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Filled with science, art, history, food, shopping, and outdoor activities, a visit to Boston holds the promise of fun for everyone. Whatever your interests may be, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained when you pay a visit to the famous Beantown.
If you’re heading to the city for a staycation, here are the top 19 things to do in Boston this weekend. From family-friendly museums to food halls, we’ve rounded up all the most exciting, interactive, and history-filled activities for a good weekend ahead. Our travel guide will walk you through the best downtown Boston has to offer.
Located in downtown Boston, Boston Common is America’s oldest park. Dating back to 1634, this public park is a good place for relaxing, strolling around the green grounds, and soaking in the sites and sounds. For one of the most historic things to do in Boston, take some time exploring the 50-acres that once hosted the British troops during the American Revolution. The walking tour offers fun fact information and historical data.
A 2.5-mile-long pathway throughout downtown, Freedom Trail is a collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, a ship, parks, and historic markers that tell the story of the city. It’s one of the more eclectic things to do in Boston, and it makes for a fun afternoon of walking and learning. This guided tour is a walking tour, perfect for exploring the neighborhood.
If you’re a baseball fan wondering what to do in Boston, put Fenway Park at the top of the weekend bucket-list. Located near Kenmore Square, Fenway Park has been open since 1912 and is one of America’s most beloved ballparks. Catch a game or sign up for an individual or group tour of the park. A trip to Beantown wouldn't be complete without a visit to Fenway Park. The neighborhood also has food tour options nearby for a fun night out.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is an indoor-outdoor shopping center that spans across 3 historic market buildings and a promenade. Visit Quincy Market, in the middle building, for the food or wander throughout the shops and kiosks. You’ll also find entertainment like street performers, musicians, and magicians. Our Boston travel guide includes Faneuil Hall Marketplace as one of our fun things to do in Boston MA, because there is so much to explore.
With over 1.3 million visitors a year, the New England Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Boston with a family. Exhibits include a four-story coral reef that’s home to Myrtle the green sea turtle along with plenty of other Caribbean animals. The New England Aquarium is also home to northern fur seals, African penguins, giant Pacific octopus and thousands of other animals.
Adjacent to the city of Boston, Boston Harbor Island covers almost 500 acres and is the perfect place to spend the day or weekend. Take a stroll along the harbor walk or get out on the water with a Boston harbor cruise or ferry ride. Boston Harbor Islands are made up of 34 islands and peninsulas, which are filled with activities like free summer yoga, camping under the stars, lighthouse tours, and picnics galore. You can also see the Boston skyline while taking in a Boston harbor cruise.
In the Back Bay Area of Boston, Newbury Street is an eight-block area filled with enchanting streets, incredible dining, and plenty of great shopping in classic New England style brick stores. Grab a cup of some of the best coffee in Boston at Thinking Cup. Then spend your morning meandering from store to store in the Boston area.
Featuring revolving exhibits, IMAX films, and planetarium shows, the Museum of Science offers interactive fun, live presentations, and drop-in activities. Known as one of the world’s largest science centers, they’ve also launched a new digital museum experience that can be found on their website — which features creative engineering projects, podcasts, and more. If you’re looking for a museum where you can create, experiment, and try fun things, put this on your weekend to-do list.
If you’re looking for quirky things to do in Boston this weekend, the Swan Boats offer a unique experience for all ages. Established in 1877, this fun fleet of boats operates out of a pond in the Public Garden. They’re an iconic part of Boston’s culture and no trip to the city would be complete without a ride in a swan boat. A beautiful view of the Boston skyline is also visible from the swan boat.
The first public botanical garden in America, Boston Public Garden cultivates over 80 different species of plants. With people playing music, strolling hand in hand, and relaxing on the park benches — it’s one of the most romantic things to do in Boston when you have a free afternoon. When you go, don’t forget to visit the famous bronze ducks near the corner of Beacon Street and Charles Street. It’s also one of the top Boston event venues for weddings, so t here’s a good chance you might find a couple tying the knot in the garden when you visit.
On Little Brewster Island in Boston rests the Boston Light, a lighthouse whose construction started in 1716. It casts a light beam 17 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and it’s a perfect place to visit when you’re searching for day trips from Boston. Take a tour to lear n more about the oldest continually used and last staffed lighthouse in the country.
One of the most comprehensive art museums in the world and the 17th largest, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is home to more than 450,000 words of art. Depending on when you visit the museum, exhibitions range from writings of the hip-hop generation to reimagining home to Japanese Buddhist sculpture. It’s a vast and expansive art collection, so if you go, make sure to set aside the day. After a trip to the art museum, you may want to consider visiting the Boston public library. The Boston public library was built in 1848 and has unique architecture, perfect for the end to an art and museum day.
Often called “the most photographed street in the world” — Acorn Street allows visitors to step back in time to colonial Boston. With its charming cobblestone streets, this tiny (and busy) path is one of the best things to do in Boston for photographers.
Dedicated to the memory of John F. Kennedy, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is located along Boston’s waterfront and boasts a museum, walk-in visitor programs, and interactive experiences. Visit permanent exhibits like “Young Jack” and the “1960 Presidential Election” or see what sort of special exhibits are going on when you plan to visit this museum in the greater Boston area.
See the gorillas, zebras, lions, giraffes, and tigers at the 72-acre Franklin Park Zoo. If you’re traveling to Boston with your family, the zoo offers plenty to do. Enjoy a continental breakfast alongside the animals, take a behind-the-scenes tour, or head to zoo camp during summer break.
For a sky-high vantage point and 360-degree views of the city, the Skywalk Observatory ranks as one of the best things to do in Boston this weekend — and every weekend. The one-of-a-kind view combines with the Dreams of Freedom Museum to give visitors a glimpse into the full past of Boston’s global culture and architecture. You can also visit Wings Over Boston, a three-screen master exhibit theater that immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of all things Boston.
Boston Public Market is an indoor, year-round marketplace that houses 35 top New England food producers and artisans all under one roof. For the culinary-minded travelers wondering what to do in Boston, spend the day exploring the vendors, happenings, and seasonal farmers markets. Whether you’re on the hunt for seafood, specialty items, or baked goods — everything sold at the market is produced or originates in New England. From a delicious lobster roll to clam chowder, all of your favorite Boston MA dishes can be found here.
Established in 1872, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America. This free outdoor plant and tree museum offers plenty of walking tours and family tours. Numerous attractions make it possible for everyone in your group to find something to do. People often bring their kids and dogs and the grounds offer a majestic setting for an afternoon picnic. Whether you come solo or bring the whole family, getting lost in the arboretum is one of the best things to do in Boston when you have a free day. If you need to work, the surrounding area has numerous coworking spaces in Boston where you can focus on your next p roject.
Named after painter John Singleton Copley, Copley Square rests in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. Before 1883, it was known as Art Square, the influence of which can still be found in the art galleries and architecture that abound in the area. If you’re an artist on the hunt for things to do in Boston this weekend, Copley Square is an inspiring place to visit.
Whether it's a visit with the zebras at Franklin Park Zoo, an afternoon among the art at the Museum of Fine Art, or a ride through the pond with Swan Boats, there are always things to do in Boston. The only hard part will be choosing which activities make the top of your list.
If you’re coming to the city and are curious about where to stay in Boston, the Zeus team has you covered. We like to help you feel at home wherever life takes you. When you’re planning a trip to Boston for a month or longer, our beautiful, smartly furnished homes will be happy to welcome you in. With all its dining, entertainment, shopping, event venues, and coworking spaces — Boston is a city that’s easy to fall in love with.
Check out our rentals today to find your home-away-from-home.