I love exploring Boston in the Spring thanks to the warm weather, sprouting trees, flowers coming into bloom, and lower crowds across the city.
Whether you’re a local looking to get out and about after a long winter or planning your first trip to one of America’s most historical cities, there are plenty of fun activities waiting for you.
I’ve lived here for 20 years now and am constantly finding new things to do and places to explore!
In this post, I’m sharing all my best tips for visiting Boston in the Spring, including the best things to do, what to expect with the weather, and what to pack.
Weather in Boston in the Spring
All weather information shared below is courtesy of US Climate Data.
The weather in Boston in March is generally cool with occasional snowfall, but temperatures can vary greatly from year to year.
The average high temperature in Boston in March is around 45°F, while the average low temperature is around 31°F. The average precipitation this month is 4.32 inches, with a combination of snow and rain.
That’s pretty chilly (and wet), especially if you’re not used to New England weather. Be prepared to bundle up!
The weather in Boston in April can still be a bit cranky and finicky.
I’m writing this in April and the temperatures this week have been all over the place! Two days ago it was 92℉ and today it’s 54℉. See what I mean?
In a nutshell, the weather is pretty mild with temperatures on the cooler side, which is pretty typical Spring weather in Boston.
In April, the average high temperature is around 56℉, while the average low is 41℉. It can also be a bit rainy, with an average of 3.74 inches of precipitation in April.
In Boston, May is generally a pleasant month with mild temperatures and moderate humidity.
The average high temperature in May is around 66°F, while the average low temperature is around 50°F. Monthly precipitation averages around 3.49 inches.
What to pack for Boston in the Spring
Spring has a reputation for being a bit erratic when it comes to weather in Boston. March can still be cold and snowy, despite it being Spring, but it does start to warm up by the end of the season in May.
For that reason, I highly recommend checking out Accuweather for the forecast just before you leave so you can pack accordingly. You never know what you’re gonna get!
A few essentials you may want to pack:
- Rain jacket
- Rain boots
- Jeans or pants
- Short sleeve tops
- Warm layers, like a fleece jacket, hoodie, etc.
- A warm hat, such as a beanie
- Red Sox gear, if you’re attending a game!
If you’re worried about rain gear taking up space in your luggage, check out my post about packable rain gear for items that don’t take up too much room, so you can travel light.
Things to Do in Boston in March
While most of the US is starting to warm up in March, Boston can still be a bit wintery! Nonetheless, there are a handful of good events to check out.
Harpoon St Patrick’s Day
Join the revelry at one of the season’s most anticipated events.
Delight in great beer, live music, and that famous Irish spirit at the Harpoon St. Patrick’s Day Fest.
This fun 21+ event takes place at Harpoon Brewery in the Seaport District at 306 Northern Ave in early March.
Check the tickets page for dates, times, lineup, and, well, to purchase tickets!
Boston Restaurant Week aka Dine Out Boston
Dine Out Boston is a two-week event where participating restaurants offer prix-fixe menus at discounted prices, giving visitors the chance to sample some of the city’s best cuisine.
Lunch menus range from $22 to $36, while dinner menus range from $36 to $55.
Dine Out Boston takes place twice a year in March and August. For more details, check the event page for dates, menus, and FAQs.
Don your favorite character costume or simply enjoy the spectacle at one of the largest anime conventions on the East Coast.
The annual event takes place in March at Hynes Convention Center in Copley Square. Check the event page for this year’s dates.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the oldest and largest in the country, featuring marching bands, floats, and dancers.
It typically takes place on the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day. The route runs approximately 3.5 miles, from the Broadway T station to Andrew Square.
Crowds can get a bit rowdy, but if you walk away from the Broadway T station, you can usually find a more family-friendly spot.
Check the event page for this year’s parade date, as well as info on participating.
Boston Underground Film Festival
Celebrate the unconventional at the Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF), which highlights innovative and unconventional films from all genres.
BUFF takes place in March at the Brattle Theatre at 40 Brattle St in Cambridge. Check out the event’s website for dates and a lineup for this year’s festival.
Things to Do in Boston in April
April often brings slightly warmer temps, although the weather can still be a tad unpredictable as the city continues to thaw out from the winter. Here are a few of my favorite events in April.
Known as Marathon Monday, the Boston Marathon has been held annually since its inception in 1897, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons in the world.
The race is 26.2 miles long, starting in the rural town of Hopkinton and finishing on Boylston Street in Copley Square, just past the Boston Public Library.
Each year, an average of 30,000 runners from all over the world compete in the race, with millions of spectators lining the streets to cheer them on.
The Boston Marathon is not just a race, it is a celebration of human perseverance and determination. It is a reminder that despite the challenges we face, we can always push ourselves to reach new heights.
OK, I’m getting a bit sappy here, but it truly is a massive event here in Boston, so if you’re willing to brave the crowds, I highly recommend going to cheer on the runners or maybe even running it yourself!
Patriot’s Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts that commemorates the American Revolutionary War. It takes place on the third Monday of April, which is the same day as the Boston Marathon.
Due to this holiday, you’ll often see Revolutionary War-era reenactments and other similar events throughout April in Boston and elsewhere in the state.
Boston International Film Festival
If you’re looking for some polished films that haven’t received their due publicity yet, the Boston International Film Festival is where you need to be.
The festival is notorious for curating the most engaging and unique movies in the industry, showing on average 90 films over a week. They also host a handful of lively discussion panels.
For more information, including dates and a list of films for this year, check out the Boston International Film Festival website.
Things to Do in Boston in May
May brings us Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend, both of which have inspired some classic events that everyone should experience at least once!
Duckling Day Parade
The annual Duckling Day Parade takes place every year on Mother’s Day. This fun, family-friendly event features little kiddos dressed up as ducks, waddling through the Boston Public Garden.
It’s held in honor not just of moms, but also of the late New England author, Robert McCloskey, and his award-winning book, Make Way for Ducklings. If you’re not familiar with the book, it’s about a mama duck and her ducklings making their way through Boston.
NOTE: If you want to participate in the parade, you must register ahead of time at the Friends of the Public Garden website.
Another lovely Mother’s Day event in Boston is Lilac Sunday, held at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum.
The event includes guided and self-guided tours of the 400 types of lilacs that bloom in the Spring on the grounds of the Arboretum. Plus, it is the only day of the entire year that picnicking is allowed at the Arboretum!
NOTE: If you plan to go, be sure to RSVP so the folks at Harvard can plan accordingly.
Harpoon Brewery’s Harpoonfest
Looking for a beer-tastic good time this spring? Look no further than Harpoonfest.
This is Harpoon Brewery’s second springtime festival, this time taking place in May. The event includes bands, food trucks, and plenty of hard seltzer and beer to taste.
Harpoon Brewery’s festivals are always a good time, so if you can’t make it to their St. Patrick’s Day event, check out this one.
Memorial Day Flag Garden
Every year, volunteers set up rows upon rows of American flags by the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Boston Common.
The memorial includes one flag for each service member from Massachusetts who sacrificed their life while serving going back to the Revolutionary War.
As you can imagine, there are tens of thousands of flags – nearly 40,000! It’s a sight that’s hard to describe, but one that should be experienced in person.
The flags are usually on display for several days, usually around the Thursday before Memorial Day through the holiday itself.
Boston Calling Music Festival
Boston Calling Music Festival takes place every year over Memorial Day Weekend at Harvard Athletic Complex.
The multi-day festival always delivers an exciting lineup featuring renowned artists across different genres, such as Leon Bridges, Hozier, Ed Sheeran, Reneé Rapp, The Killers, and Megan Thee Stallion.
Tickets can be purchased at the Boston Calling Music Festival website.
Things to do in Boston in the Spring
Aside from the date-based events available in Boston in the Spring, there’s a ton more to do.
Here are my favorite activities in Boston to do during the Spring season.
Boston Irish Heritage Trail
Step into the rich history of Boston’s Irish community with a walk along the Irish Heritage Trail.
Discover the stories, landmarks, and legacy of one of the city’s most influential groups with a self-led tour of notable spots.
You can download a map of the trail online or pick up a printed copy at the Boston visitor’s kiosk on the Boston Common.
Swan boat rides
Celebrate the warmer weather with a tranquil swan boat ride at the pond in the Boston Public Garden. It’s a picturesque way to enjoy Boston’s natural beauty.
This fun, family-friendly activity is available from mid-April through early September. For information about tickets and time, check out the Swan Boats website.
Boston Red Sox baseball game
Red Sox opening day, aka the first home game of the season, typically takes place at the tail end of March or the first few days of April.
If you haven’t heard, we Bostonians are a bit nutty about our sports teams – especially the Red Sox!
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just enjoy the thrill of the game, there’s nothing quite like being a part of the electric atmosphere on opening day.
Of course, if your trip falls later in April, definitely check out the Red Sox schedule to see if there’s another home game while you’re in town.
Oh, and make sure you memorize the words to Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. This song is a fan favorite and you’ll be expected to sing along somewhere around the eighth inning!
Tour historic Fenway Park
Speaking of the Red Sox, you can tour the historic Fenway Park, even if you don’t have tickets to a game.
The tours are offered year-round, but with the season starting in the Spring, it’s an especially good time to go.
Tours run at the top of the hour, every hour from 9 AM to 5 PM – unless there’s a game that day. Also, in the winter, tours start a little later at 10 AM.
If it happens to be a home game day, the last tour leaves 3 hours before game start time. For example, if the game is at 1 PM, the last tour leaves at 10 AM.
There are several tour packages available, including a full-hour public tour, a 15-minute quickie tour, private tours, and more. And yes, you’ll get to see the Green Monster and maybe even the mascot, Wally!
The coolest tour, in my opinion, is the Ultimate Birthday Package tour, which includes trying on a uniform and practicing batting on the field. The catch? It only runs on non-game days and requires at least 12 people to reserve.
Check out the Fenway Park tours page for additional information, such as pricing and tickets.
Duck boat tours
What better way to tour the historic city of Boston than on amphibious vehicles that take you through the streets and the Charles River?
This 80-minute tour is an absolute hit with kids, who get a free quacking whistle when they board. But honestly, it’s fun for adults, too!
A bonus? Tours depart from 3 locations across the city near other attractions (Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, and Prudential Center), making it easy to plan your day.
Tours don’t run in the Winter but resume around late March, so if you’re visiting from late March through May, you’re good to go!
Visit the Boston Duck Tours website for more information, including tickets.
Boston Public Garden & Boston Common
The Boston Public Garden and Boston Common are two of the best parks you’ll ever lay eyes on. I might be a bit biased though since I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years.
The Boston Public Garden is a botanical sanctuary in the middle of the bustling city. Its colorful flowerbeds, pristine walkways, and swan boats make it an urban oasis that hits all the high notes.
It’s one of my favorite spots in the entire city. I love to grab lunch at a nearby cafe and head here to eat at one of the park benches while people-watching and taking in all the lovely landscapes.
If you hop across Charles St., you’ll get to Boston Common, the oldest city park in the entire United States!
This lovely 50-acre park has baseball fields, tennis courts, a carousel, a pond, and plenty of green space for picnics and all-around outdoor fun. My friends and I used to play tag football here back in grad school!
Boston Women’s Heritage Trail
The Boston Women’s Heritage Trail is a series of self-led trails that highlight the contribution of women to Boston’s history throughout different neighborhoods across the city.
Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum
This fun Boston attraction includes a tour of a replica of the infamous Boston Tea Party ship, a reenactment, historical artifacts on display, a tea room and gift shop, and a short movie.
You even get to throw some “tea” overboard!
Check out the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum website for more information, including hours, tickets, and special events.
Faneuil Hall (aka Quincy Market)
At Faneuil Hall, also known as Quincy Market, you can indulge in everything from fresh seafood to gourmet snacks, and of course, Boston’s famous clam chowder.
But it’s not just the delicious cuisine that draws visitors in; it’s the lively atmosphere that makes Faneuil Hall a must-see destination. With street performers, vendors, and an eclectic crowd, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite and people-watch.
So come for the food, stay for the entertainment, and maybe pick up a few new things at the surrounding shops.
New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium in Boston is a must-visit for marine life enthusiasts or anyone interested in seeing cute marine animals, like penguins, seals, stingrays, sea lions, turtles, sharks, and of course, plenty of fish.
With thousands of animals, over a dozen permanent exhibits, a touch tank, a massive 200,000-gallon aquarium, and an IMAX theatre, you could easily spend half a day here!
Add on a whale-watching tour from their partnership with Boston Harbor Cruises or a private animal encounter, and you have an entire day filled with fun.
The aquarium also serves as a vital facility for marine research and conservation efforts, so rest assured that your admission is going toward something good.
Keep an eye out during March and April for special Spring Break programming targeted toward the kiddos.
Visit the NEAQ website for more information, including upcoming special exhibits and tickets.
Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum
Located in the Fenway neighborhood, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum holds a collection of over 7500 paintings and sculptures, plus tens of thousands of other types of art, rare books, letters, and other archival objects.
It originally started as a private collection of local philanthropist and art lover, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and more than 100 years later, her collection is still shared with the public.
While this museum is open year-round, it shines in the Spring with the courtyard sprawling with blooming flowers.
Coupled with pleasant weather that isn’t too hot, you’ve got perfect conditions for browsing the outdoor art at this museum. Don’t worry if it’s raining though, the courtyard is covered by a glass ceiling!
BONUS: If your first name is Isabella, you get free admission!
Charles River Esplanade
Looking for a scenic spot to stretch your legs? Look no further than the Charles River Esplanade.
This picturesque pathway runs alongside the tranquil waters of the Charles River, offering stunning views of the city skyline and neighboring Cambridge.
It’s especially beautiful in the Spring with lots of trees and flowers in full bloom, plus it’s not as crowded as in the Summer or Fall.
Boston Harbor cruises
City Experiences offers a variety of Boston Harbor cruises that are begging to be booked.
They have whale-watching cruises, history cruises, sunset cruises, dinner cruises, cocktail cruises, and much more. Plus, in May, they have a special Mother’s Day brunch cruise!
Check out the City Experiences website for more information.
What are your favorite things to do in Boston in the Spring?
Whether you’ve got a week or just a weekend in Boston, add these bucket-list activities to your Spring itinerary.
From sports games to historic sites, Boston awaits with its historic charm, lush parks, and top-notch museums.
What are your favorite things to do in Boston in the Spring? Let me know in the comments below.
About the author
Meg Frost is a Boston-based travel blogger that helps people embrace technology to make vacation planning and traveling wicked easy, affordable, and fun.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami.