Rich in history, natural beauty, and home to one of the most vibrant arts communities in the Commonwealth, the Greater Merrimack Valley's twenty-six cities and towns are bursting with fun, educational and free things to do for visitors and local families alike. Whether you're in the mood for a day of hiking at one of our state parks, want to relax at one of our free outdoor concerts, or attend one of the many other free attractions, festivals and events offered in our region let this be your guide!
Held during the last weekend in July each year, the Lowell Folk Festival is the largest free folk festival in the nation. Other free festivals include Lowell's annual WinterFest Celebration held each February, the Southeast Asian Water Festival held the second Saturday in August, the Puerto Rican Festival held in July, and Lexington and Concord's world famous Patriots' Day Celebration held annually on the third Monday in April.
During the summer months, free concerts can be found throughout the Merrimack Valley region. The Lexington Chamber of Commerce sponsors free concerts on Friday evenings from June through August on the lawn of the Lexington Visitors Center downtown. In the city of Lowell, Heritage Farm Ice Cream sponsors free concerts every Monday night all summer long at the Sampas Pavilion on Pawtucket Boulevard, and the Lowell Summer Music Series offers free shows for kids on Thursday mornings during summer school vacation.
Events like Lowell's City-wide Open Studios, held each September, offer visitors the chance to visit hundreds of artist studios and enjoy free music and entertainment. On a smaller scale, the city's Western Avenue Studios are open to the public for browsing and shopping the first Saturday of each month. The Lexington Chamber of Commerce hosts its popular Fine Arts and Crafts Festival at the Lexington Visitors Center each September. And in May, don't miss the free Doors Open Lowell weekend event, where visitors are invited to tour historic buildings throughout the city.
The Greater Merrimack Valley is home to both the Minute Man National Historical Park, which preserves much of our nation's rich revolutionary heritage, and the Lowell National Historical Park, the country's first urban national park preserving the history of the 19th Century Industrial Revolution. While both parks have fees associated with some of their attractions, they also offer free concerts, lectures, films, tours, and kids' activities almost every week of the year.