Free Things to Do in Boston, March

Including free maple syrup, makeup, and everything St. Patrick's Day, here are 11 things you can do in the city this month without breaking the bank.

free things to do in boston march

Photo via Groundwork Somerville

Though curling up in blankets on your couch and watching TV these last few months didn’t cost you much, March is here, and it’s time to rejoin the real world. This month brings with it plenty of free activities, from maple syrup to St. Patrick’s Day. Shake off that winter hibernation and get out and about—without breaking the bank, of course.

Maple Syrup Boil Down

If you’re still hankering for winter season sweetness, then bring back memories of tree-tapping, winter cabins, and cups of hot chocolate at this maple syrup festival. Learn how sap from local sugar maple trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire at this free event. This year’s festival will include demonstrations, syrup tastings, and plenty of games and events for the kids. At 11 a.m. and noon, Animal Farm will put on half-hour, interactive shows with music and jokes for children of all ages. While the event is free, waffles, T-shirts, syrup, and hot chocolate will be on sale at the event.

Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Somerville Community Growing Center, 22 Vinal Ave., 617-628-9988,

SMFA Graduate Open Studios

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts is giving you the chance to speak with more than 150 students at the school and take a look at pieces they are working on. Because this event is volunteer-based and organized by the artists, you get to see behind the scenes of the art at the school for free. From print-making to sculpture to performance pieces, the open studios will give you a chance to see the interdisciplinary and self-directed innovation that drives the SMFA.

Friday-Saturday, March 8-9, SMFA Mission Hill Building, 160 St. Alphonsus Street, 617-369-3605,

A Taste of Iceland in Boston

It’s come to that point in winter when any mention of ice has us cringing, but fear not, this kind of ice has nothing to do with the weather. The annual cultural celebration Iceland Naturally returns to Boston this month with plenty of free activities celebrating Icelandic culture. Reykjavik Calling brings two Boston artists together with two Icelandic counterparts, encouraging creative collaboration unlike anything else seen in the music world—and for free, nonetheless, at Paradise Rock Club. Paired with a film festival and art exhibit at the Revere Hotel with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Grand Opening, this event brings a myriad of free options for you to take advantage of this month.

Friday-Tuesday, March 8-12, various locations, Iceland Naturally, 646-282-9360,

Annual Figure Skating Exhibition at MIT

Watch members of MIT’s Figure Skating Club and special local guests spin and glide at their year-end exhibition, free and open to the general public. This is a perfect family event where you and the kids can see what the club has been working on all season as they perform ice dances, group and pair numbers, and freestyle ice shows.

Sunday, March 10, 2-4 p.m., Johnson Athletic Center, 77 Massachusetts Ave, 617-253-1000, 

Ultimate Bootcamp Workshop

Have you always wanted to try bootcamp, but have never been willing to fork over the high prices or commit to multiple classes without knowing what you were getting yourself into? This month, shake all those worries and try this one-time clinic offered by Ultimate Bootcamp. From full-body conditioning to cardio drills and more, this one-hour free workshop on the Boston Common lawn will be sure to get you sweating. Registration is required.

Wednesday, March 13, 6-7 a.m., Boston Common, Boylston St. and Charles St., 617-635-4505, also available in Framingham and Cambridge,  

Drinking Boston: A History of the City and Its Spirits Author Talk

Judging by the sheer number of bars in the city, Boston residents sure know how to drink. At this free event, author Stephanie Schorow breaks down the role that drinking has played in our city’s history, from the Prohibition to neon nightclubs. Listen to Schorow’s talk about the politics, reform, and freedom that swirls around in every cocktail glass and the neighborhood barrooms and innovative hot spots that comprise drinking in Boston.

Thursday, March 14, 6-8 p.m., Central Library in Copley Square, 617-536-5400, 700 Boylston St., 

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt with Curious George

If you’re looking for a calmer St. Patrick’s Day celebration for the children, consider this scavenger hunt with Curious George. The kids can search for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with Curious George at The World’s Only Curious George Store. Following clues to answer St. Patty’s Day riddles, your children will certainly get their curiosity fix at this free event.

Saturday, March 16, 3-4:30 p.m., The World’s Only Curious George Store, 1 JFK St., 617-547-4500,

St Patrick’s Day Parade: Everyone knows that Boston, assuming you can’t be in Ireland itself, is the place to be for St. Patrick’s Day, and the annual parade brings Bostonians together for the second largest parade in the country. Come out and show your rowdy Boston spirit on the three-mile route through South Boston brings together all ages to celebrate with Star Wars Characters, music, clowns, politicians, and more.

Sunday, March 17, South Boston, 781-436-3377,

Irish Heritage Trail

Give in to the month of St. Patrick’s Day and embrace the Irish heritage that Boston has to offer by taking a historical trip along the Irish Heritage Trail. Though you can take a guided tour for a fee in the summer, free self-guided tour brochures are available at the Boston Common Visitor’s Center or at the Prudential Center. Beginning at the Rose Kennedy Garden and winding through the city all the way to the beloved Fenway Park, this tour walks the most experienced Bostonian and first-time visitor alike through 300 years of Irish heritage in the city.

Various sites in Boston, 617-696-9880,

Free Film Fridays at the Museum of Science

With movie ticket prices skyrocketing, a Friday afternoon movie has become a pricey activity. Thanks to the Museum of Science, however, all films at the Mugar Omni Theater at the museum are free on Fridays this month. You and your children can swim through the ocean’s coral reefs, explore the deep, dark depths beneath your feet in the Earth’s caves, or breeze through the Serengeti on New England’s only dome IMAX screen, all without having to open your wallet.

Fridays in March, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, 617-723-2500, 

Make Up For Ever Make Up Bag Remix Tour

Revamp your style for the spring season with Make Up For Ever’s Make Up Bag Remix tour. Bring in your makeup bag and professional make-up artists will work with you to sift through that makeup you never use and teach you how to apply what you already own. The best part about it? Everything offered at the Boston stop of this national event is free, unless you decide to purchase something at the event. You’ll even go home with a complimentary Pro Finish sample matched to you.

Saturday-Sunday, March 23-24, The Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., 617-236-3100,