Making summer a nice, free time

As this “season without a summer” continues into the month of July, with rain and clouds limiting the chance for outdoor activities, families all over town are frantically looking for things to do. This week, we learned that a Massachusetts family foundation has provided funding for a number of local nonprofits to open their doors and allow free admissions to a variety of attractions.

The Framingham-based Highland Street Foundation, now observing its 20th anniversary, will sponsor “Fun Fridays,” inviting Massachusetts residents and tourists to visit a designated museum or Boston attraction for free every Friday this summer. The Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library will be open to the public free of charge tomorrow. Special exhibits currently on display there include “Moon Shot - JFK and Space Exploration,” celebrating the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing; “Poetry and Power,” presenting documents from the Kennedy Presidential Library Archives that trace the evolution of President Kennedy’s inaugural address; and “The Making of a President,” which explores the elements of John F. Kennedy’s life that prepared him for a life in public service and a run for the nation’s highest office.
Other “Fun Friday” events upcoming this month include: July 17, Boston Harbor Island Alliance, free ferry transportation to harbor islands. (For details, call 617-223-8530 or visit; July 24, Franklin Park Zoo; July 31, Boston Children’s Museum. Among the free admissions available in August are Aug. 14, Stone Zoo, Stoneham, and Aug 28, Museum of Fine Arts.

The Highland Street Foundation was established in 1989 by David J. McGrath, Jr., the founder and owner of TAD Resources International, Inc. He died in May of 1995 and TAD was sold in October 1997 to Adecco, the world’s largest temporary help company. The McGrath Family and the Highland Street Foundation (HSF) have donated more than $103 million to many worthy non-profit organizations, including $80 million to groups in Massachusetts alone. For more details about the free admissions and the foundation, visit