Summer is a great time to experience new places. With this guide you can find places to visit that are always free or sometimes free.
Massachusetts has opportunities to explore the history of our nation. Thanks to the National Park Service visits to the historical sites listed below are always free. If you’ll be visiting with kids, check out the Junior Ranger programs on-line before you go.
- Saugus Iron Works
- Bunker Hill Monument
- Boston National Historical Park (aka the Freedom Trail)
- Salem Maritime Site is great to visit for free everyday, but its even better during the Maritime Festival on August 4, 2012.
- USS Constitution Tours of the ship are run by the US Navy. The USS Constitution Museum has a small fee.
If you would like to learn a little about Massachusetts, The Commonwealth Museum (next to the Kennedy Library) provides free admission including an exhibit on the archeology of the Big Dig. Visits to the Massachusetts State House are also free but require a reservation. Visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth website for details.
Free Fun Fridays are continuing at museums throughout Massachusetts sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation, but many museums offer free admission on days other than Friday.
- The Institute of Contemporary Art offers free admission for everyone on Thursdays evenings from 5-9pm and on the last Saturday of the month for families with children under 12.
- The Harvard Museum of Natural History welcomes visitors with a Massachusetts ID for free Sunday mornings from 9am to noon. This museum is also part of Museums on Us and will be free to Bank of America cardholders on August 4 and 5.
- The MIT Museum offers free admission on Sunday mornings from 10am-noon and the second Friday of each month.
- The Scottish Rite Freemasons offer free admission to The National Heritage Museum everyday.
- The Wenham Museum offers free admission to active duty military families through the Blue Star Museums program from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Thanks to the Friends of The Hamilton-Wenham Library passes are available for free or reduced admission to many area museums and attractions. Reserve these passes online at Hwlibrary.org or by calling the library. Check with your town for passes available. Here is the list of passes that offer free admission.
- Boston by Foot
- Cape Ann Historical Museum
- DCR Parks Pass (including Bradley Palmer spray pool and Salisbury Beach. Click here for other included locations.)
- DeCordova Sculpture Park
- Orchard House
- Strawberry Banke
Do you have a favorite tip on free admission to a local museum or attraction? Let us know in the comment section below.