Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Lowell, MA

  • Published 2023/01/17

Lowell is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, filled with culture, history, and outdoor activities.

Located just outside Boston, Lowell has some unique and exciting attractions.

What keeps people coming is the number of free activities and attractions you can find in this quaint city.

Lowell offers a unique plethora of free things to do that will entertain visitors of all ages.

If you’re planning to visit this booming city, add these free things to do in Lowell, Massachusetts, to your itinerary.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors at Lowell Heritage State Park

Sculpture fountain at Lowell Heritage State Park

Wangkun Jia /

Lowell Heritage State Park is a majestic public park and historic site that honors the city’s pioneering role in the American Industrial Revolution.

Visitors can experience this pivotal historical moment while participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and more!

Located at 160 Pawtucket Blvd, the Lowell Heritage State Park was established in 1974 as a forerunner to the Lowell National Historical Park, constructed four years later in 1978.

Lowell Heritage State Park offers an enlightening experience with its partnership with the National Park Service and exhibits.

Trail at Lowell Heritage State Park

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They provide knowledge about Lowell’s 19th-century network of canals and mills, which had been instrumental in powering the dynamic textile industry at the time.

Moreover, the two-mile waterfront is ideal for summer concerts and boating adventures.

Marrying education and leisure, Lowell Heritage State Park is the ultimate free destination for locals and tourists alike.

Enjoy a Quiet Afternoon at Muldoon Park

Start your Lowell adventure with a peaceful stroll through the grounds of Muldoon Park.

Located at 5 Billerica Street in downtown Lowell, this park is known for its well-manicured gardens and tranquil riverside atmosphere.

Despite this beauty, not many people flock to the park, making it the perfect spot for a peaceful afternoon with family, friends, or on your own.

The park features large trees with plenty of shaded areas, a gazebo, and an open space where kids can run and play.

The nearby Concord River is also an excellent spot for bird watching and provides stunning views of the natural features of Lowell.

Visiting Muldoon Park will surely start your Lowell trip on the right track.

Explore Art at Brush Art Gallery & Studios

One thing you will immediately notice about Lowell is that it showcases an impressive amount of art.

For a city with such a rich history, it’s no surprise that Lowell embraces its artistic side and is home to many galleries and studios.

Located at 256 Market Street, the Brush Art Gallery & Studios is one place that allows you to explore different art forms in a gallery and studio setting.

Their mission is to support the community through art by creating an environment of creativity and expression.

The Lowell Historic Preservation Commission, a US Department of Interior branch, established this lively and fascinating place for anyone to explore and appreciate.

The Brush Art Gallery & Studios proudly presents first-rate museum exhibits and provides educational opportunities to everyone.

In addition, it has joined forces with numerous non-profit organizations.

Artists regularly engage with and educate the public in their studio spaces, fostering a unique environment for all to enjoy.

Take advantage of this beautiful resource and start exploring art in a new and exciting way.

Learn History at Lowell Cemetery

Entrance to Lowell Cemetery

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lowell Cemetery is a beloved local landmark that has existed since 1840.

Located on 77 Knapp Avenue, this picturesque and peaceful Cemetery offers a unique opportunity to explore the past.

The cemetery houses monuments dedicated to Lowell’s most influential people, including beloved local politicians and inventors.

In May 1998, Lowell Cemetery was selected for the esteemed National Register of Historic Places.

Exploring the Cemetery today makes one reflect on Lowell’s history and remember those who made lasting contributions to the city, state, and nation during peace and war.

Trail at Lowell Cemetery

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inspecting the tombs and headstones reminds you of some of Lowell’s most influential citizens.

The Cemetery also has a wide variety of trees, flowers, and grasses, making it an excellent spot for those looking to enjoy nature.

Take a stroll down the tree-lined paths, soak in some history and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

The Lowell Cemetery is open from dawn to dusk, making it an excellent option for those looking for free things to do in Lowell.

Gravestone at Lowell Cemetery

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take the Lowell Public Art Walk

Lowell’s collection of sculptures, murals, and installations provides an engaging visual experience that reminds of the city’s diverse history and culture.

Join the Lowell Public Art Walk to see them all!

One of these installations is the Pawtucket Prism, a giant sculpture of several interwoven metal beams.

The Pawtucket Prism is located at the Lowell Visitors Center and pays homage to the industrial age while providing a unique and eye-catching piece of art.

The transformation of Lowell’s public art collection began to take shape in the 1980s with the installment of six works between 1984 and 1989.

Senator Paul Tsongas of Lowell, Massachusetts, was a driving force in the growth and development of public art.

In 1987, Tsongas established an arts committee to brainstorm innovative ideas for presenting artwork around the city; additionally, he sponsored numerous pieces.

During these formative years, Lowell’s public art collection rapidly rose to great prominence and became one of the nation’s preeminent visual arts projects.

Today, these pieces continue to grace the city and add color to its lively cultural scene.

Don’t forget to join the Lowell Public Art Walk!

Meet Local Artists at Western Avenue | Studios & Lofts

For creative travelers, the Western Avenue | Studios & Lofts is another excellent free attraction.

This art center, located at 122 Western Avenue, is home to more than 350 creative professionals from various backgrounds and experiences.

The center is open to the public, free of charge, for visitors looking to meet and interact with local artists in the diverse Lowell art community.

The Western Avenue | Studios & Lofts also hosts regular events such as exhibits, meet and greet with the artists, various free workshops, and more.

For art enthusiasts, the Western Avenue | Studios & Lofts is a great way to glimpse the creative minds behind some of Lowell’s most vivid artwork.

Witness a beautiful art collection and get to know the creative minds behind them.

You can even purchase a piece of art to take home as a souvenir.

However, if you’re there to appreciate the creativity and don’t plan to buy anything, that is also fine.

Celebrate the Lowell Folk Festival

Musicians at Lowell Folk Festival

Heidi Besen /

For an annual free event, the Lowell Folk Festival is one of Lowell’s best activities.

Happening every last week of July, this three-day event is filled with folk music, dancing, and other activities that will bring any visitor joy and energy.

Downtown Lowell transforms into a giant outdoor celebration during the festival.

It features captivating live performances, talented street performers, and many enjoyable activities and areas specifically designed for families.

People at Lowell Folk Festival

Heidi Besen /

You can experience the traditional sounds of the city by attending a wide variety of live music performances.

Other activities include craft and food vendors, educational displays, and a 5k race.

The Lowell Folk Festival is free, so don’t miss out on this great annual tradition.

Daytime view of Lowell Folk Festival

Warewardson /

Relive the 60s at the Jack Kerouac Memorial Park

Jack Kerouac was one of the most influential writers of the Beat Generation and a native of Lowell.

In recognition of his contributions to literature, the city of Lowell has dedicated a Memorial Park to honor the memory of their beloved writer.

Located on 75 Bridge Street, the Jack Kerouac Memorial Park features a statue of the author and several walking paths.

If you’re a fan of Jack Kerouac, the park contains monuments featuring his work.

Because there are so many tributes to him scattered throughout the area, you’ll see why Kerouac became one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.

Unwind and relax in this tranquil park with many picturesque green spaces for the ideal picnic.

Many locals agree that it’s one of the most magical places in the city!

The Jack Kerouac Memorial Park is free and open to visitors who wish to pay their respects and learn more about the man behind some of America’s most iconic works.

Go Fishing at Merrimack River Reservoir

The Merrimack River Reservoir is the perfect spot to cast your line and enjoy some of the best fishing spots in Lowell.

The reservoir is home to various fish species, such as bass and trout, making it an ideal destination for anglers of all skill levels.

Not only is this spot free to visit, but it’s also open 24 hours a day, making it the perfect destination for after-work fishing trips.

Additionally, the area is an excellent spot for nature photography and wildlife watching.

Grab your fishing gear and head to the Merrimack River Reservoir for a peaceful day of fishing and exploration.

Learn Local History at Wamesit Falls Overlook

History board at Wamesit Falls Overlook

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Wamesit Falls Overlook is a historic landmark at 1000 Lawrence Street in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts.

This overlook provides visitors with a breathtaking view of the Merrimack River.

According to local legend, the Wamesit Falls Overlook was one of the sites where Lawrence Indians fought the British in 1694.

The overlook is free to visit and an excellent spot for those seeking an educational experience about Lowell’s history.

Stream of Wamesit Falls Overlook

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A plaque in the foreground gives historical information about the area and its importance to the local community.

In addition, the overlook is ideal for a romantic getaway or even for some peaceful time.

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax and learn about the city’s past, the Wamesit Falls Overlook is excellent.

Bring your camera and snap some photos of the beautiful scenery!

The waters of Wamesit Falls Overlook

Emw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Beautiful Scenery at Eastern Canal Park

Eastern Canal Park is a beautiful park along the banks of the Concord River.

This park stretches over five miles and offers visitors breathtaking river views, including many rapids and lush vegetation.

The park is also an excellent spot for fishing, as plenty of fish inhabits the area.

A trail runs through the entire park, allowing visitors to explore and take in the sights.

A visit to Eastern Canal Park is free and a great way to relax and rejuvenate.

Grab your walking shoes and explore the picturesque Eastern Canal Park.

Don’t forget to keep your camera handy, as you’re bound to find some fantastic photo ops.

Visit the Sheehy Memorial Park

Located at 499 Pawtucket Street, Sheehy Memorial Park is another beautiful riverside park full of outdoor recreation opportunities.

This park has various amenities, including well-maintained trails, a playground, and open green space.

Named after John E. Sheehy, a prominent Lowellian and the first Chief of Police, this park was developed in the 1920s.

It has become a beacon of fun and relaxation ever since.

Sheehy Memorial Park is also an excellent spot for birdwatching, as many species of birds inhabit the area.

Step Back in Time at Rogers Fort Hill Park

Paved trail at Rogers Fort Hill Park

User:Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the Belvidere neighborhood, Rogers Fort Hill Park is situated in the Rogers Fort Hill Park Historic District.

The park is filled with historic sites, including the remnants of an old mill, and overlooks the Concord River.

After the 1860s, burgeoning street railways that allowed residents to access outlying neighborhoods catalyzed these areas’ development.

In 1999, the district was officially recognized as historically significant and comprised 205 individual structures.

The National Register of Historic Places acknowledged this fact by registering it within their records.

Today, visitors and locals can enjoy more than five miles of trails, a playground, picnic areas, and plenty of green space.

The park is free to explore and an excellent way to learn about the city’s past.

Explore Nature at Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest

Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest is the perfect destination for people who love to explore the great outdoors.

Located at Trotting Park Road, the Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest spreads across three towns.

It features over 1,000 acres of forest with plenty of trails and paths for visitors to explore.

This spot is excellent for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.

The area also houses picturesque ponds, swamps, and wetlands, making perfect boating or fishing spots.

Grab your camping gear and spend a day or two in the lovely Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest!

Have Fun with the Family at Shedd Park

lma Shedd Park

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Shedd Park at 453 Rogers Street is a great spot for family-friendly fun!

In 1910, Freeman B. Shedd graciously donated some land to the City of Lowell, and now this park proudly bears his name as a tribute to his generous contribution.

This 50-acre park is massive and includes many facilities and amenities that promote outdoor fun and recreation.

This beautiful park boasts several amenities, such as tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and picnic areas.

It also features a refreshing water spray park perfect for cooling off during summer.

A pavilion also hosts events like concerts or weddings!

Other amenities include a large playground and plenty of green space ideal for playing catch or having a picnic.

Each part of Shedd Park promotes free family fun and is the perfect destination for a summer day.

Pack up your picnic basket and head to Shedd Park with the entire family!

Final Thoughts

Lowell has something to offer to keep you coming back for more, whether you’re looking for a spot to picnic or a place to explore nature.

From its many parks to its natural beauty, Lowell is overflowing with free activities and attractions that will make any visit worthwhile.

Add the free things to do in Lowell, Massachusetts, to your vacation plans today!

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