By Steph Solis, Staff Writer

Hempfest is just one of the many traditions that Boston has to offer./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Regbum

Now that matriculation and SPLASH are behind us, it’s time to dive back into the city or start exploring it–here’s looking at you, freshmen. You can enjoy the city on a budget. In fact, some of the most interesting happenings in Boston are cheap or free.

If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some highlights of what the city has in store this weekend.


Ah, the smell of Boston lighting up on the Common. Every year the Freedom Rally, known as Hempfest, brings together stoners from all over Greater Boston (many of whom are college students). For the first time, Boston will host a first two-day Hempfest on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is free, but food and novelties likely aren’t. You’ll also want to watch out for police looking to hand out citations for smoking on the Boston Common.

Hours: September 14, Saturday from 12-8 p.m. September 15, Sunday from 12-6 p.m.

Location: Boston Common

Admission: Free

Downtown Crossing Block Party

Hat tip to the Boston Calendar for this one. The block party, in its second year, offers free appetizers from 49 Social, a downtown restaurant and bar. There’s also supposed to be an extensive selection of beer and wine for the 21+ crowd.

If you’re looking for some free music, the Downtown Crossing Block Party is hosting local bands like Hot Like Fire and Swinging Johnsons. Get a feel for the local music scene.

Hours: September 12, Thursday from 5-8 p.m.

Location: Downtown Crossing (specifically 32 Sumner Street)

Admission: Free

Night Shift Brewing Tours

Night Shift Brewing’s been getting some buzz lately, but if you’re not familiar with them check out their free tours and tastings. The tour includes beer samples, bottles and other merchandise. There’s no reservation needed.

The brewers are usually available during other hours, according to the Night Shift Brewing website. If you want to catch them at another time, try calling or tweeting at them.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m.

Location:  3 Charlton St., Everett.

Note: This one is recommended for those who have a car. You can get there through the Green Line, Orange Line and the 105 towards Malden. But it’s probably more of a hassle than most would want for a Saturday afternoon.