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State Offers Wealth of Activities for Under $15.00


May 15, 2008 (Massachusetts) – A tight budget is no reason for travelers to nix their plans for summer vacation fun. From gardens and museums to Swan Boats and historic forts, Massachusetts travelers can fill their summer afternoons with an endless array of fun activities that will cost next to nothing.


Following is a list of free and inexpensive things to do around the state this summer. For discounted lodging rates from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, visit


Boston Harbor Islands

The Boston Harbor Islands include 34 islands situated within the Greater Boston shoreline, rich in natural and cultural resources. Explore tide pools, walk through a Civil Warera fort, climb a lighthouse, hike lush trails and salt marshes, camp under the stars or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming...all within reach of downtown Boston.

Hours: Check Web site for island operating hours

Cost: Ferries cost $14 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), $8 for children 311, and free for children under 3



Harvard University Arnold Arboretum

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is the oldest public arboretum in North America and one of the world’s leading centers for the study of plants. A unique blend of beloved public landscape and respected research institution, the Arnold Arboretum provides and supports world-class research, horticulture and education programs that foster the understanding, appreciation and preservation of trees.

Hours: Open daily, from sunrise to sunset

Cost: No admission charge but donations are welcome

Jamaica Plain


Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is a living museum of plants and features a variety of gardens that include a Lawn Garden, a Secret Garden, a Cottage Garden, a Systematic Garden and, in winter, an Orangerie filled with fragrant, blooming plants. Special shows, tours, lectures and workshops are also available.

Hours: Open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Cost: $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 youth 618, free for members and children under 6



Walden Pond

Walden Pond State Reservation includes 462 acres of protected open space so that visitors from near and far may come to experience the pond that inspired Henry Thoreau. In summer, the reservation is a popular swimming destination. In the spring and fall, many people hike the trails that ring the pond and visit the replica of Thoreau’s one-room cabin. Year-round interpretive programs and guided walks are offered as well as a gift shop, bookstore and the Tsongas gallery.

Hours: Open 8:00 a.m. until sunset

Cost: No admission charge; $5.00 parking fee

Concord and Lincoln


The Emerald Necklace

Boston’s Emerald Necklace consists of a 1,100-acre chain of nine parks linked by parkways and waterways. This linear sys
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