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Things to Do near MIT

Cool places to explore around MIT and CambridgeThings to Do near MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The MIT campus is located in Cambridge, MA - about a 15 minute walk across the Charles River from Boston.  Harvard Bridge (ironic, right?), is the longest bridge over the Charles River at 2,164.8 feet, (or 364.4 smoots).  If you are looking for some fun things to do nearby, here's a few of our favorites to explore while you are in the area.


MIT Museum

A showcase for MIT innovation — past, present, and future The MIT Museum is located in Kendall square in Cambridge. The main gallery features a host of science and tech exhibits.  We love the kinetic machines and the holograms upstairs.

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Explore 12,000 specimens drawn from Harvard’s vast research collections at the University's most visited museum -- dinosaurs, meteorites, gemstones, and animals from around the globe. Harvard Museum of Natural History frequent hosts family programs, lectures and classes and offers free admission to MA residents on Sundays from 10-12pm.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

RIght next door, Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is one of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology. The Museum offer regular family exploration program and is also free on Sunday mornings for Mass. residents.

Anytime is a great time to get out and explore all of the wonderful Boston Museums.  Here's a quick roundup of some of our favorite can't miss venues. Most offer discounts to college students with an ID, and MA residents can obtain passes via their local library.

Neighborhoods to visit in Cambridge

  • Central Square: international restaurants and music clubs
  • Harvard Square: bookstores and street performers; plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants
  • Inman Square: restaurants, bars, and coffee houses 
  • Kendall Square: Home to MIT; center of the high-tech and biotechnology industries in Massachusetts
  • Porter Square: the region’s largest concentration of Japanese eateries and shops
  • Davis Square: vibrant arts community and many shops, bars, and restaurants

Exploring Boston

Free Things to Do in Boston

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy quite a bit of what Boston has to offer. Some of the best things in Boston really are free (or almost free).  Enjoy our helpful guide to some of the best free things to do in Boston - which is music to college student ears. 

Stacey Sao | Lawn on D swings Boston

photo credit: BostonCentral

Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is the oldest public park in the country, with swan-boat rides in the park's lagoon, beautiful winding paths and impressive gardens.  Lots of benches to sit and relax.  Visitors and locals alike will enjoy the stately and mature specimen trees, sculptures like Make Way for Ducklings, fountains and more 

photo courtesy of Friends of the Public Garden

Boston Common

Boston Common is Boston, Massachusetts' most famous public park and the oldest city park in the United States, dating as far back as 1634. It is 50 acres in size.  This space is open for all to use for formal or informal gatherings, or just to enjoy the park and its surroundings.

photo credit: Kyle Klein

Summer is a great time to think about heading to the beach!  There are actually quite a few beaches in Boston, and then, of course, there are some favorites that you must try on the north and south shores.  Nothing beats a great day at a Boston beach!

Things to do in Boston on a Rainy Day 

When it rains, or snows, or sleets in Boston, it's helpful to know about fun things to do indoors, so you can still enjoy the day.  Rainy day activities in Boston can actually be great options on any day - but sometimes the weather just calls for indoor activities. 

Boston Museums

Anytime is a great time to get out and explore all of the wonderful Museums in Boston.  Here's a quick roundup of some of our favorite can't miss venues. Most offer discounts to college students with an ID.

photo credit: BostonCentral

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is located right across the street from Northeastern.   Area college students and participants in the University Membership program receive free admission. 

The museum features a number of visiting exhibits throughout the year along with its rich collection of permanent works.  In addition, you can attend a variety of workshops, tours, classes and special events, like, outdoor summer concerts and  free movie nights during the summer. 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

One of our favorite hidden gems, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is located just a few blocks from the MFA on Fenway Court.   Admission for College Students with ID is just $10, and admission is free to visitors under 17 and anyone named' Isabella'.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway

The 17 acre green ribbon of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway ("The Greenway") is a true treasure to the city of Boston.  

Born of the Big Dig that sank major highways beneath the city, the Greenway winds its way 1.5 miles through downtown Boston.  There are lots of things to see and do along Greenway, including rotating art installations, Food trucks, a carousel, Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market, The Boston Waterfront, and lots more.

The Lawn on D

The Lawn on D is an urban park oasis for all ages near the Boston convention center. The park features art installations, live music, a tented food area, very cool LED illuminated circular (think glowing) swings, and so much more. The park attracts many young people in the area due to its cool features.

A great way to spend an afternoon is to catch the water taxi to visit Charlestown and enjoy a visit to Old Ironsides, The Anchor at Navy Yard Park, and Bunker Hill Monument.  Our favorite way to do this is to walk over the bridge from the North End, and then take the water taxi back to long wharf.  But you can take the water taxi both ways, as that just makes the adventure even more fun.

photo credit: Brandon Turner

Boston is totally a college town, and there are lots of quadrants of Boston to explore.  Find out more about things you can do near Boston University, check out some things to do near Northeastern University, pop up to Medford on the red line to see what's happening near Tufts University, or head out to Chestnut Hill to see what you can do near Boston College or Waltham for things to do near Brandeis University in our handy guides.

Students can also take advantage taking one of many Daytrips from Boston.  Some of our favorites include (to the north) Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, (to the south) World's End in Hingham, (to the east) Provincetown via fast ferry, and (to the west) Purgatory Chasm State Park to name just a few.

photo credit: BostonCentral (Worlds End)

During the warmer months, there are lots of great things to do outdoors in Boston, including state & urban parks, miles of waterfront, taking a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands or kayaking along the Charles River, to name just a few. 

During the winter, the world is your oyster with lots of outdoor ice skating venues, plus there over 30 ski resorts near Boston within just a 1-3 hour drive.

photo courtesy of Crotched Mountain

Also, the IKEA nearest to Boston area colleges is located in Stoughton, MA, about an hour south of Boston. As you can imagine, it's a popular place in late summer & early fall when college students come back to the area in droves.  It's best to do your shopping early, or order it online prior to the rush.

There are many cool things to do for young adults in Boston, so  whether you are celebrating the end of a work week or the end of midterm exams, weekends are brimming with promise for Boston’s 20-something crowd. 

For more ideas about things to do in Boston, visit our insider guides and our Boston events calendar to stay in the know. 

stacey saoStacey Sao has been the Managing Director of the family-friendly events and activities website, BostonCentral for almost 20 years.  She continues to enjoy discovering and exploring new places to visit in the Greater Boston area.