By Alicia Deily
Living in Boston means that there is a world of cultural events and activities right outside of your door. Summer time is the ideal time for exploring all the family-friendly sites that Boston has to offer. Many of these activities are easily accessible via the MBTA. The best part is that these day-trip ideas are both educational and free!
1. The Museum of Fine Arts: Art classes
The Museum of Fine Arts offers “Drawing in the Galleries” classes that are suitable for families and children of all ages on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The classes give aspiring artists the opportunity to sketch from live models and to learn more about figure drawing. All art materials are provided for guests.
The museum itself is also free every Wednesday nights from 4 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Encourage students to view art from a culture that they have studied in school. There are exhibits and collections to view art from all over the world ranging from the ancient to the modern. For more information, visit the MFA’s Kids and Family Programs website.
Located near MBTA Green/E line – Museum of Fine Arts
2. Institute of Contemporary Art: Summer Art Events
The Institute of Contemporary Art offers five free events for kids throughout the summer. An upcoming event up on June 29 called “Street Scene,” allows guests to meet artist Barry McGee and create their very own city-inspired artwork. This event also features a musical performance.
The museum itself is free Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is also free for families on the last Saturday of each month. Check out the ICA for contemporary art that is sure to inspire creativity in both students and parents. For other summer events and information, please visit the ICA website.
Located near MBTA Silver Line - World Trade Center
3. Boston Historical Sites: Historic Tours
Boston is rich with history and much of that history is both accessible and free. We suggest starting with a tour of the Massachusetts State House. During weekdays the State House offers free 30-45 minute tours for guests. Reservations are required and it is closed on weekends and holidays.
While you are in the area, you can also follow the Freedom Trail to many other prominent Boston sites. Toward the end of the trail, you will reach the USS Constitution in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The site offers free tours every 30 minutes from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Located near MBTA Green Line – Park Street
4. Cambridge Science Museums: MIT & Harvard
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is a wonderful place to discover the natural world including collections of plants, animals, and minerals. This museum is the most visited attraction at Harvard. It is free to Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. through noon. Proof of residency is required for admission. To find out more information visit the official website.
Located Near MBTA Red Line – Harvard
The MIT Museum is also free on Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m., along with the second Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This museum focuses more on the technical aspects of science including exhibits on inventions, robots, and architecture. Visit the website for more information. These science museums are sure to spark curiosity in people of all ages.
Located near MBTA Red Line- Kendall
5. Boston Public Library-
Boston Public Library (BPL) includes 27 branches throughout the Boston area. Each branch is easily accessible by MBTA. Many of these branches offer free kid friendly movies, story hours, and special activities. They also provide free passes for local museums for library members. Check out the official site for more details about a library near you.
The central location in Copley Square offers daily free tours of the library which feature information about the historic art and architecture of the building. These tours leave at specified times, seven days a week.
BPL’s main branch is located near MBTA Green Line – Copley
This summer, take advantage of all that Boston has to offer and take a free and educational field trip with your family!Looking for more activities? The Highland Street Foundation also sponsors Free Fun Fridays. Throughout summer, 60 museums and attractions will offer free admission. To see the full calendar, visit their website.
About the author:
Alicia Deily was a 2012-2013 corps member serving at the Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury.