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The nightlife and arts options we list are worth their weight in gold. Yet if you're feeling the pinch, you can be entertained without dropping a dime.
Nosh on gratis appetizers at the Fritz Lounge during happy hour on weekdays.
See a film at the Boston Public Library.
Go baroque—not broke—with select classical concerts performed by the Boston University Symphony Orchestra or College of Fine Arts faculty members at the Tsai Performance Center.
Head to Trinity Church for free Friday organ or choir recitals at 12:15 pm.
Get down to blues and jazz at Wally's Café jazz club, the Beehive, or Café Luna (in Cambridge), where talented students from the Berklee College of Music perform.
Buy a coffee or smoothie, and surf wireless Internet for free at Trident Booksellers & Café.
See art in the making: check out one of the weekend Boston Open Studios (www.cityofboston.gov/arts/visual/openstudios.asp) in neighborhoods throughout the city. Summer brings even more free activities:
Boston Pops. Bop along with the Boston Pops and other free concerts at the Hatch Memorial Shell June through August. 617/266-1200 or 888/266-1200. www.bso.org.
Esplanade Summer Events. From April through September the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade is abuzz with free concerts, movie showings, and more, all part of the Esplanade Summer Events. Perennial favorites include the Boston Pops' July 4 concert and "Free Friday Flicks" outdoor movie screenings. 617/626-4970. www.mass.gov/dcr/hatch_events.htm.
Shakespeare in the Park. In July and August the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company brings you Shakespeare in the Park in Boston Common, with performances on Tuesday through Sunday evenings. 617/426-0863. www.commshakes.org.
Summer in the City Series. Cinephiles can catch "Movies by Moonlight," classic films shown waterside as part of the Boston Harbor Hotel's outdoor Summer in the City Series. Other weekly offerings include swing dancing, soul singing, and blues concerts staged on a barge anchored behind the hotel. 617/439-7000. www.bhh.com.
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