Boston Harbor Islands’ Free Ferry Day Returns This Weekend

Celebrate the 50th anniversary with a trip to the islands, on the house.

Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

We’ve been saying it for years: More people really ought to take advantage of the Boston Harbor Islands, what with their scenic beaches and hikes, historic sites, and bird-spotting opportunities galore.

And if you’re looking for a great excuse to experience all that outdoor fun this weekend, here’s a great excuse to do so: You can get there for free.

That’s right, Free Ferry Day is set to return on Saturday, May 21. Three separate round trips to Spectacle or Georges islands will leave from Long Wharf North beginning at 8 a.m. Tickets are first-come-first-served, and max out at five tickets per group. If you head down to that area early (which you should, because these things always sell out), you and the kids can enjoy a bevy of activities including arts and music.

It’s a big year for the Harbor Islands, which, in 2022, is celebrating both the 25th anniversary of becoming a national park, and the 50th anniversary of becoming a state park. So there are a bunch of special events planned throughout the year that you can check out as well.

This isn’t your only chance to save on a trip: Boston Harbor Cruises has a variety of free and discounted ticket programs, including a free Harbor Pass for underserved populations, $4 tickets for EBT and WIC users, half-price deals on certain Fridays, and a two-for-one ticket offer available at libraries.

Full-price fares are $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children, and free for kids under 3. You can also buy a five-trip pass for $100.

It’s shaping up to be quite the weekend for a trip on the water: The forecast currently calls for temps cresting 90 degrees. Which is pretty hot! But nothing a bit of sea breeze free-of-charge can’t fix!