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10 Boston Attractions That Won’t Break the Bank

Don’t get trapped inside by the winter weather. Check out these eight factory tours and museums around Boston that will get you up and out. Even though warm, indoor attractions are priceless on a cold day, it doesn’t hurt that these attractions are all $10 or less. Make sure to check the websites before you go for updated information about hours, availability and exhibits.  

Finagle a Bagel’s Bagel Museum – Auburndale, MA

Cost: FREE

Check out the factory where this bagel company has been making their products for 20 years. Besides bagels, Finagle a Bagel makes bialys, bagel chips and cream cheese. (Including maple and maple-bacon flavors!) Self-guided tours are open to the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

TIP: The best times to view mixing are on Monday, Wednesday & Friday and the best times to view baking are on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. 

Taza Chocolate Factory – Somerville, MA

Cost: $5

This small “bean-to-bar” operation produces 100% stone ground, Mexican-style organic dark chocolate. To get a closer look at the operation, take advantage of the tours Wednesday–Sunday every week. Reservations are required. To view availability and book your spot, click here.

TIP: Keep in mind that the factory does not manufacture on Saturdays and Sundays, so plan to go during the week if you want to see the machines in action. Free samples will be available no matter when you go!

Massachusetts State House Tour – Boston, MA

Cost: FREE

Ever wonder about that golden dome on Beacon Hill that is the Massachusetts State House? Then take a tour of the historic building to learn about its history and architectural background, including the very important Sacred Cod and the Holy Mackerel that hang in the public galleries.

TIP: Self-guided materials are available if you prefer to walk around the building on your own. Make sure to check out the cute shops of Charles Street, which ends between Boston Common and the Public Garden, while you’re in the Beacon Hill area.

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum – Lincoln, MA

Cost: FREE on the first Wednesday of every month, or $10 (with valid college ID).

The sculpture park exhibits modern and contemporary outdoor sculptures. The park, which spreads across 35 acres and displays approximately 65 sculptures at a given time, sits next to a large pond. The museum on the premise has both a permanent collection and rotating exhibits.

TIP: The museum is closed until for installation through January 26. Reduced admission to the sculpture park is offered during this period.

The Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library – Boston, MA

Cost: $4 (with valid college ID)

You have to see this three-story, painted-glass globe yourself to truly believe how cool it is. Visitors walk across a clear glass bridge that gives you a view of the world from every angle.

TIP: The Mapparium was renovated in 2002, the world map remains set in 1930’s history. Keep an eye out for USSR, colonized Africa and more.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum – Boston, MA

Cost: $10 (with valid college ID)

Visit one of only thirteen presidential libraries in the country to learn about both the political and personal sides of the 35th President of the United States.

TIP: The museum is located on the UMass Boston campus, which features scenic ocean views. If the weather is nice, then walk around outside and watch planes fly over your head on their way to Logan International Airport.

The Nichols House Museum – Boston, MA

Cost: $8

This house museum provides a glimpse into life on Beacon Hill during the 17th-19th centuries. As you move from room to room learning about the Nichols family, you will view ancestral portraits, oriental rugs, European and Asian art and works by the famous American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

TIP: If you like this house, then check out the Otis House, another national historic landmark in Boston.

Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation – Waltham, MA

Cost: $5

Located right in Brandeis’ backyard, the 1814 Boston Manufacturing Company textile mill is on the National Register of Historic Places as America’s first factory. Exhibits feature innovation and invention from the last two centuries. Learn about companies such as the Boston Manufacturing Company, The Orient Bicycle and Metz Company.

TIP: If the weather is nice, try to spot wildlife along the nearby Charles River Riverwalk.


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