Boston’s Best Budget Culture Events

April 9, 2012 6:00 AM


It does not take a ton of cash to enjoy the arts in Boston. Sure, there are some expensive shows and events, however, some of the best events in the city are under $25, and some are even free. This spring, Boston has a few annual budget-friendly tricks up its sleeve and a few new events to offer.
First Fridays at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

mfa mayaurns Bostons Best Budget Culture Events


Boston Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 267-9300

Price: $22 (the price of admission to the museum)
Dates: The first Friday of every month until June 1, 2012.
Hours: 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

First Fridays at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are parties for guests over 21 years of age. To participate, one only needs to pay admission at the door. This allows guests to enjoy the museum and the party, which includes drinks and snacks for a fee. A musical act is also booked for every First Friday. This year, the MFA will feature DJ Rich DiMare in May and the April Hall Trio in June.

Figuring Color at the Institute of Contemporary

figuringcolor chest Bostons Best Budget Culture Events

Roy McMakin, "A Chest of Drawers Based Upon a Chest of Drawers From My Side Porch," 2008. Poplar with oil enamel paint, 39 1/2 x 33 x 22 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist. (credit: Mark Woods /

Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 478-3100

Price: Free from 5 pm to 9 pm every Thursday
Dates: Through May 20, 2012
Hours: See additional hours and ticket information

Figuring Color is an exhibit containing works by Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin and Sue Williams. It represents what color expresses and how color influences emotion. Some of the pieces are visually stunning, drawing guests in with bursts of color. Others are abstract or meant to be experienced physically. This exhibit explores the many facets of color in entertaining ways.

14th Annual Boston College Arts Festival

bostoncollege artsfestival Bostons Best Budget Culture Events


Boston College
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858
(617) 552-8000

Price: Free
Dates: April 26 – April 28, 2012
Hours: Noon to 11 p.m.

The annual Boston College Arts Festival is a community celebration of the arts. From dance to painting, Boston College presents a little something of everything. The festival sort of sprawls out about campus so that guests can wander for hours. Both students and faculty will provide showcases and activities.

Related: Gardner Museum’s New Wing 

Free Friday Flicks at the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell

dcrhatch Bostons Best Budget Culture Events


The Hatch Shell
1 David G. Mugar Way
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 727-1300

Price: Free
Dates: June 19 – August 28, 2012
Hours: Sunset to movie ending

Every Friday night at sundown during this event, a family movie plays at the Memorial Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade. It is an outdoor concert shell converted for family entertainment on Fridays. This year, featured films include “Kung Fu Panda,” “Inkheart,” “Iron Man,” “Get Smart” and “Madagascar 2,” among others. Bring a blanket, as this is outdoors and right on the Charles.

The Beacon Hill Art Walk

beaconhillartwalk Bostons Best Budget Culture Events


Beacon Hill
Corner of Cambridge Street and West Cedar Street
Boston, MA

Price: Free
Date: June 3, 2012
Hours: See hours and artists

The Beacon Hill Art Walk is a community event that takes place on the first Sunday of June. The residents of Beacon Hill host local artists by opening up the community and even their own property to allow musicians, painters and more to entertain. One can stroll around the neighborhood and simply enjoy the art, but there are several artists selling their wares as well. Art lovers should come prepared, just in case they see something they can’t live without.

Related: ‘Manet In Black’ At MFA Boston

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at