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Boston Museums

Best museums in Boston for kids & familiesBoston Museums

Boston Museums - A Great Family Activity for all Seasons & Weather

Anytime is a great time to get out and explore all of the wonderful Museums in Boston , MA. The Boston Museum of Science is full of mind-expanding exhibits and activities for you to explore.  Enjoy three levels of interactive exhibits, both permanent and travelling, an extensive food courst, a planetarium, IMAX Theatre, live presentations, a butterfly garden and a wonderful children's discovery zone.

Boston Museum of Science

Within the Museum, The Mugar Omni Theatre is dome-based IMAX experience that always has exciting documentaries to enjoy.   Each day, there are a number of interactive shows to see so be sure to check the daily calender for the schedule.  One of our favorites is the Theatre of Electricity, where audiences get to explore lightning and storm safety as the world's largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator hurls indoor bolts.

Boston Museum of Science Theatre of Electricity

The museum is located on Museum of Science Driveway, and features an onsite parking garage (2 hours free for members*).  You can also take the MBTA green line to Science Park, which is just a 5 minute walk from the museum.

For the younger set, The Boston Children’s Museum is a must visit. Try the super cool climbing structure, and enjoy the water & sand activities room in the Peep room, a favorite for all ages.   The brand new playspace for infants & toddlers is an impressive new addition; and just outside, along the Fort Point Channel, Martin's Park is a fabulous new inclusive playground for all to to enjoy during the nice weather.

Boston Children's Museum

Just steps away, is the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum.   Vistors can take a step back in history to bear witness to a re-creation of the famous protest in a full scale replica of the tea party ship.  This one-of-a-kind flosting museum a great place for kids to learn first-hand what happened at the Boston Tea Party. 

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

An entirely new kind of museum, where you’ll not only view artifacts of historical importance, you’ll also have an all-encompassing, multi-sensory experience .  You may even get to toss a box of tea over the side of the boat - which is a terrific photo -op.  

Boston Tea Party

There is a fun gift shop that sells lots of Bostonian gear, including high quality tri-corner hats.  Be sure to go upstais for a cup of tea and a snack in the tea room after your visit. 

Of course, a visit to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the New England Aquarium on the Boston Waterfront. See penguins, jellies & favorite creatures under the sea in the giant 4 story cylindrical tank. 

New England Aquarium Jellies

If art is your scene, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is an elegant and impressive space filled with captivating masterpieces from around the world. The MFA also offers many hands-on activities for children. Just down the road, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features extensive exhibits inside a stunning 15th-century Venetian-style palace.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Courtyard

The Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) features 12,000 specimens to explore including dinosaurs, meteorites, gemstones, birds and animals from around the globe.  Enjoy frequent family programs and classes.

photo credit: Amy Seavey

Take a leap into the future at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) along the Seaport Waterfront and be dazzled with the minds of today’s most gifted artists, as well as great family-friendly activities at the ICA playdates and family workshops. 

photo credit: BostonCentral

Looking for a veritable showcase of innovation?  The MIT Museum Boston, is actually located in nearby Cambridge.  It's home to world renowned collections in science and technology, holography, architecture and design, and nautical engineering.   The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as a wide array of public programs.

USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown houses over 3000 original artifacts, and opportunities for lots of hands-on activities for little ones.   The museum is free to visit and includes lots of hands on activities for kids. 

Just steps away, Old Ironsides is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.  A free tour of this 200-year-old ship gives visitors of all ages a chance to get his/her sea legs.  Our guide to visiting Charlestown with kids has a great photo journal and itinerary to help you plan a terrirific day.  

USS Constitution Museum

Courtesy USS Constitution Museum. Photo by Michael Blanchard

Along the waterfront in South Boston, you'll find the stately JFK LIbrary & Museum.  Step back into the re-created world of the early 1960’s and experience first-hand the life and legacy of John and Jacqueline Kennedy through 25 exhibits, 3 theaters and 20 video presentations. 

Don't miss the soaring glass atrium with a giant American flag displayed above; as well as the promenade out back that features JFK's personal sailing sloop (Victura) along with beautiful views of South Boston and Boston Harbor.

photo credit: BostonCentral

 Pop out to the burbs, and visit The deCordova Museum & Sculpture Park in Concord, The Peabody Essex Museum and the Salem Witch Museum in Salem, or the Concord Museum for a rich experience in art, culture and history.

deCordova Museum Sculpture Park Jay Sao

photo credit: BostonCentral

Finally, if you're a literature fan, you might want to visit the Orchard House in nearby Concord. It is the former home of the Alcott family, most notably Louisa May Alcott, who wrote the famous novel Little Women there in the mid-1800s. Visitors are welcome to tour the house and learn all about her family, who inspired the main characters of the popular novel and movie.

Orchard House Louisa May AlcottJust steps away from the Alcott House, lies town center of modern-day Concord features a number of interesting stores and restaurants, known as the Main Street Shops, as well as the historic Colonial Inn, which is a working hotel, restaurant and pub.   

Visitors can walk off a meal with a stroll up Monument Avenue to visit the Old Manse, as well as the Old North Bridge - the historic site of one of the many famous battles of the Revolutionary War.

Old North Bridge Concord at Dusk

photo credit: BostonCentral

Another museum in metrowest that is worth checking out is The American Heritage Museum in Hudson, MA.   About an hour west of Boston,  The American Heritage Museum is part of the Collings Foundation, which has one of the largest collections of operational old-time aircraft and tanks in the world.  You can view our photo journal of the museum for an insider's view as to what awaits.

photo credit: BostonCentral

Among the staggering variety of rare relics, the American Heritage Museum features over fifteen tanks and artifacts that are the only ones on public display in North America.  

Remember to check your  local library for discount passes!   The Museum Pass program offers both discounted and free tickets to visit many of the most popular attractions in and around Boston.   All you need is a library card to have access to both savings and fun. 

In addition, many museums offer free admission days for kids, and it's helpful to know how & when you can take advantage of those days. 

For an even broader list of ideas, visit our guide featuring Museums in Massachusetts and New England, or sign up for our free weekly events newsletter so you can stay in-the-know about family friendly events & activities happening nfree ear you.