Things to do in Cambridge

About Cambridge

Visitors should not miss exploring the historic Harvard University campus, the breathtaking MIT Museum, and the scenic Charles River Esplanade. Places like the Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology are also high on the list of must-see attractions.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the MIT Museum offer fascinating interactive exhibits for young learners. For outdoor fun, Danehy Park is a family favorite with playgrounds and ample space for picnics and sports.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy kayaking or sailing on the Charles River, picnicking at Fresh Pond Reservation, or catching a live performance at the open-air Hatch Shell amphitheater.
Indulge in the rich cultural scene with visits to the various university museums, take in a theater show at the American Repertory Theater or sample the vibrant culinary offerings across the city's eclectic eateries.
The best Cambridge tours include the historical Harvard University walking tours, the interactive and enthralling MIT Museum tours, and the picturesque architecture and nature tours along the Charles River.
The most visited museums include the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the MIT Museum, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, each offering unique and educational experiences.
For rainy days in Cambridge, indoor self-guided audio tours of university museums or the indoor historical exhibits at the Cambridge Historical Society are perfect to stay dry and informed.
For a brief yet enriching experience, many of the university art galleries offer self-guided tours that can be completed in under an hour, as well as walking tours focused on specific historical sites within the city.

Best Things to Do In Cambridge

Discover the plethora of attractions the city has to offer, from historical landmarks to vibrant city culture.

Cambridge: The Freedom Trail

What is it?
A historic 2.5-mile route leading through significant landmarks of American history.
Why you should go?
Venturing along The Freedom Trail is one of the quintessential Cambridge activities for history buffs and explorers at heart. The trail, marked by a red line, guides visitors to 16 nationally significant historic sites, each telling a piece of the story of the American Revolution. From museums to churches, and graveyards to historic ships, the rich narrative of the nation's fight for freedom is magnificently laid out. A walk down this path not only educates but also provides the chance to witness the endurance of American heritage.

Cambridge: Mount Auburn Cemetery

What is it?
A beautifully landscaped cemetery and arboretum, known for its serene ambiance and historical significance.
Why you should go?
Mount Auburn Cemetery stands out among places to visit in Cambridge, offering a peaceful retreat from the city bustle. It's not just a resting place for souls; it's a sanctuary for living visitors to come and reflect among stunning trees, vibrant birdlife, and artful monuments. One can enjoy the meticulously curated landscape, view the Boston area from Washington Tower, and ponder the legacies of notable figures buried here. The combination of natural beauty and historical gravity makes it a profound experience.

Cambridge: The Harvard Art Museums

What is it?
A consortium of three museums featuring a vast array of artwork from across the globe and different eras.
Why you should go?
The Harvard Art Museums are among the best things to do in Cambridge for art enthusiasts and curious visitors alike. The Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum collectively house collections that span from ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces. With each gallery visit, one gains a new appreciation for the creative expressions that traverse time and culture. Educational programs, lectures, and workshops additionally enrich the experience, making it a centerpiece of Cambridge tours.

Cambridge: Kendall Square

What is it?
An innovation hub bustling with tech startups, research labs, and entrepreneurial ventures.
Why you should go?
Kendall Square epitomizes what to do in Cambridge for those intrigued by the cutting-edge of technology and business. Often referred to as the "most innovative square mile on the planet," this area offers a glimpse into the future. Visitors can enjoy the square's eclectic mix of shops, eateries, and public art displays. For those with a fervor for science and innovation, the presence of leading firms and research institutions adds a pulsating energy and the sense that history is being made every day.

Cambridge: Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

What is it?
The historic home used by George Washington during the Siege of Boston and later, the famous poet Henry W. Longfellow.
Why you should go?
This attraction is a treasure trove for those seeking things to see in Cambridge, combining literary and early American history. Visitors can delve into the life and works of Longfellow within the walls where Washington once strategized revolutionary battles. The historical home, filled with original furnishings and artifacts, is a window into the past. Its well-preserved gardens offer a quaint backdrop for a reflective pause. Engaging tours and events breathe life into the legacies left behind in this home.

Cambridge: Harvard University

What is it?
An Ivy League institution renowned for its academic excellence and historic architecture.
Why you should go?
Stepping onto the grounds of Harvard University ranks high on Cambridge activities. As one meanders through the campus, the storied halls whisper tales of generations of intellectuals. Absorb the ambiance of Harvard Yard, stand before the iconic John Harvard statue, and possibly rub the shoe for good luck. Visitors appreciate the blend of architectural styles ranging from the contemporary to the colonial. This beacon of knowledge is integral to things to see in Cambridge and offers a robust glimpse into America's scholarly pursuits.

Cambridge: MIT Museum

What is it?
A museum showcasing the fusion of technology, science, and innovation.
Why you should go?
The MIT Museum is an unmissable highlight for what to see in Cambridge, capturing the essence of human ingenuity. It is an institution where one can engage with interactive exhibits, understand cutting-edge research, and be inspired by the creative endeavors of MIT's community. Ideal for tech enthusiasts and the intellectually curious, it provides a closer look at pioneering discoveries that shaped the modern world, making it a key destination for Cambridge excursions.

Cambridge: Charles River Esplanade

What is it?
A scenic park along the banks of the Charles River, perfect for leisure and recreation.
Why you should go?
Embrace the great outdoors at the Charles River Esplanade, one of the most relaxing Cambridge activities. Whether it’s a jog, bike ride, or leisurely walk, the park provides a picturesque backdrop with views of the Boston skyline. Its lush pathways and waterfront setting serve as an ideal spot for picnicking, sailing, and enjoying concerts at the Hatch Shell. This urban oasis is a must for those seeking fun things to do in Cambridge.

Cambridge: Harvard Square

What is it?
A historic and bustling hub filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural spaces.
Why you should go?
Harvard Square is not just an intersection but the throbbing heart of Cambridge, brimming with energy and activity. It stands as a focal point where academia meets street performers and cozy bookshops intertwine with cafés. A captivating mix of the traditional and the avant-garde, this pulsating square offers endless opportunities for exploration, making it one of the best things to do in Cambridge for a spirited and authentic taste of city life.

Cambridge: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the preservation and study of cultural artifacts from around the world.
Why you should go?
For a dive into the ancient worlds and diverse cultures, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is one of the most educational things to do in Cambridge. Offering a myriad of artifacts and exhibits, the museum unveils human history through immersive displays. It is an adventure through time and place that enlightens and entertains, positioning itself as an exceptional choice among Cambridge tours for history buffs and curious minds alike.

TOP-5 tours in Cambridge for first time visitors

  • Exploring the prestigious university grounds is one of the top things to do in Cambridge, providing insight into the city's rich academic heritage.
  • For those pondering what to do in Cambridge, a visit to the tranquil botanical gardens offers an escape into nature's serene embrace.
  • Dive into the dynamic array of places to visit in Cambridge, including the bustling market square known for its vibrant atmosphere and local crafts.
  • Among the best things to do in Cambridge is a stroll along the River Cam, where punting tours reveal the city's picturesque architecture and lush riverside parks.
  • Discover fun things to do in Cambridge with a tour of the eclectic art galleries, showcasing both classical masterpieces and contemporary artworks.

Fun things to do in Cambridge with kids

Exploring Cambridge with children is an adventure into a world of learning and play. The Harvard Museum of Natural History presents an unforgettable experience with sparkling mineral collections, the Great Mammal Hall, and a captivating range of flora and fauna exhibits that can ignite any child's scientific curiosity. At the Cambridge Public Library, storytime events and interactive learning spaces offer a peaceful retreat for budding readers and story lovers. The library's architecture and child-friendly areas make it a haven for families. Then, topping the list is a visit to the Boston Children's Museum located just across the Charles River. This interactive space captivates young minds with hands-on exhibits focused on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts. Each attraction weaves education into fun, making Cambridge a delightful destination for families to learn, bond, and create joyful memories.

Things to do in Cambridge with family

Cambridge is a hub for family-friendly fun, offering activities that blend education with excitement. For those who fascinate over natural wonders, the Harvard Museum of Natural History offers a treasure trove of exhibitions, including an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils, which captivate both the young and the old. The lure of interactive discovery continues at the MIT Museum, where families can engage with science and technology through hands-on exhibits, showcasing groundbreaking innovation. For outdoor enthusiasts, a leisurely day spent at Fresh Pond Reservation is not to be missed. The area provides scenic trails, a playground, and plenty of space for picnics, making it a perfect spot for relaxing family time. These top attractions encapsulate the diverse things to do in Cambridge with family, ensuring a visit here is both memorable and enriching.

Free things to do in Cambridge

Cambridge, known for its vibrant cultural scene and historical significance, also offers many complimentary experiences for visitors. Delight in the architecturally splendid Harvard University campus with a self-led tour that showcases the university's rich history and famous landmarks like Harvard Yard. Art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the creative world at the Harvard Art Museums on Sundays, offering free admission to witness an array of art across many mediums and eras. Lastly, nature lovers can embark on an outdoor adventure at the Fresh Pond Reservation, a local sanctuary that provides scenic walking and jogging trails around a serene freshwater pond. Whether it's exploring educational heritage, appreciating the arts, or enjoying the tranquility of nature, these free attractions provide an enriching glimpse into the best of Cambridge without the need for tickets or tour fees.

Cheap things to do in Cambridge

Cambridge offers an array of affordable activities that allow visitors to enjoy the city's charm without spending a fortune. Dive into the world of science and technology at the MIT Museum, where admission fees are budget-friendly and the knowledge gained is immense. Engage with hands-on exhibits, robotics, and holography that the whole family can enjoy. Literary aficionados will appreciate the rich collection at the Cambridge Public Library, free to explore, featuring author talks, and complete with cozy reading nooks for an afternoon escape. For a breath of fresh air and a dose of history, meander through the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, where the entrance is free and the grounds double as an arboretum and bird sanctuary, providing a serene environment for walking and reflection. These pocket-friendly experiences are among the top cheap things to do in Cambridge, ensuring visitors can savor the local tastes of academia and culture.

Things to do in Cambridge for couples

Cambridge invites couples to explore its romantic side through a variety of charming experiences. A quiet stroll through the historic Harvard Yard offers a mix of academia and tranquility, where courtly love can bloom amidst the storied Ivy League backdrop. For an intimate evening, the ambiance of the Charles River at dusk sets a magical scene, ideal for couples to wander along the water's edge or embark on a quaint riverboat tour. Culinary adventurous duos will savor the tastes of the city by sampling treats from the diverse array of eateries in Cambridge's Central Square. Each venue prides itself on unique flavors and atmospheres, providing an excellent opportunity for couples to discover new favorites together. These enticing adventures are just a snapshot of things to do in Cambridge for couples, each fostering moments of connection and creating fond, lasting memories.

Things to do in Cambridge at night

When the sun sets, Cambridge transforms into a vibrant playground for night owls and lovers of the twilight. Revel in the intellectual ambiance with a twist at one of the many trivia nights held in local pubs and breweries, where friendly competition and craft beers flow. For a more serene evening, walking along the Charles River under the stars provides couples and friends with picturesque views of the Boston skyline lit up, fostering a romantic or contemplatively calm nighttime activity. Theater enthusiasts can end their day on a dramatic note by catching a cutting-edge play or musical performance at the American Repertory Theater, known for its thought-provoking and boundary-pushing productions. These night-time offerings ensure that Cambridge has much to provide those seeking experiences after dark, from brainy banters to peaceful promenades and cultural captivations.