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15 free things to do on Black Friday in Boston

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There are a ton of other things to do in Boston the Friday after Thanksgiving besides shopping. And a lot of those things are absolutely free. Here are 15 options for you and your guests.

The best part is that the majority of these are in easy traveling distance of one another. So move away from the cash register and toward a variety of parks, museums, monuments, and even a brewery.

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U.S.S. Constitution

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The Navy's oldest commissioned ship, "Old Ironsides" is currently being reclad. Visitors can still board it as well as check out the neighboring museum dedicated to the heavy frigate first launched in 1797. Admission is free, though there is a suggested donation.

Boston Common

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America's oldest public park dates from way, way back in 1634. Its 50 acres are inviting in even the chilliest months, with a number of statues and monuments for perusal well as plenty of food options and places to sit. Plus! The Frog Pond is now open for ice-skating. Those under 58 inches can glide for free, with a small charge for everyone else.

Boston Public Garden

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The lusher, quieter neighbor of the Common dates from the early 19th century and includes 24 acres of statuary, flowers, foliage, and assorted other plantings as well as plenty of bench seating.

Faneuil Hall Building

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Everyone's favorite market venue and assembly hall is open to perusing pedestrians throughout the weekend, including Black Friday. The site dates from the 1740s and was significantly updated the following century. Bonus: It's in easy walking distance to so much else in the city.

Newbury Street

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The Back Bay drag is probably the choicest spot for window-shopping in all of Boston. The goods inside are not free, of course, but the stroll (and the people-watching) are.

The Shops at Prudential Center

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Like Newbury Street, the Shops at Prudential Center present an excellent opportunity for window-shopping and people-watching. The mall is also primarily indoors, so there's heat. And plenty of places to sit.

Bunker Hill Monument

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The 221-foot obelisk was dedicated and opened in 1843 to commemorate the June 1775 battle of the same name, the first major fight of the Revolutionary War. Visitors can climb all the way to the tip-top for some nice Charlestown views and then recover on the sloping lawn afterward. The related museum across the street is also free.

The Freedom Trail

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This 2.5-mile trail, delineated by a red-brick ribbon, is probably your best bet for a free and fun (and invigorating) activity. It runs to 16 historically significant sites in and around Boston, most having to do with the foundation of America.

Massachusetts State House

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Visitors can take free 30- to 45-minute tours of the federal-style masterpiece from the early 19th century. The tours includes stops in both legislative chambers and a look at the "Sacred Cod."

Arnold Arboretum

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Admission to the 281-acre expanse that Harvard University runs is free, though donations are appreciated. See some of the most lovingly curated plant life in any American city and learn something, too.

Samuel Adams Brewery

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The approximately one-hour tours of the nation's most prominent small-scale brewery (compared with the likes of Bud, Miller, etc.) takes you through the brewing process and much of the history of the Sam Adams brand. Tours are free, though a $2 donation is appreciated (it goes toward charity).

Boston Public Library

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The formidable Charles Follen McKim designed the Beaux Arts-Renaissance Revival hybrid, which was completed in 1895 and serves as the main hub of the city's library system. It is probably the most beautiful building of its kind in the U.S., and it is quiet.

The Old North Church

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You know this 18th-century landmark as the "one if by land, and two if by sea" signaling site for Paul Revere. It's also the oldest standing church building in Boston. Admission is free, though a $3 donation is appreciated for basic tours.

Massachusetts Historical Society

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The society is just what it sounds like: a delightful repository for some 225 years (and counting) of locally focused history. Its library is closed on Black Friday, but its galleries are open.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway

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Born of the sinking of the Central Artery last decade (a.k.a. the Big Dig), the Greenway snakes its way 1.5 miles through downtown Boston and comes with a number of fountains, memorials, seating areas, and public art. It's about 15 acres total.

U.S.S. Constitution

The Navy's oldest commissioned ship, "Old Ironsides" is currently being reclad. Visitors can still board it as well as check out the neighboring museum dedicated to the heavy frigate first launched in 1797. Admission is free, though there is a suggested donation.

Boston Common

America's oldest public park dates from way, way back in 1634. Its 50 acres are inviting in even the chilliest months, with a number of statues and monuments for perusal well as plenty of food options and places to sit. Plus! The Frog Pond is now open for ice-skating. Those under 58 inches can glide for free, with a small charge for everyone else.

Boston Public Garden

The lusher, quieter neighbor of the Common dates from the early 19th century and includes 24 acres of statuary, flowers, foliage, and assorted other plantings as well as plenty of bench seating.

Faneuil Hall Building

Everyone's favorite market venue and assembly hall is open to perusing pedestrians throughout the weekend, including Black Friday. The site dates from the 1740s and was significantly updated the following century. Bonus: It's in easy walking distance to so much else in the city.

Newbury Street

The Back Bay drag is probably the choicest spot for window-shopping in all of Boston. The goods inside are not free, of course, but the stroll (and the people-watching) are.

The Shops at Prudential Center

Like Newbury Street, the Shops at Prudential Center present an excellent opportunity for window-shopping and people-watching. The mall is also primarily indoors, so there's heat. And plenty of places to sit.

Bunker Hill Monument

The 221-foot obelisk was dedicated and opened in 1843 to commemorate the June 1775 battle of the same name, the first major fight of the Revolutionary War. Visitors can climb all the way to the tip-top for some nice Charlestown views and then recover on the sloping lawn afterward. The related museum across the street is also free.

The Freedom Trail

This 2.5-mile trail, delineated by a red-brick ribbon, is probably your best bet for a free and fun (and invigorating) activity. It runs to 16 historically significant sites in and around Boston, most having to do with the foundation of America.

Massachusetts State House

Visitors can take free 30- to 45-minute tours of the federal-style masterpiece from the early 19th century. The tours includes stops in both legislative chambers and a look at the "Sacred Cod."

Arnold Arboretum

Admission to the 281-acre expanse that Harvard University runs is free, though donations are appreciated. See some of the most lovingly curated plant life in any American city and learn something, too.

Samuel Adams Brewery

The approximately one-hour tours of the nation's most prominent small-scale brewery (compared with the likes of Bud, Miller, etc.) takes you through the brewing process and much of the history of the Sam Adams brand. Tours are free, though a $2 donation is appreciated (it goes toward charity).

Boston Public Library

The formidable Charles Follen McKim designed the Beaux Arts-Renaissance Revival hybrid, which was completed in 1895 and serves as the main hub of the city's library system. It is probably the most beautiful building of its kind in the U.S., and it is quiet.

The Old North Church

You know this 18th-century landmark as the "one if by land, and two if by sea" signaling site for Paul Revere. It's also the oldest standing church building in Boston. Admission is free, though a $3 donation is appreciated for basic tours.

Massachusetts Historical Society

The society is just what it sounds like: a delightful repository for some 225 years (and counting) of locally focused history. Its library is closed on Black Friday, but its galleries are open.

The Rose Kennedy Greenway

Born of the sinking of the Central Artery last decade (a.k.a. the Big Dig), the Greenway snakes its way 1.5 miles through downtown Boston and comes with a number of fountains, memorials, seating areas, and public art. It's about 15 acres total.