125 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 massive roundup of 125 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 and the Berklee Summer in the City Concert Series) individually so it’s well over 500 free individual events!

To orient you: The first section includes 61 sources of programming that offer recurring dates throughout the summer, organized by type of programming (e.g., movies, performing arts, etc.). Following that is a list of 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!

SECTION #1: EVENT SERIES with RECURRING Dates Through the Summer (organized by event type)

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 and fall (Boston)

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

5. Stop by SoWa Open Market on Sundays for local art, brews, food trucks, and lawn games (Boston)


Fitness

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

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

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

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

10. Enjoy a morning fitness experience along the Boston Harborwalk with your favorite pup, followed by tips and treats each week during B.A.R.K. in the Park (Boston)

11. Ride the waves with Harbor Islands Sea Kayaking (Boston)

12. Seaport Sweat returns with new classes, new instructors, and a mid-day session for moms (Boston)

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

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

15. Enjoy incredible views of Boston from Spectacle Island during free Saturday yoga classes in July and August (Boston)

16. Practice free yoga outside the Charles Hotel on Saturdays in June (Cambridge)

17. Join the November Project for free weekly workouts at Harvard Stadium (Cambridge)

18. Find yoga on Sundays, kickboxing on Tuesdays, and cardio dance parties on Wednesdays at The Street (Chestnut Hill)

19. FIT at MarketStreet brings free fitness classes to The Green every Thursday and Sunday from June through October (Lynnfield)

20. Take free yoga classes on Saturdays at Wright’s Pond and the Condon Shell (Medford)

21. Assembly Row offers yoga, pilates, Barre, cycling, and dance throughout the season (Somerville)


Games, Making + Learning

22. Head to Spectacle Island for daily pop-up fun like undersea touch tanks, navigation activities, arts and crafts, and more (Boston)

23. Hang out with Birds of Prey on Wednesdays in July and August (Boston)

25. Greenway Play Sessions take place on Thursday evenings in Chin Park and in the Wharf District with special appearances on select dates from the Yasso Game On! Foundation, providing free samples of frozen greek yogurt and brand new play equipment for all to enjoy (Boston)

26. The Boston Harbor Islands host a plethora of free kids’ activities on Saturdays like civil war dress up and games, detective adventures, kite-making, fort-building, and nature exploration (Boston)

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

28. Take a free chess lesson (Boston)

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

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

31. Stop by the Kids Coloring Station any day of the week for free-to-borrow paper and crayons (Boston)

32. Puddlestompers Nature Exploration hosts kid-friendly, hands-on, interactive nature workshops on The Green (Chestnut Hill)

33. Art on the Spot offers up face painting and balloon animals (Chestnut Hill)

34. MarketStreet and the Lynnfield Library present Wiggle Worms every Friday, with animated storytelling, time to move, and a free kids cone at JP Licks (Lynnfield)

35. Medford’s Free Parks Program staffs local parks all day on weekdays in July and August, offering games, activities, arts and crafts, and more on a drop-in basis (Medford)

36. Enjoy family wiffle ball and kickball on Wednesday evenings in July and August (Medford)

37. 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)

38. North Shore Nature School offers free family outdoor exploration programs throughout the summer (Various Locations)


Movies

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

40. Movies by Moonlight returns with classic movies each Friday night in June, July, and August (Boston)

41. Classics on the Common returns with free evening flicks (Boston)

42. Coolidge Corner Theater brings free movies under the stars to Wharf District Parks (Boston)

43. Wright’s Pond, Tufts Park, and the Condon Shell play host to free movies on select Friday nights (Medford)

44. Catch free films outside the Davis Museum on Thursday evenings (Wellesley)


Performing Arts

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

46. Jazz in the Park returns to Christopher Columbus Park (Boston)

47. Enjoy free family admission for ICA Playdates on the last Saturday of the month (Boston)

48. This year’s Shakespeare on the Common performance is Cymbeline (Boston)

49. Berklee brings the city’s most talented young musicians and dancers to perform with a backdrop of gorgeous harbor views when ICA’s Harborwalk Sounds series returns (Boston)

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

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

52. The Boston Harbor Hotel presents Pop-Soul, Rat Pack, and Blues concerts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (Boston)

53. The Titus Sparrow Park Summer Concert Series brings live music for adults and children alike on select Tuesdays (Boston)

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

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

56. Pack a picnic dinner for free concerts at the Condon Shell on the last Thursday of June, July, and August (Medford)

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

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


Mixed Programming

59. Take in weekly live music, art installations, games, and more downtown at the Lawn on D (Boston)

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

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

SECTION #2: Limited-Run Events by month

JUNE EVents

62. June 1: Kick off Summertime at The Street Chestnut Hill with a New Philharmonia Orchestra concert (Chestnut Hill)

63. June 1: Support more than 50 local women makers, artists,  entrepreneurs at the Boston Women’s Market (Jamaica Plain)

64. June 1: Head to the book launch of Ivy the Very Determined Dog, a story about Ivy the French Bulldog, for treats, play, and fun (Lynnfield)

65. June 2: Medford Day offers up live music, food, inflatables, games, and activities for all ages (Medford)

66. June 5, 12: Make puppets and masks for the 4th annual Fox Festival Parade later this month (Arlington)

67. June 4: Take in this performance by Kidville (Chestnut Hill)

68. June 8: Get outdoors for a family Beaver Walk (Andover)

69. June 8: Take part in the Spectacle Island 5K + Fun Run (Boston)

70. June 9: Stop by the ICA Harbor Market for an artisan takeover to shop handmade goods, discover local artisans, sample bites, and enjoy live music (Boston)

71. June 9: Join the giant scavenger hunt, enjoy live music, dance, visual arts, and martial arts performances, plus free ice cream, face painting and so much more at the Race Amity Day Festival on the Greenway (Boston)

72. June 13: Head to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for a free Teen Takeover event showcasing art and performances by teens and for teens (Boston)

73. June 15: Feast of the East celebrates its 21st year with the Fox Festival Parade, food trucks, live music, and lots of free interactive activities (Arlington)

74. June 15: Find out how to forage with your family on this Wild Edibles Walk (Essex)

75. June 15: Juneteenth Celebration commemorates the abolition of slavery in the confederate south through dance, song, and spoken word, as well as the chance to support local vendors (Fitchburg)

76. June 17: AfroDesiaCity marks Juneteenth by highlighting local incredible local artists and performers (Boston)

77. June 19: The Urban Labs and Museum of Fine Arts partner to celebrate Juneteenth with a night of thoughtful discussion, powerful art, and engaging activities (Boston)

78. June 20: 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)

79. June 21: Get your disco on and get ready to celebrate Donna Summer (Boston)

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

81. June 22: Take a free watercolor workshop (Boston)

82. June 22: Revel in the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival (Boston)

83. June 22: Juneteenth Family Fun Day celebrates freedom through spoken word, dance, drumming, children’s activities, food, and more (Lynn)

84. June 22: Celebrate Filipino culture at the 3rd Annual Filipino Festival (Malden)

85. June 26: Learn about local marine life by exploring the textures, shapes, and movements of live tidepool animals at the New England Aquarium Tidepool Open House on The Green (Chestnut Hill)

86. June 26-30: 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)

87. June 27: The Frog Pond Spray Pool opens for the season (Boston)

88. June 29: Christopher Columbus Park hosts an Independence Day Celebration with a parade and lots of kids activities (Boston)


JULY

89. July 1-7: Boston Harborfest 2019 is the country's largest Fourth of July festival and includes hundreds of activities over a 7-day period at Boston’s best landmarks (Boston)

90. July 1, 3: Check out work by local visual and performing artists and enjoy interactive art-making activities for kids like postcard making and billboard painting (Boston)

91. July 2: Taste samples from the best local restaurants and enjoy live music at Chowderfest (Boston)

92. July 2: Take in the Parade of Light & Fireworks, when festively-lit boats of all shapes and sizes light the Inner Harbor under a fireworks display (Boston)

93. July 4: Queen Latifah headlines and Arlo Guthrie appears at one of Boston’s most iconic events, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (Boston)

94. 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)

95. July 6: Join in the Lawn on D Summer Block Party (Boston)

96. July 9: Learn about worm composting, make a mini greenhouse from recycled materials, and plant it with seeds to take home and watch grow on a window sill (Chestnut Hill)

97. July 13: My Caribbean One World Expo features arts, crafts, live performances, and more (Boston)

98. July 13: Rock out at the 5th Annual JP Porchfest (Jamaica Plain)

99. July 13: Swing by ArtBeat, one of the area’s largest and most innovative arts festivals, with over a dozen bands, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food, and all-age activities (Somerville)

100. July 14: Savor free ice cream with a Superhero Sundae, then enjoy fun games and crafts (Medford)

101. July 20-21: Festival Betances is New England’s longest running Latino cultural celebration (Boston)

102. July 20-21: The Cultural Survival Bazaar features art, crafts, and other ethically made cultural products created by Native artists from around the world (Newburyport)

103. July 26-28: The Lowell Folk Festival celebrates traditional folk music, artisan crafts, and ethnic foods (Lowell)

104. July 26-28: The Puerto Rican Festival and Parade celebrates its 52nd year (Boston)

105. July 26-28: Watch professional sculptors create amazing works of sand art at the annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival (Revere)

106. July 27-28: FIGMENT is an annual participatory art festival (Boston)

107. July 28: Don’t miss this year's Cambridge Jazz Festival (Cambridge)


AUGUST

108. August 3: Take a family Salt Marsh Exploration Walk (Rowley)

109. August 4: Get ready to eat ALL THE LOBSTAH at the Boston Seafood Festival (Boston)

110. August 7: The ICA welcomes teens for peer-led art tours, art-making activities, and youth performances (Boston)

111. August 12: Get ready to sing at the 19th Annual Gospelfest (Boston)

112. August 15-18: Boston’s oldest continuously running Italian festival, Fisherman’s Feast, offers delicious food, live music, processions, children’s activities, and more (Boston)

113. August 16-18: 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)

114. August 17-18: The annual Gloucester Waterfront Festival features live music, performance art, antique cars, and more (Gloucester)

115. August 18: Get ready for some fermentation at the Boston Fermentation Festival (Boston)

116. August 18: The Quincy August Moon Festival returns with live performances of Asian folk dance, lion dance, Chinese opera, and other entertainment, plus food trucks, gifts, and souvenirs (Quincy)

117. August 18-24: Boston Carnival celebrates with parades, steel band music, dance, and performances, along with with Caribbean cuisine (Boston)

118. August 20: Have some Kid-Friendly Fun with Little Beats (Chestnut Hill)

119. August 23-25: The Asian Community Development Corporation brings Kung Fu movies to the Greenway for the another year of Films at the Gate in Chinatown Park (Boston)

120. August 24: Rock out at this year’s Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival (Newburyport)

121. August 30-31: Enjoy jazz in the Seaport during the Boston Jazz Fest (Boston)

122. August 30-September 2: Join the fun at the 35th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival with lots of live music, the Boat Parade of Lights, a fireworks display, schooner racing, and more (Gloucester)

123. August 31-September 2: Visit the USS Constitution for free (Charlestown)


SEPTEMBER (Just Up Until Labor Day!)

124. September 1: Celebrate Labor Day weekend at the Lawn on D with live music, DJs, and lawn games (Boston)

125. September 2: The Institute of Contemporary Art offers free admission for Labor Day (Boston)

125 free summer events across Massachusetts

125 free summer events across Massachusetts