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HomeAdventure21 Finest Museums in Boston (For Each Sort of Temper!)

21 Finest Museums in Boston (For Each Sort of Temper!)

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There are such a lot of glorious museums in Boston — it’s considered one of my favourite issues in regards to the metropolis. Actually, should you’re an enormous museum fan, Boston is among the greatest locations you would go!

Even so, most guests to Boston are inclined to go to the massive ones — the MFA, Museum of Science, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum — or the mainstays of the Freedom Path reasonably than branching out into the cool, area of interest, extra out-of-the-way museums. My suggestion? Check out the bizarre ones on this listing!

Whether or not you’re a longtime Bostonian seeking to discover your personal metropolis, a dad or mum decided to offer your youngsters an academic trip, or a weekend customer hoping to hit the very best spots in three days, this information will provide you with some concepts you didn’t have already.

Right here they’re — the very best Boston museums.

Welcome to our fabulous museum metropolis! Through Shutterstock.

Boston Museums FAQ

A sand-colored stone museum courtyard filled with pointy Gothic windows, statues, and so much lush greenery.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has the very best courtyard in all of Boston. Through LnP photographs on Shutterstock.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a memorable museum stuffed with European, Asian, and American artworks. It’s an excellent place to walk slowly by way of work, tapestries, sculptures, and different ornamental arts and immerse your self within the historical past of the world by way of artwork. 

Based by the eccentric Isabella Stewart Gardner, the museum was made attainable as a result of her will stipulated that her artwork assortment be completely displayed “for the schooling and pleasure of the general public ceaselessly.” She had a bohemian model and a thirst for journey, which makes the gathering very distinctive. The courtyard is to die for.

However most likely what this museum is greatest identified for is probably the most well-known heist within the historical past of Boston which occurred in 1990. 13 artworks with a mixed worth of $500 million had been stolen in a superb show of thievery that is still unsolved even as we speak.

Right this moment, there are empty frames the place the stolen artwork must be. I extremely suggest studying in regards to the heist earlier than visiting; the “Final Seen” podcast is an efficient place to begin.

Admission to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, and $13 for college students with legitimate ID. 

Two bright red glowing orbs in a dark room sending what looks like a strike of lightning to a giant bird cage with a man inside it.
The Van der Graaf Generator at Boston’s Museum of Science, through James Kirkikis on Shutterstock

Museum of Science

As one of many world’s largest science facilities, Boston’s Museum of Science is the right place for inquisitive youngsters and children at coronary heart! Situated on the Charles River Basin, a wide range of enjoyable interactive shows span the museum’s rotating and everlasting displays. 

The Corridor of Human Life, Depraved Good: Invented within the Hub, Stay Animal Care Heart, and New England Habitats are simply a few of the superb displays you’ll discover right here. The truth is, there are over 500 interactive displays and a wide range of dwell displays all through the day. 

The MOS options the Omni Theater, New England’s solely domed IMAX theater, in addition to a planetarium and a Theater of Electrical energy with one of many world’s largest Van de Graaf mills, a boon for science nerds! 

Talking as an grownup who went on many subject journeys right here as a child — the Museum of Science is among the greatest issues to do in Boston with youngsters. They may LOVE it.

Admission is $29 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $24 for kids age 3-11 (beneath 3 get in at no cost). Turn into a member to get entry to occasions and free admission all year long, together with parking entry.

Learn Extra: 24 Fabulous Issues to Do in Cambridge, Mass.

A couple paused in front of one of Monet's paintings of water lilies.
Monet’s Impressionist works draw lots of guests on the MFA in Boston, through Luke W. Choi on Shutterstock

Museum of Tremendous Arts

The gathering on the Museum of Tremendous Arts, regionally often known as the MFA, is huge with artifacts and paintings that may impress probably the most discerning of museum-goers. Not solely does it home among the best collections of Korean artwork exterior the peninsula of Korea itself, however the museum is thought for its reasonably magnificent Historic Egypt assortment. 

For many who recognize John Singer Sargent, there’s additionally a complete assortment of his work. There may be a lot right here that you would spend weeks viewing the whole lot. However no matter you do, don’t miss the Claude Monet gallery within the European wing. Reinstalled in 2016, it’s among the best caches of the Impressionist motion exterior of France. 

And who can overlook the spectacular Arts of Islamic Cultures Gallery which was developed in 2019 in collaboration with native Muslim teams.

Normal admission is $27 for adults, $10 for kids 7-17, with youngsters 6 and beneath free. There are add-ons for particular rotating displays. 

The modern ICA building jutting out over the edge of Boston Harbor, as people sit at tables by the water.
The ICA cuts a dramatic profile on the waterfront. Through Marcio Jose Bastos Silva on Shutterstock.

Institute of Modern Artwork

The Institute of Modern Artwork, identified in Boston because the ICA, this darling of a museum had its everlasting residence inbuilt 2006 on the sting of the harbor within the Seaport District. Situated in a former manufacturing facility in East Boston, the modern constructing designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro mirrors industrial cranes loading container ships. 

As soon as inside, you’ll see artworks which can be each modern and provocative, with a powerful program. The gathering is anchored by such feminine artists as Doris Salcedo, Eva Hesse, and Louise Bourgeois, all of which had been donated by philanthropist Barbara Lee. 

From Memorial Day by way of Labor Day, a seasonal satellite tv for pc house for large-scale work is a part of the ICA watershed. 

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for college students. In case you ebook forward to get your tickets, there’s a free shuttle that can take you to the museum out of your resort. 

The exterior of the Boston Children's Museum, a building of mostly glass.
Entrance to the Youngsters’s Museum of Boston in Fort Level, through Shutterstock.

Boston Youngsters’s Museum

Set alongside the Fort Level channel in a former warehouse, the Boston Youngsters’s Museum has three sprawling flooring of hands-on experiential studying areas for youths of all ages. It is among the largest youngsters’s museums in the US, and its everlasting assortment proves it.

Some 50,000 objects vary from nationwide historic specimens, historic artifacts, and uncommon dolls. Immersive, hands-on studying is the order of the day, and don’t be stunned to stroll into an “Discover-a-Saurus” part or bubble room that can deliver out the child in anybody. 

There may be additionally a second-floor PlaySpace for the youngest adventurers as much as 3 years of age, and Martin’s Park, a public playground positioned behind the museum. 

Admission is $20 for youths and adults, with infants getting in unlock till their first birthday. In case you’d wish to take your youngsters to PlaySpace, you’ll need to order your spot (included with admission value).

A woman leaning over to feed two penguins in a display at the aquarium.
Feeding penguins on the New England Aquarium, through Pavel L Photograph and Video on Shutterstock.

New England Aquarium

Located on Boston’s stunning Central Wharf, the New England Aquarium has greater than a dozen displays highlighting tons of of aquatic species world wide. This well-liked Boston Waterfront attraction does an incredible job of recreating the pure habitats that vary from reefs to tide swimming pools to rocky shorelines.

The aquarium additionally gives whale watching excursions the place guests can view whales, dolphins, sea birds, and different thrilling marine life. An IMAX theater options animals and their habitats, and different 3D films. 

Admission is $32 for adults, $30 for seniors 60+, $23 for youths age 3-11, and children beneath three are free. 

A brightly lit up 18th century brick building with a white bell tower, surrounded by modern skyscrapers at twilight.
The Previous State Home makes a hanging look within the Monetary District, through Shutterstock.

Previous State Home Museum

Inbuilt 1713, the Previous State Home was the town’s first townhouse and is the oldest surviving public constructing in Boston. Again within the day, it served as a gathering spot to alternate the information of the day and was thought of to be the middle of politics within the colonies. 

The Declaration of Independence was learn from its east aspect balcony, and simply throughout the road is the place the Boston Bloodbath passed off. It’s certainly one of the vital buildings in U.S. historical past, and positioned proper on the Freedom Path.

I additionally assume it’s one of the photogenic spots within the metropolis. I like the outdated constructing surrounded by skyscrapers, particularly simply after sundown when the lights come up.

Tickets for timed entry should be bought upfront and are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, $14 for college students, and $8 for kids 8-12. 

An old-fashioned brick church with a white bell tower surrounded by modern skyscrapers.
The Previous South Assembly Home, proper on the Freedom Path in Downtown Crossing, Boston, through DepositPhotos.

Previous South Assembly Home Museum

Since 1877 the Previous South has served as a museum, historic website, instructional establishment, and a sanctuary at no cost speech. Right this moment, it continues to be a catalyst for mental thought and sponsors public boards, live shows, debates, and theatrical displays. And a cease on the Freedom Path, in fact!

The continuing exhibit referred to as “Voices of Protest” conveys the inspiring and generally controversial story of the Previous South Assembly Home as instructed by way of the men and women whose achievements have formed historical past.

Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors 65+, $14 for college students, and $8 for kids 12 and beneath. 

A small gray house from the 1700s with tiny windows, set amongst taller brick buildings on a cobblestone street.
Paul Revere Home within the coronary heart of the North Finish (near nice Italian eating places!), through DepositPhotos.

Paul Revere Home

Although technically extra a historic residence than a museum, the Paul Revere Home deserves a spot on my greatest museums in Boston listing as a result of the person was such a legend! The well-known patriot, craftsman, and entrepreneur Paul Revere single-handedly modified the course of American historical past.

Tour his two-story, wood-frame Tudor-style residence and study 18th-century household life, view artifacts associated to Revere’s many enterprise ventures, and get the true story of his well-known midnight experience as instructed in his personal phrases! 

(That’s, should you didn’t go to Elementary College within the Boston space and didn’t need to memorize Paul Revere’s Experience by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to carry out at assemblies.)

Admission is $6 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and college students, and solely $1 for kids 5-17. 

A red house reading Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum next to the water, where a yellow ship is anchored.
The Boston Tea Social gathering Museum through Shutterstock.

Boston Tea Social gathering Ships

This one is a deal with because it brings historical past into larger-than-life standing with authentically-restored tea ships that mimic the fated tea thrown into Boston Harbor. Guests will step again in time to the Boston Tea Social gathering with a self-guided tour the place you possibly can relive a very powerful occasion main as much as the American Revolution.

However that is greater than only a stroll by way of historic artifacts, it’s an in-depth take a look at occasions as they really occurred. You’ll view one of many two remaining tea chests from the Boston Tea Social gathering. 

And you’ll even throw a pretend field of tea into Boston Harbor! It’s hooked up to a rope they usually haul it up once more, but it surely makes an excellent Instagram op! (I wish to deliver my British mates to this one.)

Admission is $31.95 for adults and $23.95 for youths 5-12, which features a guided tour with costumed interpreters, touring the restored 18th century vessel, viewing the Robinson Tea Chest, and extra.

A large, long library room with a curved granite ceiling. Rows of tables with green lamps, people studying at them.
Contained in the elegant Boston Public Library, through DepositPhotos.

Boston Public Library 

Whereas this isn’t a museum per se, the Boston Public Library is happening my listing as a result of it seems like one. This is among the greatest historic websites not associated to the American Revolution, and has some fairly cool exhibitions. A pioneer of the general public library service in America, it was the primary public library to lend books to locals.

With 25 neighborhood branches, the central library consists of two landmark buildings positioned in Copley Sq. in Again Bay. Notable objects embrace first version folios by William Shakespeare, authentic music scores by Mozart, and the private library of President John Adams. 

Lately the BPL started to supply reasonably priced mid-week weddings, so maintain your eyes peeled for joyful {couples}!

Anybody can go to the library and there’s free admission, however if you wish to view particular assortment supplies and uncommon books, you’ll need to be a library card holder. 

A modern white concrete building with a black glass attachment underneath a cloud-streaked blue sky.
Entrance to the JFK Library in Dorchester, through DepositPhotos.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Synonymous with the legacy of Boston, the Kennedy household is sort of mythological in American historical past, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a beautiful deep dive into considered one of Boston’s favourite sons.

Following the assassination of JFK, his spouse Jacqueline Kennedy helped information the imaginative and prescient of the library because it was developed into a contemporary monument and memorial to the 35th American President. The curated galleries transfer by way of Kennedy’s youth to his time on the White Home, and the exhibitions seize the eloquence of his speeches (and that unmistakeable accent).

Admission is $18 for adults (US veterans get $4 off grownup value), $12 for seniors 62+ and faculty college students, and $10 for youths 13-17 (12 and beneath are free).

Observe: In case you’re concerned with JFK’s life and historical past, take into account heading down the Cape to go to the various Kennedy websites in Hyannis. Learn extra in my information to the cities of Cape Cod.

Commonwealth Museum

Situated adjoining to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute on Columbus Level, historical past buffs can be overjoyed with the Commonwealth Museum. The story of Massachusetts is dropped at life by way of its wealthy historical past and thru the museum’s interactive, state-of-the-art displays. 

On show are artifacts courting again to 1630 when John Winthrop and the Pilgrims landed right here from England. ‘The Commonwealth’ is commonly used as a euphemism for all of Massachusetts, so chances are you’ll hear locals use the time period fairly a bit. 

Admission to the museum is free to the general public, making it a one of many uncommon free museums in Boston.

A red brick building with columns in front reading University Museum and Harvard Museum of Natural History.
The Harvard Museum of Pure Historical past in Cambridge Mass., through DepositPhotos.

Harvard Museum of Pure Historical past

The Harvard Museum of Pure Historical past is encompassed by three analysis museums: the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Mineralogical & Geological Museum, and the Harvard College Herbaria. Collectively, their mission is to reinforce public understanding and appreciation for the pure world and our place in it. 

That is the most-visited attraction at Harvard and options everlasting galleries, historic collections, and short-term exhibitions. Flick thru unique pure wonders as you are taking an immersive journey world wide. From Cenozoic mammals, to local weather change, evolution, and extra, that is an incredible museum throughout.

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65+, and $10 for youths 3-18 and college students with legitimate ID.

A smaller brick building with big windows and a concrete sign reading Fogg Museum of Art.
Entrance to the Harvard Artwork Museums in Cambridge, through Shutterstock.

Harvard Museum of Artwork

Step into the Harvard Museum of Artwork, or HMA, and also you’ll truly be visiting three museums without delay. The Fogg Museum showcases Western artwork from the Center Ages to as we speak. The Busch-Reisinger Museum options artwork from northern and central Europe, whereas the Arthur M Sackler Museum encompasses a nice assortment of Asian, Islamic, and Indian artwork. 

The bricked-facade museum surrounds a fantastic courtyard topped by a pyramidal glass ceiling made attainable by its Italian architect Renzo Piano. It offers your complete museum a breadth and depth which epitomizes Harvard’s footprint within the artwork world.

Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors 65+, free to all college students with ID (in addition to Harvard college students, who get to deliver a visitor at no cost), and free for kids. Everybody will get in free on Sundays. 

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

From giant Mayan sculptures to towering totem poles to treasured artifacts from the traditional previous, the Peabody Museum encompasses six continents of world tradition and is only a brief stroll from Harvard Sq.. See life-size casts of Maya monuments, together with rotating exhibitions that epitomize unique cultures in addition to colonial Harvard.

Based in 1866, the Peabody is among the oldest museums on the planet dedicated to anthropology, housing one of the complete data of cultural historical past within the Western Hemisphere. 

(Observe: that is completely different from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, one of many hottest issues to do in Salem.)

Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $10 for college students with legitimate ID and children 3-18. Admission is free for youths beneath 3 in addition to Harvard college students and Massachusetts residents with ID. 

A gray metal modern building reading MIT Museum Building.
The MIT Museum in Cambridge, through FrimuFilms on Shutterstock.

MIT Museum

Situated throughout the river from Boston in Cambridge, the MIT Museum is the place guests can nerd out on the mental side of Massachusetts. The MIT Museum’s galleries, exhibitions, workshops, demos, performances, and extra invite you to take part within the ongoing journey of innovation and analysis. 

It encompasses a huge assortment of rotating and everlasting STEM-based initiatives. Find out about MIT’s contribution to science, know-how, and different areas of lecturers within the fashionable world. 

Although closed on the time of publication, the MIT Museum can be reopening in its new Kendall Sq. location in October 2022.

Admission costs can be out there when the web site is revamped. 

Boston Fireplace Museum

The Boston Fireplace Museum is a neat area of interest museum that provides a real behind-the-scenes look into what a firefighter actually does and the instruments they use to do their job. They search to protect Boston’s firefighting memorabilia, restore and keep the general public firehouse, and educate the general public about hearth security.

Guests get to view some fairly cool objects reminiscent of a hand-drawn pumper utilized by firefighters in 1793. Engines, alarms, photographs, and different artifacts are included within the museum’s displays.

It’s proper across the nook from the Youngsters’s Museum in Fort Level, making these two a simple pairing for households. Don’t miss Flour Bakery close by! Their large do-it-yourself Oreos are implausible.

The Boston Fireplace Museum is a non-profit and admission is free. Their working prices come from fundraising and donations.

The Sports activities Museum

In a metropolis as sports-crazed as Boston, in fact there’s a museum dedicated to the native groups! Situated on the 5th and 6th flooring of the TD Backyard, the Sports activities Museum options displays properly organized by sport; hockey, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Sports activities followers will get a kick out of concourse galleries additionally highlighting rugby, boxing, soccer, and artifacts from the Boston marathon.

The museum boasts life-size statues of Larry Fowl, Bobby Orr, and Carl Yastrzemski, amongst others, in addition to an outdated hockey penalty field, and far more.

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for youths 7-18, and people beneath 6 get in free. Personal VIP excursions and subject journeys are additionally out there.

An 18th century old-fashioned large black ship docked in a harbor on a winter day. There is a bit of snow on the ground and a bright blue cloudless sky.
Previous Ironsides, a.ok.a. the USS Structure, anchored in Charlestown, through DepositPhotos.

USS Structure 

The USS Structure is the oldest commissioned ship within the US Navy, and naval officers and crew nonetheless serve aboard her as we speak. What makes this attraction particular is that it marks the top of the Freedom Path at Charlestown Navy Yard. Right here guests can discover how the ship was constructed, sailed, and preserved.

Development first started on the ship in October of 1797, when a then-young United States needed to defend herself towards the British Royal Navy. Right this moment the story is instructed time and again by a powerful assortment and interactive displays that your complete household can take pleasure in.

Admission is free, though there’s a instructed admission of $10–15 for adults, and $5–10 for kids.

Vilna Shul

Vilna Shul, a implausible heart for Jewish tradition, is the final immigrant-era synagogue nonetheless in existence within the metropolis of Boston. It has turn out to be a spot for individuals to attach with Boston Jewish cultural, historic, and religious experiences. 

By weaving collectively these points of Jewish life, the Vilna Shul conjures up American Jewish satisfaction and creates an approachable approach for each stroll of life to debate Judaism. It operates as a cultural heart, providing a wide range of programming, together with movies, conversations, and month-to-month Shabbat companies for all.

This vital cultural heart is free to the general public, aside from particular occasions. They settle for donations.

Better of Boston:

Extra on Massachusetts:

What’s your favourite museum in Boston? Share away!

21 Best Museums in Boston (For Every Kind of Mood!)



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