Having fun no matter where you are.

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Looking for something to do in Boston besides walk the Freedom Trail or by doing other touristy things?  Ways the husband and I spend our time in this state by spending little to no money.

1.  Trident Cafe on Newbury Street
It’s a little cafe crammed with books all around with great food and great reads.  They host a trivia night, although I’m not sure how much it is to enter or how regularly they do it.  But if you don’t want to play, it’s a great place to hang out or look for something to read.
(I’ve also heard that Applebees holds trivia nights, but I haven’t verified this myself and I’m not sure if this is only at Walpole or can be said for all Applebees across the country.)

2.  Boston Common
Yeah, this one’s kinda touristy, but the Commons are just so cool!  What I like about them is how on every side is a different scene:  Boylston, Beacon Hill, etc.  So grab a picnic basket and a significant other and have lunch on a nice day.  Or drive (or take the subway) the half hour into the city with your running shoes on and jog around the park.  It’s a little slice of peacefulness surrounded by the bustling city.  And during the winter, you can ice skate on Frog Pond.

3.  Take a Tour
I like looking at colleges, especially ones in a different state.  It’s interesting to see not only the architecture, but how everything is laid out and what they have to offer.  All colleges offer free, usually guided, tours.  So take one.  Or, if you’re not into that, hang out on Harvard Yard with an old backpack and see how many people “recognize” you from class.

4.  Watch a Play
You don’t have to go to Broadway or pay big bucks to see a good theatre production.  Emerson College–and all the other liberal arts schools–is full of theatre majors filling the stage.  Sure, it’ll be a few more bucks than if you go to a high school production, but you’ll definitely save money when you think of how much a “professional” play costs.  And speaking of, go to a high school play.  Beauty and the Beast seems to be all the rage now, and most high schools put on at least one play during the season.  It’s fun to watch local actors. Especially students, because you know they haven’t been jilted by cynicism yet.

5.  Just walk around!
If you really want something free and not touristy, just walk around the city.  This is my favorite thing to do.  I like seeing where the locals go to eat, to shop, to dryclean their clothes.  And in Boston, almost every street has different architecture, different pavement, and a completely different look.  Go down to Mass Ave and play basketball or tennis on the courts.  Or go walk your dog.  You never know what you’ll find when you just wander around.  We happened upon an apartment that was once occupied by Robert Frost himself!

And if you don’t live in Boston (which I’m sure not all of you do), here are other ways you can have cheap fun.

1.  Take advantage of your friends.
Yeah, library movies are free with a card, but if your library is anything like ours, 9 times out of 10 the DVD has more than one scratch.  So borrow from your friends.  Just make sure to return it.

2.  Take advantage of your local colleges.
More than not, they offer free-credit classes you can audit.  Or they’re almost always hosting a guest speaker about something for a small entrance fee.  Go. Learn something.  And, like I said above, they usually put on performances or hold other, more famous performers that you can also enjoy.

3.  Take advantage of your local bookstores.
I dunno about all the Borders, but here they offer workshops and on Sundays they usually have a local author will speak and sign his or her books.  Perhaps not everyone would be interested in this one, but why not go hear about someone local who has accomplished something great?  I mean, surely everyone can appreciate just how long and tiring the publishing process is.

4.  Watch a Play.
I loved going back to the high school I graduated from and watching their performances.  Although, we had a really great theatre department.  But I’m sure you can do the same!

5.  Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask other people what they do or ask other people to do stuff with you.  Sometimes just the most boring thing can turn out memorable just because you asked someone to tag along with you on your search to find some free fun. Every time my friends and I came home from college we met at the elementary school playground at night and hung out.  We caught up, ate snacks, and played on the small playground.  It’s definitely what I’ll remember the most from home and probably what I miss the most.

friends at the elem school park

What’s your idea of having a good time?  And where are you having a good time at??  Post a comment here or on the Facebook page to let us all know!

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