Looking for a no-cost activity? Whether you’re looking to entertain little ones, want to explore the great outdoors, or are an art aficionado, Fall River has a free activity that will suit your needs.
Fall River is home to an abundance of art institutions, many of which open their doors for free. Consider making a self-guided tour through the city to check out them all.
Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art (44 Troy Street) – https://www.frmoca.org/
Open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 5pm, FR MoCA displays world class contemporary art, right in downtown Fall River! Founded by two internationally recognized artists with Fall River ties, the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art is a first of its kind institution. Since opening in 2021, they have organized multiple exhibitions, the latest of which inaugurated their new permanent location on Troy Street in downtown Fall River. Admission to the museum is always free, and you won’t regret popping into this local artistic hub.
Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery at Bristol Community College (777 Elsbree Street) – https://bristolcc.edu/gallery/
The Grimshaw Gudewicz Art Gallery is a gallery space affiliated with Bristol Community College. The Gallery puts on multiple exhibits each year, all free and open to the public. Bristol Community College as a whole is a tremendous resource for those looking for events, either in the arts or education, with the College putting on events such as student showcases and public speaker series with academic experts. Stop by during their normal hours Monday–Thursday: 10 am–4 pm and Friday: 10 am–1 pm for a peek at their latest show!
The Narrows Center for the Arts Galleries (16 Anawan St) – https://www.narrowscenter.org/
The Narrows Center for the Arts is a world-class performing arts space that has gained a beloved reputation by some of the country’s top touring artists. However, for those looking for a free activity, The Narrows also contains two art galleries which are open to the public during their box office hours, noon to 5pm on Thursday through Sunday. Pop in to view this magnificent hub for the arts inside one of Fall River’s iconic mills.
Here at Viva Fall River, our favorite fun fact is that Fall River is actually 50% water and protected forestland. We have an abundance of outdoor spaces, ranging from a waterfront boardwalk to historic parks to immersive hiking trails.
Heritage State Park Visitor Center (Davol St) – https://www.mass.gov/locations/fall-river-heritage-state-park
Amongst the many amenities on Fall River’s waterfront is the Heritage State Park Visitor Center. Here, the team from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation host permanent and rotating history and art exhibits, in addition to a plentiful schedule of events (particularly over the busy summer months). The Visitor Center is equipped with an impressive theater for select showings, and occasionally puts on outdoor events to make use of their beautiful waterfront backyard. All events and exhibits are free to the public.
Fall River is home to around two dozen parks and open green spaces that are perfect for fresh air. Many have been updated in recent years with state of the art playground equipment, sports facilities, splash pads (for hot summer days!) and even a new “Fitness Court”, a public outdoor gym. A full list of City parks and facilities can be found here.
Want to enjoy views of the water? Heritage State Park (Davol St), Veterans Memorial Bicentennial Park (Davol St) and the Fall River Family Picnic Grove (Jefferson St) offer open space, benches and picnic tables besides the Taunton River or South Watuppa Pond.
Walking Paths & Hiking Trails – https://www.vivafallriver.com/recreation/
Fall River has a number of options for walkers and hikers at all skill levels. Here are just a few options:
– Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail- a flat, accessible urban path right through the heart of Fall River
-The Copicut Woods Reservation- a nature oasis so lush, you’ll forget you’re in Fall River! Home to a wide range of trails, from quick and easy routes to the massive 20-mile Loop Trail
-Bicentennial Trail & Boardwalk- another accessible option, this riverside boardwalk connects some of Fall River’s most iconic landmarks
-Tattapanum Trail- a quick 30 minute loop into the woods along the Watuppa Pond
HISTORY & EDUCATION
The rich history of Fall River is visible at every turn. Consider making a stop on this list, or create a self-guided tour to take in the sights of Fall River.
Fall River Public Library – https://www.fallriverlibrary.org/
One of Fall River’s most beloved community resources, the Fall River Public Library is worth a visit if only for the beautiful, historic building it inhabits. Built in 1899, the Library puts on several free events monthly for a wide variety of audiences. Complemented by their regular schedule of book clubs and craft nights, there is sure to be something for everyone at the Fall River Public Library!
-The History of Lizzie Borden
One of Fall River’s claims to fame is the mystery and controversy surrounding the Lizzie Borden murder trial. Lizzie Borden, born toan affluent 19th century Fall River family, was found not guilty in the murder case of her father and step-mother, a verdict that is still debated to this day. For true crime junkies or those with a love of Victorian history, consider taking yourself around the city on our self-guided tour of all the sites associated with the legendary case. The only potentially paid stop on the list is the Lizzie Borden House– if you’d like to go inside for a tour, admission is $30.
Check out our own self-guided tour at https://www.vivafallriver.com/calling-all-crime-junkies-history-buffs-take-yourself-on-a-historical-lizzie-borden-tour/!
For those who enjoy architecture and historic homes, a free walk or drive through Fall River will reveal many magnificent sights.
Fall River’s Historic Highlands neighborhood, located to the North of the City’s downtown, is home to dozens of beautifully maintained Victorian homes. From the colorful siding to castle-like turrets to the frilly “gingerbread” style adornments, these homes are a feast for the eye. Fall River is also home to several impressive, gothic-style churches— including Saint Anne’s Church on South Main Street, Santo Christo Parish on Columbia Street, St. Mary’s Cathedral on Second Street and the First Congregational Church of Fall River on Rock Street.
– Olmsted Parks
Some of Fall River’s largest and most important green spaces are the historic Olmsted Parks. In the late 19th century, Frederick Law Olmsted and his firm were brought to Fall River to design several parks and green areas in Fall River. Olmsted, who is now known as the father of American landscape architecture, had just achieved fame for his work designing New York City’s iconic Central Park. Take yourself on a self-guided tour of the seven projects the Olmsted firm completed in Fall River. For a full list of Fall River’s Olmsted parks, check out our blog here.