Boston Museums

The Boston museums, as is true of the city that they call home, cater to a wide variety of interests. Understandably, many put the focus on the city’s rich history. Others revolve around such things as science and art, and there is a special Boston museum that is designed to inspire the imagination of kids. Tourists who hope to visit as many Boston museums as possible are encouraged to keep an eye out for special deals. Often times, for example, admission to the city’s many cultural institutions is included on a general Boston attractions card that has built-in savings, so that can be a good place to start.

Boston Museum of Science

Boston Museum of Science
Boston Museum of Science

Set along the banks of the Charles River, this large museum offers numerous exhibits, many of which are interactive. Any number of subjects are covered, including dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, and the universe. Complementing the exhibits are a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and a 3-D digital cinema. The Boston Museum of Science also has a simulator ride that offers insight into various topics, and there are live presentations on a daily basis that revolve around any number of subjects. Changing exhibits help to keep things fresh for repeat visitors, and the museum also puts on a variety of special events throughout the year.

Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Children’s Museum  Image: Ben + Sam (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

Many families understandably include a visit to this museum on their lists of things to do in Boston. Its assortment of exhibits and activities largely aim to amuse youngsters, as well as educate them, and adults can have plenty of fun themselves. In general, the Boston Children’s Museum puts the focus on such subjects as science, environmental awareness, culture, the arts, and health and fitness. Permanent exhibits mix with special temporary exhibits, and the admission price includes all activities. 

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Situated in the Fenway - Kenmore neighborhood, this museum was established in 1903 and offers an impressive art collection of major world importance. It isn’t all about the art, though. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum plays host to a variety of special events throughout the year, including concerts, lectures, and family programs. Also of interest is the building that houses the impressive art collection. Its design was inspired by the Renaissance palaces of Venice, Italy. Venice, it should be noted, was the favorite foreign destination of the museum founder, Isabella Stewart Gardner herself. This museum was targeted by theives in 1990, in one of the most lucrative and brazen unsolved art thefts ever. A number of priceless works were taken, including pieces by Rembrandt and one of only 34 known Vermeer paintings in the world. The investigation is still active, and the museum has offered a five million dollar reward for information leading to the recovery of the artwork. 

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts  Image: © Chuck Choi

Within walking distance of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is another Boston museum that art enthusiasts won’t want to miss. This museum is the Museum of Fine Arts. Easily one of the most renowned Boston museums, this wonderful institution is largely noted for its size and its high visitor numbers. It is quite simply one of the largest museums in the entire United States, and attracts more than one million visitors on an average annual basis. Among the highlights at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are its Egyptian artifacts, its impressionist and post-impressionist French paintings, and its collection of 18th and 19th century American art.

Historic Museums

Historic Museums
Historic Museums  Image: USS Constitution Museum

Boston has a wonderfully rich history. This helps to explain why there are so many historic Boston Museums. Among these museums are such renowned institutions as the Paul Revere House, the Tea Party Museum, and the USS Constitution Museum. The Paul Revere House was built way back in 1680 and was the colonial home of one of America’s greatest patriots. The Tea Party Museum, or the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, as it is officially known, largely deals in subject matter relating to the American Revolution. As for the USS Constitution Museum, it comes in the form of a famous ship. That ship – the USS Constitution – was named by none other than President George Washington, though you might know it better by its nickname, “Old Ironsides.”

Other Museums

Other Museums
Other Museums  Image: jeffgunn (flickr)

Anyone whose Massachusetts vacation includes a visit to Boston can also indulge in any other number of fantastic museums. Among these museums are the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum and the Harvard University Museum of Natural History in Cambridge. Planning for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum started in 1963 – the same year that the beloved leader of the nation was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Approximately one year after the assassination, the renowned architect, I.M. Pei, was chosen to be the museum’s architect. In relation to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, it was created in 1998 and serves as the “public face” of three different research museums. These museums are the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Geological Museum, and the Herbaria.

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