100 Free Summer Events In Boston (+ Beyond)

The cost of living in Boston is high, but the incredible amount of cultural offerings makes it an incredible place to live and raise kids all year round. Also awesome? So many organizations and businesses offer free summer programming, which is of course amazing because hey, summer camp in Boston is necessary but expensive, you guys. We love free stuff just as much as you do and subsequently have worked hard to pull together this epic roundup of 100 free events to enjoy this summer in Boston and beyond. And actually, we have not split out event series (like the amazing Highland Street Free Fun Fridays) individually so it’s probably closer to 200 free individual events!

To orient you: The first section includes 37 sources of programming that offer multiple dates throughout the summer, organized by type of programming (e.g., movies, performing arts, etc.). The following sections included limited run events by month, ordered by date, taking you all the way to Labor Day. Enjoy, and we would be so grateful if you would share with your parent friends! Finally, if there’s a great free  event that you know about that isn’t on this list, drop it in the comments!

Multiple Dates Throughout the Summer


Festivals + Markets

1. From June through August, enjoy processions, performers, and food during the North End Italian Feasts & Processions (Boston)

2. The Boston Calling Block Parties are back with live music, beer, and wine, happening every Thursday evening until mid-September (Boston)

3. Dewey Square welcomes the Boston Public Market every Tuesday and Thursday this summer (Boston)

4. Admire the work of local artisans and crafters at the Greenway Open Market every Saturday and on first and third Sundays (Boston)


Fitness

5. FIT on the Garden at Prudential Center offers free fitness classes on Wednesday evenings (Boston)

6. Dance the summer away with this weekly salsa in the park program (Boston)

7. Bliss out with power vinyasa flow by Frog Pond every Thursday evening (Boston)

8. The Boston Parks Fitness Series offers 30 free outdoor exercise classes every week, including kids yoga, cardio dance, zumba, salsa, dance, HIIT, and more (Boston)

9. Pilates, yoga, zumba, and bootcamp are offered weekly in Post Office Square (Boston)

10. The Greenway Fitness Program offers 100+  free fitness classes from pilates to boot camps and yoga to tango, for a range of abilities and conditioning levels (Boston)

11. Enjoy incredible views of Boston from Spectacle Island during free Saturday yoga classes (Boston)

12. Zumba, sunset yoga, run club, and HIIT boot camp take place on the Esplanade (Boston)

13. Dance the summer away during the free Tito Puente Latin Music Series (Boston)

14. It’s free fitness on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Summertime Sweat Series (Chestnut Hill)

15. Assembly Row offers yoga and dance throughout the season (Somerville)


Games & Learning

16. Enjoy free chess lessons every week (Boston)

17. Christopher Columbus Park offers Lawn Games like corn hole, croquet, giant Jenga, and more on select Saturday afternoons (Boston)

18. Drop by the BSA for free LEGO® building challenges every week (Boston)

19. SaturPLAY sessions led by A-VOYCE take place in Mary Soo Hoo Park on the final Saturday of each month this summer (Boston)

20. Borrow ping pong, pool, and board games from the Games Cart and art supplies like crayons and paper from the Art Cart every day this summer (Boston)

21. Visit the Museum of Science on Friday nights for their Astronomy After Hours program (Boston)

22. Keep kids reading all summer when they discover they can earn free movie tickets after completing a brief book report through the Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesday program (Various Locations)


Movies

23. WBZ sponsors Free Friday Flicks under the stars at the Hatch Shell, along with free games and giveaways before the movies begin (Boston)

24. Catch free movies under the stars on the Greenway (Boston)

25. The Magic 106.7 Family Film Festival offers children's activities, giveaways, and entertainment every Saturday evening in July and August, followed by a big screen showing of a family-friendly movie at sundown (Boston)


Performing Arts

26. Payson Park Music Festival features Wednesday evening concerts and daytime children’s programs (Belmont)

27. This year’s Shakespeare on the Common performance is Richard III (Boston)

28. Enjoy beautiful views of the harbor at the ICA’s Harborwalk Sounds series (Boston)

29. Concerts in the Courtyard at the Boston Public Library bring a diverse range of musical offerings, from jazz to classical, and from world to folk (Boston)

30. Landmarks Orchestra stages an incredible variety of live musical performances at the Hatch Shell (Boston)

31. Rosalita’s Puppets charm and amuse every Saturday (Boston)

32.The Titus Sparrow Park Summer Concert Series brings live music for adults and children alike (Boston)

33. Live Music Thursdays on The Street feature family-friendly outdoor concerts (Chestnut Hill)

34. Check out the wide variety of musicians performing at the Lexington Summer Concert Series on Friday evenings in July and August (Lexington)

35. Enjoy the Kids Rock lineup on the green (Lynnfield)

36. The Wright-Locke Farm hosts a Family Farm Night music series, Lettuce Turnip the Beet, on Thursday evenings in June and July (Winchester)

37. The Berklee Summer in the City Concert Series presents more than 400 free performances throughout Greater Boston this summer (Various Locations)


Mixed Programming

38. Take in weekly live music and art installations downtown at the Lawn on D (Boston)

39. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum brings back Neighborhood Nights, filled with free evening music and dance performances, gallery games, garden activities, and hands-on art (Boston)

40. The Boston Harbor Hotel presents themed concerts and movies (Boston)

41. The Boston Harbor Islands host a plethora of free activities every week like civil war dress up, detective adventures, kite-making, fort-building, and nature exploration (Boston)

42. The Kid-Friendly Fun series features different activities every Tuesday like kids yoga, dance classes, music, and crafts (Chestnut Hill)

43. Wright’s Pond and the Condon Shell play host to free movies and concerts (Medford)

44. Highland Street Free Fun Fridays provides free admission or participation at 100 local museums and attractions through the end of August (Various Locations)

JUNE

45. June 21: Take part in this free Summer Solstice Celebration offered by the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (Cambridge)

46. June 21: Circle the Square is a street festival that lights up Medford Square with live performances, participatory activities, special dining opportunities, crafts, shopping, and more (Medford)

47. June 22: Get your disco on and get ready to celebrate Donna Summer (Boston)

48. June 23: Celebrate Filipino culture at the 2nd Filipino Festival (Malden)

49. June 23: Revel in the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival (Boston)

50. June 23: Celebrate Lynn Juneteenth (Lynn)

51. June 27-July 1: St. Peter’s Fiesta celebrates Gloucester’s commercial fishing history and culture with a city-wide party, parades, Seine boat races, the blessing of the fleet, a carnival, and more (Gloucester)

52. June 29-July 4: Boston Harborfest 2018 is the country's largest Fourth of July festival and includes hundreds of activities over a 4-day period at Boston’s best landmarks (Boston)

53. June 30: Christopher Columbus Park hosts an Independence Day Celebration with face painting, magic, bubbles, character meet and greets, an Aquarium tide pool, and musical zoo, plus a view of the the evening’s Harborfest fireworks (Boston)

54. June 30: Experience colonial life through hands-on activities like fifing, sewing, hat-making, quill writing, and more (Boston)

55. June 30-July 3: Touch, taste, smell, and experience 18th century chocolate with costumed interpreters and try your hand at winnowing cacao beans (Boston)


JULY

56. Every Tuesday in July: Enjoy live music on Tuesday evenings this month, courtesy of the North End Music & Performing Arts Center Jazz in the Park: NEMPAC Summer Concert Series (Boston)

57. July 1: Taste samples from the best local restaurants and enjoy live music at Chowderfest (Boston)

58. July 1: Take some time to appreciate the work of local artists when they display their work under the trellis at Christopher Columbus Park (Boston)

59. July 2: Take in a dramatic reading of Paul Revere’s Ride (Boston)

60. July 4: Enjoy one of Boston’s most iconic events, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (Boston)

61. July 4: Listen to a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence (Boston)

62. July 4: With drum circles, screen printing, a puppet show, a petting zoo, field games, and more, the Bridgewater Arts & Music Festival offers a fun, free way to spend Independence Day (Bridgewater)

63. July 7: Martial arts, children’s folk dance, Lion dances, and more are just a few of the offerings at this year’s Chinatown Main Street Festival (Boston)

64. July 7: Join in the Lawn on D Summer Block Party (Boston)

65. July 7: Free yoga at Wright’s Pond (Medford)

66. July 7: Rock out at the 5th Annual JP Porchfest (Jamaica Plain)

67. July 14: My Caribbean One World Expo features arts, crafts, live performances, and more (Boston)

68. July 14: Live music, street performers, children’s activities, and more take over Main Street for the annual Gloucester Block Party (Gloucester)

69. July 19: Circle the Square is a street festival that lights up Medford Square with live performances, participatory activities, special dining opportunities, crafts, shopping and more (Medford)

70. July 19: Listen to Boston Latin Band of the Year El Grupo Chevere and enjoy free dance lessons (Brighton)

71. July 20-22: Watch professional sculptors create amazing works of sand art at the annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival (Revere)

72. July 21: Brazil on the Greenway celebrates the country’s art, culture, and food (Boston)

73. July 21: Celebrate Latin music at Caliente! (Boston)

74. July 21-22: Explore the Charles River with two days of free fishing and kayaking (Boston)

75. July 21-22: Check out Festival Betances, New England’s longest running Latino cultural celebration (Boston)

76. July 21-22: The Cultural Survival Bazaar features art, crafts, and other ethically made cultural products created by Native artists from around the world (Newburyport)

77. July 22: Play games and make puppets (Boston)

78. July 24: Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark under the stars (Boston)

79. July 27-29: The Lowell Folk Festival celebrates traditional folk music, artisan crafts, and ethnic foods (Lowell)

80. July 29: Terri Lyne Carrington headlines this year's Cambridge Jazz Festival (Cambridge)

81. July 29: Cambridge hosts its City Dance Party (Cambridge)

82. July 31: Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday with a special scavenger hunt (Medford)


AUGUST

83. Every Thursday in August: Young artists and makers will enjoy weekly ParkArts Arts and Crafts on Thursdays this month (Boston)

84. August 3: Get your 90s on at the 90s Forever dance party (Somerville)

85. August 3-5: Enjoy live music and dance performances, an eco-fashion show, film fest, interactive exhibits, robots, music, art, pony rides, fitness, games, lots of STEM projects, and more at the eco-friendly Boston GreenFest (Boston)

86. August 5: Get ready to eat ALL THE LOBSTAH at the Boston Seafood Festival (Boston)

87. August 12: The August Moon Festival returns for its 49th year in Chinatown, with live performances of Asian folk dance, lion dance, Chinese opera, and other entertainment, plus food, gifts, and souvenirs (Boston)

88. August 12: Get ready to sing at the 18th Annual Gospelfest (Boston)

89. August 16: Learn to play the digeridoo (Medford)

90. August 16-19: Boston’s oldest continuous Italian festival, Fisherman’s Feast, offers delicious food, live music, processions, children’s activities, and more (Boston)

91. August 18: Rock out at the Wicked Good Festival (Boston)

92. August 18-19: The annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival features live music, performance art, antique cars, and more (Gloucester)

93. August 19-25: Boston Carnival celebrates with parades, steel band music, dance, and performances, along with with Caribbean cuisine (Boston)

94. August 23-24: Build and launch a rocket (Medford)

95. August 24-26: The Asian Community Development Corporation brings Kung Fu movies to the Greenway for the 13th year of Films at the Gate in Chinatown Park (Boston)

96. August 25: Head to the Ujamaa Green Mart, a new event highlighting the work of African and local craft vendors (Boston)

97. August 25: Enjoy jazz in the Seaport at the Boston Jazz Fest (Boston)

98. August 26: Get ready for some fermentation at the Boston Fermentation Festival (Boston)


SEPTEMBER (Just Up Until Labor Day!)

99. September 1: Sample some fine eats at Medford Eats! (Medford)

100. September 2: They Might Be Giants are this year’s Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival headliner (Newburyport)

 The cost of living in Boston is high so we're extra grateful that so many organizations and businesses offer amazing free summer programming. This roundup includes 100 ideas!

The cost of living in Boston is high so we're extra grateful that so many organizations and businesses offer amazing free summer programming. This roundup includes 100 ideas!