Boston on a Budget: Cheap Things to do Summer 2021

In a notoriously expensive city, finding cheap or free things to do can feel impossible. Between dollar oysters, deeply discounted museums, and free entertainment scattered around town, this city has it all. We’ve rounded up some wicked awesome summer activities to help you tackle Boston on a budget.

It’s $1 a Shuck Season

boston on a budget oysters

Black Lamb in the South End
$1 oysters daily until 5:00pm
Address: 571 Tremont Street, Boston

Summer Shack in Cambridge
$1 oysters on Tuesdays
148 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge

Lincoln Tavern in South Boston
$1 oysters on Tuesdays
425 W Broadway, Boston

Ashmont Grill in Dorchester
$1 oysters the first Thursday of the month
555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester

Glenville Stops in Allston
$1 oysters daily between 5:00pm and 6:00pm
87 Glenville Ave, Allston

Check here for more oyster happy deals.

Happy Hour Food Deals

Pink Taco
Daily happy hour specials between 3:00pm and 7:00pm
374 Congress Street, Boston

Yard House
1/2 off appetizers and pizzas on Monday through Friday between 3:00pm and 6:00pm
126 Brookline Ave, Boston

Dine Out Boston Summer 2021

Dine Out Boston Summer 2021 dates have just been announced!
Mark your calendars for August 8 — 21 and be sure to reserve a table in advance.

Free Entertainment Summer 2021

Summer in the City is hosted at the Boston Harbor Hotel and features live entertainment Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from now until August 26, 2021. Genres include pop soul, rat pack, and blues barge. Shows take place between 6:00pm and 10:00pm.

The Central Library in Copley Square provides summer Concerts in the Courtyard Fridays from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. 

Herter Park presents free summer time events such as folk music, dance performances, and Christmas in July. 

A free Concert in the Park will be held on July 30, 2021 at 2:30pm at Post Office Square 130 Congress Street.

Farmers Markets

SoWa Open Market is operating on Sundays between 11:00am and 3:00pm.

Free Outdoor Movies

Patriots Place is hosting Summer Flicks every Wednesday night. Guests are encouraged to show up around 6:00pm to reserve their seats. The family-friendly movies start at 9:00pm. Located at 2 Patriot Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

The annual SomerMovieFest 2021 is taking place this summer on Thursday nights at various outdoor locations around Somerville. Check out the calendar of events here.

Mayor Janey’s Movie Nights are scheduled throughout the city between August and September. Enjoy a free family-friendly evening cinema experience. 


boston on a budget

Fuller Craft Museum

Admission: free for Brockton residents and by donation for non-residents
Open Tuesday through Sunday
Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor

Museum of Fine Arts

Admission: $5 minimum on Wednesdays after 3:00pm. Free for Members.
Open Wednesday through Sunday
Rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor

Isabella Stewart Gardner

Admission: free on your birthday and for members. Free for life if you’re named Isabella
Closed on Tuesdays
Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor

Boston University Art Gallery

Admission: free
Open Monday through Friday
Rated 4.8/5 on Google Reviews

Institute of Contemporary Art

Admission: free Thursdays after 5:00pm
Closed on Mondays
Rated 3.5/5 on TripAdvisor

Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Admission: free
Closed on Mondays
Rated on 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor

MIT Museum

Admission: free on the last Saturday of the month, September through June
Open seven days a week
Rated 4/5 on TripAdvisor

Harvard Art Museum 

Admission: free on Sundays starting September 5, 2021.
Also free to Cambridge residents, Harvard ID holders, and children under 18.
Rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor