Top 5 Museums in Boston

Boston is a city known for its history, but it is also home to a lot of incredible museums. If you find yourself in the city on a rainy or cold day, check out these top 5 museums in Boston to enjoy a quiet afternoon in. (It’s important to note that during COVID19 many of these museums may be closed or doing timed ticket entrance only, so it’s important to check their websites).

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts, or also called the MFA, is my favorite museum in Boston. It offers a variety of artwork from all over the world, including Monet paintings, Ancient Egyptian jewelry and even musical instruments that are 100’s of years old. General admission is $25 per person, and children under 17 get in free. They occasionally have rotating exhibits, so ticket prices may be more if you’re looking to include entrance to those. The MFA is quite large, so we recommend planning to visit for an entire morning or afternoon!

A few tips on how to save when visiting this Museum: If you are a veteran, in active service or a student at college, you can get free admission. K-12 teachers can also get free admission if you teach in MA, CT, ME, NH, RI or VT. For everyone else, if you enter the museum on Wednesday afternoon between 3-4pm, you can get $5 admission thanks to a sponsor from Chase!

Institute of Contemporary Art

Image from E-Flux

Staying in the vein of art, the Institute of Contemporary Art (often called the ICA), is another art museum you can visit while in Boston. The ICA is not only a museum dedicated to presenting art in all forms of media, but it is a place of experiential learning for artists of all ages. It’s located right along the water and offers beautiful views! Admission is typically $15 per person. Since the ICA is relatively small, you most likely will only need 1-2 hours there.

Our Building | icaboston.org
Image from ICA

The ICA also has deals similar to the MFA. If you are 18 years or younger, you can visit for free. Seniors (60+) get reduced admission for $13 and students for $10. The ICA is free to visit on Thursday nights from 5-9pm for everyone.

  • Ticket Price: $10-$15
  • Getting there: Paid Parking options nearby. Strongly recommend taking public transportation (Silver Line)
  • ICA Website

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

Gardner Museum | History, Art, & Facts | Britannica
Image from Britannica

This museum in Boston has been at the top of my list, yet I haven’t been able to visit yet. Isabella Stuart was a wealthy aristocrat in Boston, who was well educated, well traveled and loved collecting art. In accordance to her will, she left the museum to the City of Boston under the stipulation that nothing be added or changed. The art was only altered once in 1990 when 13 paintings were stolen (they have yet to be discovered to this day)! General admission to this museum is $20 and what makes the experience unique is knowing that you are viewing a once privately owned art collection! It’s incredible how much she had bought over the years.

Isabella Stewart Gardner | American arts patron | Britannica
Image from Britannica

Seniors (65+) get a discounted admission rate of $18 and College students can enter for $13. Fun fact: If you’re name is Isabella, you receive free admission for life to the museum! Active military & veterans receive free admission as well. MA Teachers can get half off a ticket ($10), or buy one get one free ($20) for two adults.

Children’s Museum

I have only been to the Children’s Museum for my company’s summer party but I can only imagine it’s a magical place to visit when you’re young, as it has so many interactive things to keep kids engaged. (I must admit, it was fun as an adult also!) As far as Museums in Boston, this is one of the best for little children. General admission is $18 for visitors 1 year old and above.

For some deals, you can visit the museum on Friday night between 5-9pm for $1 admission! Visitors who enter for the last hour of admission get half priced tickets (every day except Friday). If you are a MA teacher, you can also get half priced admission and veterans & those in active service get free admission.

Museum of Science

Museum of Science | Boston | United States | Massachusetts | AFAR
Image from AFAR

The Museum of Science is a great place for both children and adults to explore together! This museum will teach you about animals and wildlife, the human body and outer space! They even have a planetarium and 4-D theater. General admission is $29, but attending any of the films will cost extra.

Children under the age of 3 are free to enter, and children 3-11 get a discounted rate of $24. Seniors (60+) also get a discounted rate of $25.

  • Ticket Price: $24-$29
  • Getting there: Parking Garage on site. Near to public transportation (MBTA Green Line)
  • Museum of Science Website

We want to end this post on a final tip: Many public libraries across Massachusetts offer free passes you can check out for a day to visit some of these museums for free. We always recommend calling your library to see what they offer.

Hope you enjoyed this post about top museums in Boston! Stay tuned for some more posts about Boston & New England.

Cheers, Amanda

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