15 Free Things to Do in Brookline, MA

Free Things to Do in Brookline, MA
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Brookline is a community in Norfolk County in eastern Massachusetts and the birthplace of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy.

It’s one of the biggest towns in New England and mainly a fully-developed suburban, residential community society with urban characteristics.

This district became a part of Boston in 1638 and was known as Muddy River until its incorporation as a town of Suffolk county in 1705.

It was an agricultural region in the 17th century and eventually became a Boston streetcar suburb during the 19th century.

Brookline has many significant historic places that locals and visitors shouldn’t miss.

You’ll never regret visiting these places, so get ready to check out the free things to do in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Explore the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site

Exterior of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
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This lovely historical site started because of the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted.

He constructed pastoral and photographic sceneries to relieve stress caused by urban living, giving rise to the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

Olmsted designed some of the nation’s great parks, including the Niagara Reservation New York State Park and Yosemite National Park.

Facade of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
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Check out Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site’s substantial archival collection, including 66,000 photographs and 140,000 plans and drawings.

Discover Fairsted with historic photos and see its transition in over 100 years.

Fairsted is the name of Olmsted’s property in Brookline, located on Warren Street.

Interior of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
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Get a Spectacular View of Boston and Cambridge at Corey Hill Outlook

If you want to see breathtaking views of Boston and Cambridge, head straight to Corey Hill Outlook.

This lovely park is branched in two by Summit Avenue, where mature maple and oak trees line both edges of the street, detailing the park's sides.

The southern section has the playground, allowing your kids to run and play, while on the northern part is a sundial and huge open inclined lawn.

The sundial memorial is dedicated to the former town treasurer, Shirley Sidd.

There are benches, picnic tables, a water play area for the kids, and walkways if you want some leisure walking.

Located on Summit Avenue, Corey Hill Outlook is a family-friendly park where you can relax and enjoy the day.

Explore Larz Anderson Park

A schoolhouse at Larz Anderson Park
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Formerly known as the Larz Anderson estate, this place is now the biggest park in Brookline.

Larz Anderson Park is located on Goddard Ave. and Newton St. and consists of massive lawn areas at the top of the hill, extensive slopes, and various playing fields.

You can also have excellent views of Boston at the highest point of the estate where it lies.

The grassy slopes allow you and your family a good spot for sledding, observing stars, or watching sunsets and sunrise.

Fly a kite with your kids, keep running on the slopes, and play tag.

You’ll find the remnants of Carriage House in Larz Anderson Park, which also houses the Museum of Transportation.

Visit the Dutch House

Exterior of the Dutch House
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This beautiful building is one of the reused structures built for the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Dutch architect Guillaume Wyuen designed the Dutch House based on the 1591 town hall in Franker, Holland.

Captain Charles Brooks Appleton of Brookline bought the structure after the Fair, deconstructed and moved it to Brookline.

It houses the Van Houten Cocoa Company of the Netherlands and serves as a display pavilion and a cocoa house.

Located on Netherlands Road, the Dutch House was a perfunctory assembly as part of the World’s Fair.

The Fair was known as the White City, described in the excellent book Devil in the White City.

Explore Nature at Hall's Pond Sanctuary

The Brookline Conservation Commission takes care of the Hall's Pond Sanctuary, one of the natural ponds in Brookline.

You’ll find wetlands, a pond, a formal garden area, an upland area, and a short trail with swamp overlooks that envelop the pond in the sanctuary.

There’s also a prolific growth of different trees, vines, and bushes, providing a brilliant environment for wildlife seldom seen in an urban setting.

Amory Woods was integrated into the pond, with a small wetland, a gazebo, and a nature trail that even handicapped people can access.

The Hall's Pond Sanctuary is located on Amory Street as a plant and animal habitat, passive exploration, and environmental education.

Check Out the Brooklyn Reservoir Park

The waters of Reservoir Park
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Originally constructed to supply drinking water to Boston, the Brooklyn Reservoir Park was once a low-lying pasture land with a marsh in the middle and a stream running through it.

The property is an artificial body of water roughly a mile around.

You can walk or jog on the track that encircles the reservoir, but you can’t swim or skate on the property.

A building at Reservoir Park
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You can fish on the reservoir with permission from the Town’s Clerk Office.

Headquartered on Boylston St. UNIT 504, Brooklyn Reservoir Park, visit the Brooklyn Reservoir Park and marvel at its granite gatehouse.

Bring Your Kids to the Brookline Avenue Playground

Brookline Avenue Playground is situated in North Brookline at Aspinwall Avenue and Brookline Avenue’s corner.

The last renovation of this four-acre park was in 1994, which was relatively flat during that time.

Likewise, the Brookline Avenue Playground used to have a big athletic field and a fenced playground near Lynch Center as well as an open lawn within the play area.

Amenities include a baseball field, picnic tables, a water play area, and benches.

Kids can play on the playground while you let your dog play in the Green Dog Park or take a relaxing walk on the trails.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Make the most of your trip and visit places near Brookline.

Find historic places and destinations where you can learn and enjoy at no cost.

Walk the Boston Women's Heritage Trail

Sculptures at Boston Women's Heritage Trail
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For several years, the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail (BWHT) hustled to re-establish women to their appropriate place in Boston's history.

They're also recognized in the school curriculum by relaying information about women who contributed to the City of Boston.

The women of Boston have always played a key role in shaping history, whether as artists, writers, feminists, patriots, scholars, or advocates.

Explore the trail and learn about each neighborhood, such as the Back Bay East Walk, Back Bay West Walk, Beacon Hill Walk, Chinatown/South Cove Walk, Downtown Walk, and East Boston, to name a few.

Located on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail allows you to walk the streets where the historical women of Boston walked.

You can find the trail in Boston, Massachusetts, 11 minutes from Brookline.

Visit the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum

In 2007, Boston opened its newest museum to the public to mark the official beginning of  Brighton's year-long Bicentennial celebration.

The Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum becomes a permanent institution that will provide history's visionary interpretations in one of Boston's most varied and exciting neighborhoods.

You can check the museum's two major exhibitions: Gallery A and Inner Gallery.

Gallery A holds a permanent exhibition that emphasizes the historical themes of Brighton and Allston's diverse and rich history.

Meanwhile, the Inner Gallery devoted the "The Winship Gallery" to honor the family who started the cattle trade and horticulture, both Brighton and Allston industries.

Both exhibition galleries indicate that Brighton and Allston's past events and personalities helped forge the current residential and commercial capital.

Located on Chestnut Hill Avenue in Boston, the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions associated with the heritage of Allston and Brighton.

Reach this historical museum in just 12 minutes from Brookline.

Learn History at the Bunker Hill Monument

Daytime view of Bunker Hill Monument
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The Bunker Hill Monument is an engineering wonder; it opened at a national event on June 17, 1843.

The structure was the tallest tower in the US, standing at 221 feet high until the Washington Monument was built in 1880.

You can climb the 294 stairs to the observation platform, which remains a favorite way to see the Bunker Hill Monument, which receives 330,000 visitors annually.

Close view of Bunker Hill Monument
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The monument was the primary public pillar commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill.

However, the battle was misnamed because most of the fight happened on Breed's Hill, where the monument stands.

Located on Monument Square in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the Bunker Hill Monument is 18 minutes from Brookline.

Aerial view of Bunker Hill Monument
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Let Your Kids Play at the Franklin Park Playstead

Frederick Law Olmsted designed Franklin Park Playstead in 1886 for recreational purposes.

As the finest playground exclusively for children's use, this place is a spacious and actively used sports area.

The Playstead held elephant exhibits for the Park Zoo and the victory gardens following World War II.

This recreational and play park has two softball diamonds for soccer, cricket, rugby, football, and baseball.

You can also play on either one of the basketball courts or two tennis courts.

Don't forget to bring snacks to the picnic grove in the southeast corner close to the Zoo entrance.

Franklin Park Playstead is on Pierpont Road in Boston, just 14 minutes from Brookline.

Remember the Victims at New England Holocaust Memorial

Daytime view of New England Holocaust Memorial
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The New England Holocaust Memorial serves as a symbol of memory and hope that commemorates the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust and values the survivors.

The site provides a one a kind opportunity for the recollection of the significance of human rights.

Holocaust survivor Stephan Ross founded the project to facilitate recognition, contemplation, and hope.

Marker at New England Holocaust Memorial
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The spires stand at over 50 feet, inscribed with figures representing the six million Jews who died in the tragedy.

The New England Holocaust Memorial is located on Union Street in Boston, 16 minutes from Brookline.

A person approaching the New England Holocaust Memorial
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Explore the Waterworks Museum

The steam engines at the Waterworks Museum in Boston are its centerpiece.

It contains three preserved foremost steam-driven water pumps that run on coals, monuments to 19th-century mechanization and innovation.

These water pumps--Allis, Leavitt, and Worthington--are in the Great Engine Hall.

They stand over three stories tall.

You can check each pump and see how these perfectly engineered parts pumped millions of gallons of water to supply Boston.

The museum offers general tours and free admission.

The Waterworks Museum is only seven minutes from Brookline.

Check Out the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park

Do you want to spend the day away from the busy city?

Visit the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, comprising 34 unique islands and peninsulas, for a great time with your family.

The park is the biggest recreational space in Eastern Massachusetts, attracting millions of locals and tourists annually.

Access to the park is free, including the Harbor Discovery Camps, a seven-day camp for Boston youth from summer programs.

You can also visit three different islands.

The Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park is in Boston, 22 minutes from Brookline.

Visit the Fenway Victory Gardens

The Fenway Victory Gardens comprises more than 500 gardens, spanning 7.5 acres.

More than 475 people help cultivate the gardens, mirroring the city's diversity.

These inspiring gardens are one of two continuously operating World War II victory gardens in the US.

Likewise, it's the only victory garden operating on the same site it was on during the war.

The Fenway Victory Gardens encourage urban gardening to benefit Boston communities.

Growing your food offers opportunities to work outdoors, with nature, and appreciate the green space.

You can find this garden in Frederick Law Olmsted's famous Emerald Necklace, nine minutes from Brookline.

Final Thoughts

Visiting great places and learning about their history is food for the mind and soul.

You get to relax, know the history, and be amazed by the different structures and nature's wonders.

The bonus is you don't have to spend money; spend only time and effort to appreciate the pleasant things at Brookline.

Enjoy the delightful free things to do in Brookline, Massachusetts!

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