8 Free Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Boston

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Photo of an animated drawing about summer

8 Free Things to do with Your Kids this Summer in Boston

Need something to do with the kiddos? On a budget? Need to cool down in the summer heat?

Here’s a few things we’ve come up with for you.

1. Ryan Playground/Spray Park

Photo of a pool

More like a full-fledged water park than a spray park, with lifeguards on duty.

Includes a large wading pool that even big kids love (areas are 22 inches deep), as well as dozens of fun spray features, including ones shaped like a snake, turtle, and alligator, plus a structure with buckets that continuously fill up and dump out. The park also has bathrooms, limited free parking, a playground, and nice canopy shades overhead.


Where: Ryan Playground, 350 River Street, Mattapan

10 min walk from Mattapan Stop on Red line (0.6 mile)

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

2. Drawing in the Studio at the MFA

Photo of people interacting with each other

Want to practice drawing? The Museum of Fine Art has a free drawing session every Wednesday night, and the museum is free! (Donations suggested)

All ages are welcome, all materials need are supplied (We suggest arriving a little early to guarantee a spot and materials)

You’ll be able to draw either a live model (clothed) or a still life.


Where: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston

2 min walk from Museum of Fine Arts Stop on Green line (482 ft)

Hours: Free Every Wednesday, 6–9 p.m.

3. Public Artwalk

Image of a variety of artwork

Want to take a walk, learn some history and see some art in Boston? Go on a Public Artwork tour.

They have a downloadable audio guide available. You can see things like: Make Way for Ducklings (bring the book and read the story together)


Where: All over Boston

Hours: Daytime

4. Boston Public Library Events

Photo of inside a library

All of the Boston Public Library branches have some great events for kids.

You can enjoy events like Children’s Yoga, Crafty Tuesdays, Baby Dance Party and many more.


Where: All BPL Branches

Hours: Times vary

5. Flicks at Hatch Shell

Photo of a crowd at Hatch Shell Movies

Grab some snacks, a blanket and cuddle up for a movie at Hatch Shell on the Esplanade.

See flicks like, The LEGO Batman Movie, Jungle Book, and Finding Dory.


Where: Hatch Shell at the Esplanade

10 min walk from Charles/MGH stop on Red line (0.5 mile)

10 min walk from Arlington stop on Green line (0.5 mile)

Hours: Fridays movies start at sundown, rest of fun starts at 6 p.m. (June 23-Aug 26)

6. Frog Pond

Photo of people playing in water at Frog Pond

This central location makes it easy to get to! Invite some friends and splash around in Frog Pond in the Boston Common; bring a picnic to make a day of it.


Where: Frog Pond, Boston.

5 min walk from Park St stop on Red and Green line (0.2 mile)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days; check


7. Watch Seals at the Aquarium

Photo of children observing a seal

Did you know there are two locations at the New England Aquarium where you can see seals without going inside?

One in the front of the building and one in the back. You can watch the seals swim, sleep and play – if you’re lucky, you can catch training or feeding time.

Where: 1 Central Wharf, Boston

3 min walk from Aquarium stop on Blue line (0.1 mile)

Hours: During the day for best viewing


8. Family Night/Story Hour at Chill on Park

Chill on Park hosts a Monthly Children's Story Hour

A great time for the whole family! Enjoy stories, coloring, balloons, samples, and a free gift for the little one.

Where: 142 Park St, Dorchester

4 min walk from Fields Corner stop on Red line (0.2 mile)

Hours: Every Tuesday 6-8 p.m. (July 12-Aug 29) (Story Hour once a month)