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Free fun for families around Boston

Posted by Jen Clark Estes  March 1, 2013 08:48 AM

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Kristi Palma/Boston.com staff

Families waiting in line at the Museum of Fine Arts for a free open house on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January.

Who doesn't like free? Throughout the year there are plenty of venues in and around Boston that open their doors and eschew admission fees on select days. Here are a few to consider:

"Pots & Pans for Passes!" Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Through March 10, bring soup pots, frying pans, stock pots, sauté pans or other varieties and get 2 passes for that day or a future visit. Donations go to Household Goods Recycling of MA, who collect items and give them for free to people in need. www.discoverymuseums.org

Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. Free, or by voluntary donation, every Wednesday, 4 - 9:45 p.m. The museum also has several free open house days each year. www.mfa.org

Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. Free for all from 5 - 9 p.m. every Thursday for ICA Free Thursday Nights. Free for families (up to 2 adults accompanied by children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of each month with the exception of December. www.icaboston.org

Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. Free to Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning, year-round, from 9 a.m. - noon, and on Wednesdays, Sept. - May, from 3-5 p.m. Proof of residency required. www.hmnh.harvard.edu

MIT Museum, Building N51, 265 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. Free admission 5 - 8 p.m. on the second Friday of each month, and on Sundays from 10 a.m. - noon, excluding April 14 & 21, 2013. www.web.mit.edu/museum/

Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. Free admission on the first Friday of each month 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. www.discoverymuseums.org

Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. Free admission 10 a.m. - noon on the first Saturday of each month. Under 17 free daily. www.worcesterart.org

Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St., Providence, RI. Free admission on select "MetLife Family Fridays" from 5-8 p.m. Check calendar for dates. www.childrenmuseum.org

USS Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard. Take a free tour of this legendary vessel every 30 minutes, Tues. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 5:50 p.m. Last tour starts at 4:30pm. For security, ages 17 and over must present a valid photo ID. www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution

Massachusetts State House, Beacon St. at Park St., Boston. Take a free 30-45 min. tour of the State House any weekday between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Closed on weekends and holidays. Reservations required. www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail

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Kids-eat-free deals around Boston
Save even more money by taking the kids out to eat at a restaurant where kids eat free! We've rounded up plenty of kids-eat-free deals happening in and around Boston each week. (Photo: iStockphoto.com)

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Welcome to Parent Buzz, where you can read about and discuss the hot parenting issues of the day, find family-friendly events in Boston and beyond, and get parenting tidbits and tips.

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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