A Pocketbook Guide to Low-Budget Boston Events for Students

The winter season draws strong opinions from both those who love it and those who would rather spend a day at the beach. I know how snow storm after snow storm can wear down morale, while the stress of school work and fluctuating temperatures throughout November and December can detract from fully enjoying the holiday season. But over many winters of exploring different low-cost events going on in the city, I have found a way to help cure the winter blues and the longing for a thorough celebration of the holidays.

At the end of every November, hundreds of people gather at the annual tree lightings throughout the city. A short evening set aside for watching a lighting is an easy, enjoyable way to start off the season. The most popular lighting is the one that takes place on Boston Common, which will be held on Nov. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. this year—although my personal favorite is the Copley Square tree lighting. Different musical groups play for the crowd before Mayor Martin J. Walsh, BC ’09, lights up the tree. There are also lightings at Faneuil Hall and the State House during the month.

Other free events on the Common to take advantage of during the long winter months are Frog Pond’s College Nights. Every week Frog Pond grants free night-skating access to selected local colleges. BC’s free skate night takes place on Dec. 4, but all college students pay half price every Tuesday night. For those looking to connect with the city, skating at Frog Pond is a fun opportunity to do so.

While students interested in hockey or figure skating would enjoy Frog Pond, I highly recommend checking out the Boston Bruins’ recently built practice facility—the Warrior Ice Arena—which is very accessible from BC, just off Boston Landing. The Warrior Ice Arena sits adjacent to the Celtics’ new practice complex and the looming New Balance building. While skating fees are $9 per person for any given public skate time, for one extra dollar on Friday nights, the arena plays rock music during skate time at its “Rock ’n’ Skates.” While no dates are currently listed for this year, the Bruins have also held designated game nights for college students to attend home games at reduced prices.  

Students who prefer to stay warm over the winter may want to check out the Boston Celtics Buzzer Beat Pass for college students. Students can register on the Celtics’ website to receive alerts about last minute deals for Celtics games at the Garden. The alerts are sent on the day of or the day before the designated game—up to six tickets can be purchased at a time, making for a fun trip to the Garden with friends.

Besides partaking in sporting events, one of my favorite winter staples is a trip to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, especially during the Holiday Pops. Students can purchase a $25 College Card from the BSO to attend unlimited shows throughout the year—a great deal for anyone interested in classical music.

Whether you love or hate the winter season, there are many ways to embrace it at unique, low-budget events.

Featured Image by Alessandro Zenati / Heights Editor