetts residents free admission every Wednesday from 3-5pm from September to May each year with ID
11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

Thursdays:

The Institute of Contempory Art (ICA) has Free Admission on Thursday nights from 5-9pm
100 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA is free on Thursdays from 5-9pm
455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301

Fridays:

Boston Children’s Museum offers $1 admission (almost free!) from 5-9pm every Friday night
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

Boston Fire Museum is free during open hours on Friday from 5-8PM 
344 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110 (*very close to the Children’s Museum if you want to do both)

Saturdays:

Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge is free for Massachusetts residents from 10am to 12pm on Saturdays (Free daily for Cambridge residents!)
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Boston Fire Museum is free during open hours on Saturday from 9:30-4PM
344 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

Sundays:

Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge offers Massachusetts residents free admission every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round, excluding commercial groups, with proof of residency
26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology offers Massachusetts residents free admission every Sunday morning from 9am to Noon year-round, excluding commercial groups, with proof of residency
11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, MA offers free admission on the first Sunday of each month (Saturday too if you are a Bank of America cardholder)
55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609

MIT Museum in Cambridge offers free admission the last Sunday of every month, September to June
265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139

Always Free Museums:

U.S.S. Constitution: The U.S.S. Constitution Museum is free (with suggested donation for $10-15 per adult though) and guided tours of the boat are free. *make sure to bring your ID/passport*
Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, MA 02129

Boston University Art Gallery is free daily (closed on Mondays).
855 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Commonwealth Museum is free during open hours Monday-Friday 9-5pm and open seasonally 9-3 on the weekends from May to October, closed on holidays
220 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125

Massachusetts State House: Free walking tours of the building and collections from 10-3:30pm on weekdays

Otis House is free for Boston residents, $10 for adults otherwise
141 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114

Waterworks Museum is free (suggested donation of $5) during open hours which vary depending on season.
2450 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02467

The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA is always free when they are open (Wednesday-Sunday 1-4pm).
189 Alden Street, Duxbury, MA 02331

Also, Boston Library Cardholders can receive discount and free admission to some of Boston’s best museums. For example, BPL cardholders can receive free admission for up to four people for the Museum of Science and New England Aquarium. You do need to make reservations in advance, especially during vacation weeks and other popular times! Any Massachusetts resident can become a Boston Library Cardholder and a reserve a pass, or check with your town library for their museum passes.

Bank of America Cardholders can also receive free admission to many museums like the MFA and MIT Museum the first weekend of every month with Bank of America’s Museums On Us program.

Don’t forget to check out Boston Discount Attractions page for so many other great discounts on Boston Museums, Attractions, Fun, and more!

And please let me know in the comments below if I missed any free museum days in the Greater Boston Area! Thanks!

Is the Go Boston Card Worth it?


Go Boston Card Discounts and Deals

I originally wrote this post back in 2014 but I thought it needed an update since prices and attractions change.

The Go Boston Card can be a great card for tourists visiting Boston who want to see a lot with limited time. However, I often get asked “Is the Go Boston Card worth it?” and I always give a lame answer of “it depends”.

This post breaks down the card with the attractions, prices, and possible alternatives to save at attractions to help clarify my lame “it depends” answer.

Please note that this post does contain affiliate links and I receive a small thank you if you make a purchase through a link. However, the purpose of this post is to save you the most money possible, whether you buy the card or not. Hope you find this post helpful!

The Go Boston Card by Smart Destinations is an attraction card where you pay a flat fee and you can get into as many attractions as you want for the number of days you buy the pass for. This is great for travelers who like to see a lot of attractions in a short amount of time.

How much is the Go Boston Card?

1 Day Pass: $59 for adults 13+, $39 for children 3-12,
2 Day Pass: $81 for adults, $59 for children
3 Day Pass: $119 for adults, $79 for children
5 Day Pass: $149 for adults, $109 for children
7 Day Pass: $179 for adults, $129 for children

Keep in mind that the card includes a Skip the Line perk at various attractions which can be a major perk (like at the New England Aquarium!) for those who have limited time to see everything on their Boston must-sees list. (Psst.. Here’s my Boston Must-See’s List!)

There are also many Go Cards for other cities if you are looking to travel outside of Boston soon. If you are looking to see if the card is worth it, I would make a list of all the attractions you plan to see and then add up the prices you would pay for each one whether it be at full-price, with a AAA discount, museum free day, military discount, etc. Then compare the price you would pay with and without the attraction card.

Below is the list of all attractions included in the Go Boston Card with the current attraction price (as of May, 2017) and the best discount offer in my opinion. Please note that there are SO MANY DISCOUNTS to Boston Attractions that I only listed 1-2 discounts to the Boston attractions only, but you can check out the BIG List of Discounts to Boston Attractions to see if you qualify for any other discounts, like military or teacher discounts, for example or to find discounts for the attractions located outside the city.

Please note that this info is human compiled (by me) and I can make errors. Please make sure to verify the info below as prices and info can change. If you notice any errors, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks.

Here’s what’s included in the Go Boston Card as well as the prices and discounts as of May, 2017:

Museum of Fine Arts: $25 for adults; $10 for youth 18 and younger; $23 for seniors and students
Tip: Suggested donation on Wednesday nights after 4pm and free the first weekend of every month for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Cardholders. Youth 18 and under are also free when school isn’t in session.

New England Aquarium: $27.95 for adults; $18.95 for children 3-11; $25.95 for Seniors 60+
Tip: Massachusetts Residents can receive free admission (with advanced reservation) for up to 4 people September-June with Boston Public Library Card and area libraries have discount tickets for $10 a person + many other ways to save.

Museum of Science: $25 for adults; $20 for children 3-11 and $21 for seniors $60
Tip: Massachusetts Residents can receive free admission (with advanced reservation) with Boston Public Library CardHalf Off Admission on Friday nights for Summer 2018 after 3pm

Hop-on/off Trolley: 2-day pass: $41 for adults; $16 for children 3-12
Tip: Check daily deal sites like Groupon for tickets up to 50% off or buy online directly through the source to save $5 per ticket

Fenway Park Tour: $20 for adults; $14 for children 3-12
Tip: You can take a 15-minute tour of Fenway for $15 a person

Skywalk Observatory: $19 for adults and $13 for ages 3-12
Tip: Stop by the info booth at the center of the pru for a PRUferred card and save $2 on admission (or go up a little further to the Top of the Hub restaurant to get views for free, although meals can be pricey)

Boston Children’s Museum; $16 for adults and children age 1-15
Tip: $1 on Friday nights from 5-9pm plus many other ways to save

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: $15 for adults; free for 18 and younger; $5 for college students
Tip: Go on your birthday for free admission (closed on Tuesdays though), but there’s a lot of different discounts to this art museum to save a few $, including wearing Red Sox gear.

Institute of Contemporary Art: $15 for adults; Free for 17 and younger; $13 for seniors; $10 for students
Tip: Free on Thursdays from 5-9pm and Free for Families (with children under 12) the last Saturday of every month

JFK Library & Museum: $14 for adults; $10 for ages 13-17; $12 for Seniors over 62 and students
Tip: Head to your local library for discount passes

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate: $16 for adults, $8 for kids ages 6-17
Tip: Mass residents save $2 on admission with ID and Bank of America and Merrill Lunch cardholders can receive free admission the first weekend of every month with Museums on Us.

Franklin Park Zoo: $19.95 for adults; $13.95 for children ages 2-12; $17.95 for seniors 62+
Tip: Head to your local library for discount passes.

Sam Adams Brewery Tour: This is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $2 for everyone.

Charles Riverboat Cruise: $19.50 for adults; $12 for children under 12; $17 for seniors, students and military, $3 for children under 3
Note: Discount tickets available for $10 via Goldstar Boston

Mary Baker Eddy Library: $6 for adults; $4 for Youth 6-17, students, military and seniors 62+
Note: Closed on Mondays

Otis House Museum: $10 for adults; $free? for children; $9 for seniors; $5 for students
Tip: Free for Boston Residents (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)

Boston Bike Rental: $33.60 a person (advanced reservation needed)
Tip: AAA members can get a 15% discount with card

Swan Boats of Boston: $4 for adults; $2.50 for ages 2 to 15; $3.50 for seniors
Note: This is a seasonal attraction available from md-April to mid-September

Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $14 for adults and $8 for children
Note: This is a seasonal attraction from May to October. However, you can easily take a free self-guided walking tour anytime (although you may not get into some attractions in the evening).

Old South Meeting House: $6 for adults; $1 for ages 6-17; $5 for seniors 62 and older
Tip: AAA members can save $1 on admission; Combination tickets are available too

Old State House: $10 for adults; $8.50 for seniors and students
Tip: Mass Teachers, EBT cardholders, US Military and Veterans, and Youth 18 and younger are all free

Paul Revere House: $5 for adults; $1 for ages 5-17; $4.50 for college students and seniors

USS Constitution Cruise: $22.95 for adults; $18.95 for children
Tip: Forget the cruise around the Harbor, and get on board the USS Constitution for free (with suggested donation) as a freedom trail stop. Just remember to bring your ID as you will be going through a military checkpoint.

Cambridge & Somerville

MIT Museum: $10 for adults; $5 for 17 and younger, students and seniors; free for kids under age 5
Tip: Free the last Sunday of every Month September-June and free the first weekend of every month for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders

Harvard Walking Tour: $9.95 for adults; $8.50 for children
Tip: There is another Harvard Walk tour available to the public which is directly through Harvard at no cost.

Harvard Natural History Museum: $12 for adults; $8 for children 3-18; $10 for non-Harvard College students and Seniors 65+
Tip: Free for Harvard ID holders, military members from Memorial Day to Labor Day and free for Mass Residents on certain days and more.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology: $12; $8 for ages 3-18; $10 students and seniors
Tip: Free for Harvard ID holders, military members from Memorial Day to Labor Day and free for Mass Residents on certain days and more.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston:$23 (Adults are only permitted with children)
Tip: There’s so many ways to save on tickets to Legoland including buying tickets in advance online

North of Boston

Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA): $20 for adults

House of Seven Gables (Salem, MA): $14 for adults, $9 for children ages 3-12

Salem Witch Museum (Salem, MA): $12 for adults; $9 for ages 6-14; $10.50 for senior citizens

South of Boston

Plimoth Plantation/Mayflower; $28 for adults; $16 for ages 5-12 and $26 for seniors (Prices for Plimouth Plantation Only)
Note: There are combination ticket prices available if you are doing multiple attractions in Plymouth

Hyannisport Harbor Cruise: $17 for adults; $8 for children
Note: This is seasonal from May to October

Cape Cod Canal Cruise (Wareham, MA): $17 for adults; $8 for children
Note: This is seasonal from May to October

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (Hyannis, MA): $10 for adults, $5 for youth 8-17
Note: This is closed from December to Mid-April, except school vacation weeks

West of Boston

Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA): $28 for adults; $14 for children

Liberty Ride (Lexington, MA): $28 for adults; $12 for children

Louisa May Alcott House (Concord, MA): $10 for adults; $5 for children

Buckman Tavern (Lexington, MA): $8 for adults; $5 for children

Concord Museum (Concord, MA): $10 for adults; $5 for children

Six Flags New England: $65.99 for adults, $55.99 for children (gate price, lots of ways to save at Six Flags including buying online)

Premium Attractions (on select cards only)

Boston Duck Tours: $39.50 for adults, $33 for seniors 62+ and military, $27 for children 3-11, and $10.50 for kids under 3
Tip: There are so many ways to save on Boston Duck Tour tickets for the season, including an early bird discount

New England Aquarium Whale Watch: $53 for adults, $33 for children ages 3-11
Note: This is the only whale watch company directly out of Boston. However, there are a lot from other coastal towns. Groupon usually has the best whale watching discounts (IMO) if you are looking for alternatives.

Boston Red Sox Ticket: $36 value
Tip: Ticket prices vary greatly depending on game and seats. Check out Red Sox Games 101 for more information about Red Sox tickets and ways to stay on budget for games!

The Go Boston Card also has the option to build your own card. This is where you can hand pick your destinations and only pay for what you will see. This is a great option if you only want to see a few things and you don’t qualify for many discounts mentioned on the Boston Discount Attractions page.

You can save up to 20% on Boston attractions with the Build Your Own Go Boston Card compared to 55% with the regular pass; however, if you won’t take advantage of all the attractions on the regular card, you may end up saving less than 20% in the long run. It’s really up to you to decide what pass may be worth it, if any.

There is also another discount attraction card for Boston, Boston CityPASS, and I did a breakdown of the Boston CityPASS to see if the pass is worth it or not. It’s a lot smaller of a pass and only includes a few major attractions compared to this card.

Everyone travels and sightsees differently, so it is really hard to say if Smart Destination’s Go Card is worth it or not. You really need to make a list and break it down to figure out if it makes sense for you.

I hope you found this post helpful– Let me know what you decide in the comments below and let me know if you have any specific questions! Hope you have a great trip to Boston!

For more information or to purchase a go card, please head here.

As previously mentioned, this post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy if you have any questions.  

 

Free Film Friday at the Museum of Science

Museum of Science Boston

Every Friday in October, the Museum of Science is hosting Free Film Fridays thanks to MathWorks!

Stop by the MoS box office on a Friday in March to grab free IMAX tickets to the Mugar Omni Theatre.

Free tickets are on a first come, first serve basis on the day of. Museum members can reserve tickets up to five days before.

For more information or to view the film schedule, please head here.

Don’t forget you can also receive free admission (with advanced reservation) to the Museum of Science with your Boston Public Library card!

 

Free Admission to The Trustees Properties

World Ends in HinghamThe Trustees is celebrating their 125th Anniversary this year and you can visit their properties for free.

Here’s when you can visit for free in 2016:

  • Columbus Day, October 10: Free admission for MA residents, parking fees still apply if applicable
  • Veterans Day, November 11: Free admission to veterans and their families, parking fees apply if applicable
  • “Green Friday,” November 25: Free admission and parking to our outdoor properties

Pictured above is World’s End in Hingham, one of my favorite places to visit, which will be free on Green Friday!

For more information or to find properties from The Trustees, please head here.

 

 

Enjoy Free Concerts at the New England Conservatory!

Free Concerts in Boston

Did you know that the New England Conservatory in Boston hosts a number of free concerts in a year? A lot of them. And the best part… most of them are free!

To find upcoming concerts in Boston from the NEC, please head here or sign up for NEC e-mail news to stay up to date with their free performances.

Have you been to a free concert at the New England Conservatory before?

Free First Mondays in Jordan Hall

First Mondays at NEC Jordan HallHead to Jordan Hall on the First Monday of every month for First Mondays. Enjoy free music performed by some of the world’s best chamber musicians on Monday nights in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory.

First Mondays take place October 5, November 2, and December 7, 2015 at 7:30am in NEC’s Jordan Hall. For more information, please head here.

Salem Haunted Happenings This October

Halloween Events Salem Haunted Happenings

Salem, Massachusetts is a popular spot in October for Halloween with a lot of Haunted Happenings! There are so many fun events and things to do. To see the entire haunted happenings schedule, please head here.

I did want to highlight the free movie night every Saturday night at Salem Common from 6:30-8pm. It is a fun way to watch a movie under the stars for free!

Here is the free movie schedule for Saturday nights in October:

  • Saturday, October 3rd: Ghostbusters
  • Saturday, October 10th: Monster House
  • Saturday, October 17th: Casper
  • Saturday, October 24th: Hocus Pocus

There are so many free and fun events in Salem this fall. What are your favorite events and things to do in Salem this month? Any tips to share?

Topsfield Fair Discounts 2015

Topsfield Fair Discounts

Are you looking for discounts to the 2015 Topsfield Fair?

The Topsfield Fairs kicks off October 2, 2015 to October 12, 2015 in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Weekday tickets are $11 and weekend/holiday tickets are $15 with parking at $10. Children under 8 are free with a paid adult.

Groupon Boston is offering a daily deal for $20 for admission for two and also includes skip the line for the Topsfield Fair. Limit is 5 per person and is not valid in combination with any other offers, discounts, or promotions.

Also, AAA are selling discount tickets to the Topsfield Fair for $9 (for both weekday and weekend) through the end of business day on October 1, 2015. You can buy discount tickets online through AAA, but you do need to pay for shipping which pretty much cancels out the savings, so I would recommend heading to a local AAA branch instead if you are a member.

Last year I called an AAA branch in the North Shore and they said the tickets were quite popular so once they sell out, they will not be receiving anymore. You may want to call and head over to AAA soon to get the discount tickets if you can. I’m sure tickets will be popular again this year at AAA.

Senior Citizens Day is October 5, 2015 with $8 admission for senior citizens 60 and older. Military Day is October 6, 2015 with free admission for active military and their immediate family members with proper identification.

For more information about the Topsfield Fair or ticket information, please head here.

Will you be attending the Topsfield Fair this year?