Boston’s Best Free Winter Activities For Families

November 28, 2014 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: Cristy Maldonado

It may be cold outside, but it is also the best time of year to spend with friends and family. Despite Boston’s notoriously harsh winters, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that are guaranteed fun for the whole family.


Ice Skating on the Frog Pond
Boston Common
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 635-2120

One of Boston’s most beloved winter traditions is ice skating on the Frog Pond. Ice skating on the pond is free of charge for children under 58 inches tall, making a visit to the Frog Pond a super affordable winter activity for young families. It is a great way to learn how to ice skate without heading to the suburbs or spending too much time in the car or on the train. Rentals are available for those who don’t own their own skates, and older, taller members of the family can skate for the low admission fare of $5 each.

Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting Spectacular, 2013. (Image: WBZ-TV)

Faneuil Hall Tree Lighting Spectacular, 2013. (Image: WBZ-TV)

Blink! Light Show
Faneuil Hall
1 Faneuil Hall Square
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 635-3105

A new tradition in Boston’s Faneuil Hall is the Blink! Light Show. Expert decorators and designers have choreographed all of the lights around Quincy Market and the Fanieul Hall Christmas Tree to go along with the most popular holiday songs. It is an extraordinary light display, and the accompanying Boston Pops music makes this commercial center more festive and vibrant than ever. Kids are sure to enjoy the show. There are lots of great restaurants nearby if the family wants to stop for dinner or a hot chocolate before heading home. See the show each night through January 4, 2015.

Photo Credit: Museum of Fine Arts

Photo Credit: Museum of Fine Arts

Wednesday Evenings at the MFA
465 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 267-9300

The world-famous Museum of Fine Arts offers free admission from 4 p.m. through 9 p.m. every Wednesday evening. This is the perfect after-school activity for families. It is easily accessible via the green line on the MBTA. Not only is the museum educational and includes programming for children, but it is also fun and helps kids learn the power of their imagination. Kids will especially enjoy the Ancient Egypt exhibit.

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(Photo Credit: Boston Fire Museum)

(Photo Credit: Boston Fire Museum)

Boston Fire Museum
344 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 338-9700

Every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Boston Fire Museum is free and open to the public. The museum opened in 1983 and houses antique firetrucks and firefighting gear from the Boston area. The friendly, informative staff is run by volunteers that are happy to guide your family through any of the exhibits. This is a fun, unique activity that is perfect for small children and history buffs alike.
New thermoplastic striping will replace the painted sections of the Freedom Trail. (WBZ-TV)

The Freedom Trail. (WBZ-TV)

The Freedom Trail
139 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 357-8300

Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can’t have a lovely day exploring Boston’s Freedom Trail. On a mild day, bundle up the family for a day outdoors to tour Boston’s most famous historical sites including Paul Revere’s House, Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, the Bunker Hill Monument and more. Walking to each of these sites on the trail is free and will bring you through the center of town past some of Boston’s most picturesque neighborhoods – Beacon Hill, The North End and Charlestown.

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on