As winter thaws and the city blooms, Boston transforms into a canvas painted with colors and bustling with energy. This city captured my heart and soul when I was in graduate school. I return often because I adore this city and its’ people, and now my oldest is attending the same school I did.

Here, I’ll help you navigate the best things to do in Boston in spring, which is my favorite time to visit.

Things to do in Boston in Spring

Things to Do in Boston in Spring

Here are my favorite activities, events, and hidden gems for making the most of spring in this historic city.

Outdoor Adventures in Boston

What outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Boston during spring?

1. The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long path through downtown Boston that passes 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Walking this trail in the spring lets you see the city as it comes alive after winter.

I’ve done this several times when my children were younger, sometimes parts of it and occasionally the entire thing. The U.S.S. Constitution has always been their favorite. We’ve also somehow managed a regular tradition of hiking up Bunker Hill Monument with ice cream as a reward for after.

The trail takes you past historic sites such as the Boston Common, the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old North Church, among others.

It’s a chance to enjoy the outdoors and immerse yourself in the rich history of the American Revolution with guided tours or self-guided walks using maps and apps if you’re so inclined.

2. Fenway Park

Catching a game here is a quintessential Boston experience, offering world-class baseball and a historic venue full of charm and tradition.

Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, and attending a Red Sox game provides the excitement of sports, the chance to enjoy classic ballpark fare, and the chance to explore the unique features of the stadium, including the famous Green Monster left-field wall.

3. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

The Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is a collection of islands offering various outdoor activities.

Accessible by ferry from downtown Boston, these islands provide a quick escape to nature. You can enjoy hiking, picnicking, fishing, and kayaking, among other activities.

The park’s opening in spring marks the beginning of a season full of exploration, adventure, and relaxation in one of the city’s most scenic natural areas.

4. The Public Garden

The garden is America’s first public botanical garden. In spring, it’s particularly enchanting with its colorful arrays of tulips and other blooming flowers.

The garden’s gorgeously maintained landscapes, including the famous Swan Boats operating in the lagoon, offer a picturesque and serene escape from the bustling city.

The Public Garden and Boston Common are adjacent landmarks in the heart of Boston, each offering unique experiences with a historic backdrop.

5.Boston Common

Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States, is a sweet space for picnics, strolls, and recreational activities. It’s a place where the community gathers to enjoy the milder weather, surrounded by the emerging beauty of spring. Also great for people watching!

6. Charles River Esplanade

I, like many locals, adore the Charles River Esplanade, an expansive green space along the Charles River in Boston. Miles of pathways ideal for walking, biking, or jogging provide stunning views of the Charles River and the city skyline.

The paths are lined with benches and picnic spots, making it a perfect place for outdoor activities or simply enjoying the scenic beauty.

One highlight of spring on the Esplanade is the blooming of cherry blossoms. The pink and white flowers create a truly mesmerizing and photogenic backdrop along the river.

Indoor Discoveries in Boston

Don’t let the occasional spring shower dampen your spirits. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a science enthusiast, Boston will provide a day well spent.

7. Museum of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is one of the largest museums in the United States, housing a diverse and expansive collection that spans continents and eras.

From Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art, the M.F.A. offers something for every taste. The museum’s extensive collection includes American art, European paintings, Asian and African art, prints and drawings, and textiles and fashion.

Special exhibitions are a regular feature, highlighting unique themes, artists, and cultural histories. The M.F.A. is not just a place to view art; it’s an institution that invites you to engage with art through lectures, workshops, and art classes, making it a dynamic cultural hub for all ages.

8. Museum of Science

Boston’s Museum of Science is a temple of discovery and innovation, offering interactive and educational exhibits that appeal to the curious mind.

The museum covers a wide range of scientific fields, including biology, physics, environmental science, and engineering. You can explore the wonders of the natural world, the marvels of the universe in the Charles Hayden Planetarium, and the latest technological advancements.

Highlights include live animal presentations, the Science Behind Pixar exhibition (subject to change), and the Butterfly Garden. The Museum of Science is more than just a rainy-day refuge. It’s where science comes to life, sparking curiosity and wonder.

9. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

The Boston Tea Party was a political protest by the Sons of Liberty, a response to the British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act because it violated their right to be taxed only by their elected representatives.

In defiance, they boarded three British ships and threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum offers a hands-on experience with one of the most pivotal events in American history, complete with tea-throwing demonstrations and replicas of the original ships.

Culinary Exploration

10. Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall

No visit to Boston is complete without a culinary adventure, and Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall is the place to be. This historic marketplace is brimming with food vendors serving local favorites, from clam chowder to lobster rolls, ensuring your taste buds are as delighted as your spirit.

Faneuil Hall, often called “the Cradle of Liberty,” has been a meeting hall and marketplace since 1743. It played a pivotal role in American history, hosting speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and other figures who encouraged independence from Great Britain.

Today, Faneuil Hall is part of the Boston National Historical Park and a stop on the Freedom Trail.

Adjacent to Faneuil Hall is Quincy Market, a historic market complex constructed in 1826 to accommodate the city’s growing demand for market space.

This structure, known for its Greek Revival architecture, houses a bustling food hall in the center, surrounded by various shops and eateries offering everything from local specialties to international cuisines.

The cobblestone promenades around Quincy Market are often filled with street performers, adding to the lively atmosphere.

My family and I have spent many days here exploring all there is to offer. We’ve often participated in the many impromptu street performances that pop up routinely. Our favorite so far has to be the Yo-Yo Man, though that was a very long time ago, and I’ve not seen him in a while.

Unusual Things to Do in Boston in Spring

Boston in the spring offers a unique blend of activities beyond traditional tourist attractions, allowing you and locals alike to explore the city’s quirky side.

11. Visit the Skinny House

Explore Boston’s narrowest house, located in the North End. This peculiar residence, known as the Skinny House, is a testament to Boston’s unique historical anecdotes and architectural oddities.

12. Take a Ghost Tour

With its rich history, Boston has its fair share of ghost stories. Spring evenings are a perfect time to join a ghost tour, exploring historic graveyards and haunted sites and learning about the city’s spookier side.

13. Explore the Mapparium

Visit the Mary Baker Eddy Library and see the Mapparium, a three-story, stained-glass globe where you can walk. This unique exhibit provides a three-dimensional perspective of the world as it was in 1935.

14. Discover the Ether Dome

Stop in at the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital for a truly unique experience. In this early surgical amphitheater, ether was first used as an anesthetic in 1846. The Dome also houses a small medical history museum, including historical artifacts and a mummy.

Free Things to Do in Boston in the Spring

Spring in Boston is a delightful time to explore the city without spending a dime.

Walk the Freedom Trail

As mentioned earlier, this 2.5-mile route passes 16 historically significant sites, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere’s House, and the Old North Church. It’s a great way to learn about American history while enjoying the spring weather.

Explore the Public Garden and Boston Common

Boston’s iconic green spaces are stunning in spring. Enjoy the blooming flowers, take a leisurely walk, or simply relax in these historic parks.

15. Visit the Arnold Arboretum

Part of Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum offers a vast collection of trees and plants. Spring is particularly magical, with flowering trees and bulbs in bloom. Free guided tours are available, or you can explore on your own.

16. Sam Adams Brewery Tour

While the tour is free (donations are suggested), it offers fascinating insight into the brewing process and includes free beer tastings for those of legal drinking age.

Walk Along the Charles River Esplanade

Enjoy panoramic views of the Charles River and the city skyline. Spring is the perfect time for a picnic or to simply watch the boats glide by.

17. Catch a Free Concert or Movie

The Berklee College of Music often hosts free concerts featuring its students. Additionally, the Boston Harbor Hotel and Hatch Shell on the Esplanade offer free movies and shows starting in late spring into the summer.

Visit the Bunker Hill Monument

Learn about the Battle of Bunker Hill, one of the first major battles of the American Revolutionary War. Climbing the monument offers a great workout and panoramic views of Boston.

Pro Tip: There’s usually an ice cream truck circling the area.

18. Art Galleries in the South End

On the first Friday of every month, many art galleries in Boston’s South End open their doors for free during the “SoWa First Fridays” event, showcasing a variety of artworks.

19. Explore the Boston Public Library

You can admire the impressive architecture of this historic building in Copley Square and enjoy free public tours that explore its art and architecture.

20. Participate in the Boston Marathon Spectator Festivities

If you’re in Boston in mid-April, join the crowds cheering on runners in the Boston Marathon. The energy and spirit of the event are contagious.

21. Window Shop on Newbury Street

While shopping here might not be free, window shopping along Boston’s most famous retail street is. Enjoy the spring weather as you stroll past boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Things to do in Boston in March

22. Boston Flower and Garden Show

The Boston Flower and Garden Show is a vibrant exhibition that heralds the arrival of spring with its stunning floral displays and gardening exhibits. It caters to gardening lovers and those simply looking to enjoy the beauty of elaborate garden designs.

You can expect to see a variety of displays, from intricate landscape gardens to miniature and container gardens, all showcasing the latest trends in gardening and landscape design.

23. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Boston has a significant Irish population, and their St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the largest and most entertaining in the country. Celebrate with floats, music, a road race and Irish pride in South Boston. Don’t forget to wear your green!

Things to do in Boston in April

The Boston Marathon

One of the city’s best spring events is the Boston Marathon. Held on Patriots’ Day in April, it brings together participants and spectators from around the globe. For those attending, securing a spot on the marathon route early in the day ensures a good view of this inspiring race.

24. Patriots’ Day Reenactments

Celebrate the start of the American Revolution with reenactments of the Battles of Lexington and Concord and Paul Revere’s Ride, especially poignant in historic areas around Boston.

Boston International Film Festival

If you love film, you can enjoy screenings of independent films from around the world at this festival. There’s plenty to see and do for all ages and the people watching is fantastic.

Things to do in Boston in May

25. Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum

Celebrate the blooming of over 370 lilac plants, typically around Mother’s Day. It’s the only day of the year picnicking is allowed in the Arboretum.

26. Boston Calling Music Festival

This major outdoor music festival (subject to annual scheduling) features a lineup of big-name bands and artists across multiple stages.

27. Memorial Day Activities

Honor the nation’s veterans with Memorial Day parades and ceremonies. The Boston Common Flag Garden is poignant, with thousands of American flags planted in memory of Massachusetts service members.

Practical Tips for Spring Visits

When is spring in Boston?

Boston’s Spring weather can be unpredictable, with warm days suddenly giving way to cooler temperatures. Layering is essential, so pack light and warm clothing, and remember a waterproof jacket for those unexpected showers.

Navigating the City

Boston is best explored on foot or by public transportation. The city’s compact nature makes it perfect for walking. Still, the MBTA offers convenient subway and bus services for longer distances.

Don’t hesitate to venture beyond downtown to discover the charming neighborhoods that give Boston its unique character.

Boston is renowned for being “America’s Walking City,” thanks to its pedestrian-friendly layout and significant historical sites that are easily accessible on foot.

Public Transit: The MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), known locally as the “T,” provides comprehensive public transportation services, including subway, bus, commuter rail, and ferry services.

Biking

Boston has become increasingly bike-friendly, with dedicated bike lanes and the Bluebikes share program, which offers a convenient and eco-friendly way to get around. The city’s layout and scenic paths along the Charles River make biking enjoyable for commuting and leisure.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about visiting the beautiful city of Boston.

Is spring a good time to visit Boston?

Yes, spring in Boston is beautiful with blooming flowers and milder weather, perfect for exploring outdoor historical sites and parks.

Is Boston worth visiting in April?

Absolutely, April in Boston offers the chance to experience the city’s vibrant springtime bloom and the Boston Marathon.

Is Boston good for spring break?

Yes, Boston is great for spring break with its rich history, cultural attractions, and lively dining scene despite unpredictable weather.

Should I visit Boston in March?

March can be chilly and unpredictable, but it’s a good time to experience St. Patrick’s Day festivities with fewer crowds.

Final Thoughts

Spring in Boston is a time of renewal and celebration, offering endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.

Whether you’re marveling at the beauty of the Public Garden, experiencing the thrill of the Boston Marathon, or savoring fresh seafood, your spring visit to Boston is bound to be unforgettable.