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Boston on a tight budget with teens

Irvine, California
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Boston on a tight budget with teens

Hello . we intend to come to your lovely city around middle of September. we have three very intelectual and sportive teens. they would prefer high-end attractions to attend as possible. we are also on a very tight budget so we need you kind help to plan ahed our visit and expenses.

please kindly advise what are the best free attractions you have. live music.festivals exhibitions ets. also if there is a special event not to be missed. so we can plan and put some budget for that. thank you so much - Tal

Boston
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1. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

What do you consider a "high end" attraction?

Massachusetts
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2. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Have you been to Boston before and do a have a particular interest... Walking the freedom trail is free... Boston is a fabulous walking city so put on your comfy shoes and explore. The tour of the USS constituion is free, the great hall at Fanueil Hall is beautiful and the national park service does a great lecture there. There is aa small military mseum above the great hall that is pretty interesting if you like that kind of thing. A couple of stops along the freedom trail do have admission but you can buy a freedom ticket for $ 13 and that will give you admission to the Old State House, Old South Meeting House and the Paul Reverse. I personally have really enjoyed the museum at the Old State House. Museum of Natural History at Harvard would be very interesting for teens and adults anad the admission is reasonal, I think $ 12 for adults and $10 for students. The 'new' State House also has docent led tours that are free and pretty well done. I think you may need a reservation,. You can take the ferry out to the harbor islands (which does have a fee) but the islands are great and you can bring along a picnic. MIT also has a well regarded techie museum but I do not know the cost off hand.

Boston, MA
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3. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

The weather in sept is usually quite nice. Business picks up after the summer lull. It can be a popular time for conventions. All these things combine to make for high hotel prices. If budget is a huge concern you might consider coming at a different time. January is the cheapest. The week before Christmas is lower cost. Even early November could be cheaper.

Sorry to be a downer but thought you should know before you book non refundable alflights or get too deep into planning. Your best bet is to find lodging now at a price you can live with that can be cancelled without penalty and then look for bargains in a month or two.

Now ... Hopefully you will tell me you have 5 million hotel points and will stay for free : )

Somerville...
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4. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Boston.com (a product of the Boston Globe) often runs a "ten things under $10" feature. You can also check the Boston Dig free magazine which has a listing of events and goings on often catered to the not-well-heeled.

Boston...
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5. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

If your kids are into sports, you should check out a Red Sox game. Definitely not cheap, but you could get bleacher seats for less money.

Cambridge...
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6. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Standing room only tickets for Red Sox games are about $20 a head I think, and if the game isn't that well attended you could probably find some empty seats by the 3rd or 4th inning. Not sure if bleacher seats would be any cheaper than that but its fun just to be at Fenway Park even if you can't sit the whole game.

Take the MBTA water shuttle to Charlestown from Long Wharf (near the New England Aquarium); its a cheap way ($3 per person) to get a water view of Boston, and it will get you to the USS Constitution.

Walk along the Charles River Esplanade. People watch in Harvard Square and walk the Harvard campus for free. People watch and window shop along Newbury Street in Boston. Take the MBTA subway system everywhere. Wednesday nights after 4pm, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston operates on a voluntary donation basis, so you can contribute what you want.

Irvine, California
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7. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

oh thank you so much !!!

very nice ideas and we surely will use them.

as we have only this option of travel we will do our best according to your suggestions

all the best - Tal.

Boston...
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8. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Hi Tal- my blog, Boston On Budget is all about fun and very affordable things to do in the city. I usually don't include events that are more than $10, unless it's a big discount on an expensive item. I also do a weekend round-up of events that are free/cheap for the weekend ahead, which will include special events. I have a page that includes all the big attractions and all the discounts too: http://bostononbudget.com/cheap-things-to-do/

The cheapest sox tickets are Upper Bleacher at $18, but you may be able to find them cheaper especially in September through sites like Ace Tickets or Stubhub. You could also do a tour of Fenway if the Sox are away while you are visiting. Boston is a very walkable city and there is so many things to do that don't cost a thing like the freedom trail, boston common, stroll on Newbury St., public gardens, people watch at faneuil hall, etc!

Boston...
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9. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Also not sure what high end" attractions are. My guess would be the Symphony, MFA,, tea at the Ritz etc. I don't associate them with budget travel... though you can get day of tickets for the Symphony. The MFA has a free night.

Free or close-to-free:

Walking around. Harvard Square. Faneuil Hall - Aquarium, Christopher Columbus Park. Bunker Hill Monument. Park Street- Copley Square. Newbury St./Mass Ave - Central Square Cambridge via the "Smoot" Bridge and MIT.

High-end window shopping on Charles Street, Copley Place, Newbury Street.

Hubway bikes are everywhere. Inexpensive to rent, but be careful in traffic.

It's early for universities to have plays running but check boston.com for events.

www.boston.com/thingstodo/?p1=GN_ThingsToDo

Universities may have free lectures or concerts. You never know. Worth checking.

Food ideas:

Check Groupon for Boston and see if you can find any deals when you go. Groupon has a lot of great restaurant deals. (You pay 20- for 40- worth of food, that sort of thing).

Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown has excellent food and a M-F lunch special: 3 dishes for 20-. The food is unbelievably fresh and good.

Also, Yamato Sushi near Boston College has all-you-can-eat sushi, if your kids like sushi. It's something like 15- per person for lunch, but all you can eat. They keep bringing it. The rule is that you have to finish whatever they bring out. Good way to fill up on healthy food.

Picante in Central Square has excellent inexpensive Mexican food.

There are also supermarkets downtown that you can visit to buy waters to carry or snacks or whatever to save money on food expenses.

Boston...
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10. Re: Boston on a tight budget with teens

Another thought about "high end"--- If you're in the bleachers at Fenway, it won't feel very high end! LOL. Anyone who's been in the bleachers can attest to that!

High end typically costs. That's what makes it high end.

You can have a lot of fun in Boston on short money.

You're doing the right thing to figure out ahead of time what you want to do and where to go.

Other free/cheap things to do:

Throw a frisbee on the Common

Jog along the Charles

Have a picnic on the Esplanade

Walk through Harvard Yard