by Jaime Ganson

With the country in a difficult economic time and unemployment running high, it can be tough for some to plan a night out with a significant other or a fun Saturday with the kids. These days simply catching a movie on Friday night can cost $40. Luckily, there is plenty to do in Boston, a richly historic and cultural city, that won’t break the bank. Whether you are interested in art & history or enjoy the outdoors, Boston and its surrounding cities have much to offer.


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If art is of interest, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston often offers free days that are sponsored by various organizations. Check their website frequently for these updated dates and save yourself $22 per person. The newly opened Art of Americas Wing is not to be missed and exhibitions change frequently.

The fall also brings about Open Studios in locations such as the South End, Fort Point, Cambridge, and in the suburbs. Local artists open their studios to the public for the weekend. It’s like window shopping but not in a mall, and you are experiencing one-of-a-kind, local artists in their finest.


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History buffs need not pay to visit the museums or to tour the Constitution, simply walk downtown, look for the red line on the ground, and you’ve found the famous Freedom Trail.

Visit the Trail’s website and download a map to guide you on your trip through history. On the 2 ½ mile walk, you will pass through Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, the Old North Church, and more.


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Those who enjoy nature and being outdoors will also like The Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. This 265 acre, Harvard University owned property is open from sunrise to sunset every day. Visit their website to learn all about the plants and gardens and see the various activities for adults and children.

If being outdoors in the city is more appealing, head over to the Esplanade for walking along the Charles River or the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a narrow park strip downtown. Both spots offer the best in “urban parks”: people watching, public art, grassy knolls for relaxing, and sidewalks for biking, running, or walking every season.


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Lastly, if you cannot resist being in the holiday spirit each year, you must head to the Boston Common for the best in free, holiday culture.

Boston’s quintessential park, and official starting point of the Freedom Trail mentioned above, offers the best people watching at the Frog Pond and the sights of the famous Christmas tree lighting and ice sculptures. The winter festivities culminate in the annual First Night Boston events on New Year’s Eve.

Jaime is a twenty-something blogger living, working, & shopping in Boston. Interested in all thing things stylish, whether it be the latest fashion trend on the runways to the newest decor featured in home magazines, she blogs all about it, and tidbits of her life, at La vie…J’aime. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, as well.