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Massachusetts museums and galleries are among the finest in the world

Museums and Galleries in Massachusetts

Great art and artifacts, sculpture, photographs, machinery and much more spanning millennia of human endeavor are on vivid display throughout Massachusetts in cities and in the mountains. Masterworks of every era and culture are here. Galleries feature the work of living artists, and living history museums offer interpretations and reenactments. The state of Massachusetts has its own museum and there’s the Salem Witch Museum, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Indian Motorcycle Museum and many children’s museums. The fabulous Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) and the Norman Rockwell Museum chronicle American life and its artists.

231 River Street North Adams, MA, 01247 Phone: 413-664-0400

Inn near MASS MoCA a work of art in its own right

When you walk across the bridge from the internationally renowned Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to your room at the Porches Inn, you might feel you have just strolled from one gallery to another. Each room at the homey inn has its own color and texture palette, its own retro furniture and collectibles. Not surprising when you consider its attachment to MASS MoCA as well as its proximity to the Clark Art Institute, the Williams College Museum of Art and Bennington Museum, among other sites. Blending the historical – the inn is based in beautifully detailed Victorian row houses – and the modern (heated outdoor pool, Apple TVs, Jacuzzi tubs), the Porches’ quirky spirit and dramatic visuals make it ideal for museum- and gallery-goers.

75 Court Street Plymouth, MA, 02360 Phone: 508-746-1620

Remarkable historical artifacts from the age of the Pilgrims

A museum of extraordinary historical value and import, Pilgrim Hall’s mission is to protect, foster, and educate about America’s important heritage. Built in 1824 in the center of historic Plymouth this is the nation’s oldest continuously–operating public museum. Long before the pilgrims arrived, however, this land belonged to the Wampanoag peoples for more than 10,000 years and the story of their relationship with colonial peoples is here. You’ll see a remarkable collection of Pilgrim possessions and paintings and artifacts. William Bradford’s Bible is here, as is Myles Standish’s sword and the earliest sampler made in America, embroidered by his teenage daughter. You’ll find also the only portrait painted from life of a Pilgrim and the cradle that was made for New England’s very first–born.

55 Salisbury Street Worcester, MA, 01609 Phone: 508-799-4406

Visit this one of its kind museum of world art treasures

One of the finest mid-sized museums in the country offers extraordinary art treasures from 50 centuries of the world’s cultures. There is a Renaissance Court with a rare Roman floor mosaic; a medieval Chapter House from the Benedictine Priory of Saint John in west central France; and an exhibit called “Remastered” that offers a new look at the old European Masters. WAM’s 37,500-piece collection includes works by Cassatt, Gauguin, Goya, Monet, Sargent and Homer. It’s also home to a world-renowned collection of arms, armor and art from China, Japan and India. Take a guided tour, browse the Art Carts. and sign up for adult and youth art classes and workshops. There is a museum library, café and shop.

200 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA, 02115 Phone: 617-450-7000

An Extraordinary Life Celebrated in a Boston Landmark

In 1875, teacher, author and healer Mary Baker Eddy published “Science and Health,” her seminal document in the founding of the Christian Science movement. Here in this magnificent 11-story library and museum, a Boston landmark, follow the spread and impact of the teachings and practices that marked her extraordinary life and work through books, documents, photographs, and exhibits. Visit the Mapparium, a three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 and a symbol of the global outreach of Eddy’s Christian Science Monitor, launched in 1908, and reading rooms across the globe. Special events, webcasts, and children’s programs add further breadth while state-of-the-art computer programming in the Hall of Ideas illustrates how ideas cross time and geography to change the world.

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, off Route 20 Sturbridge, MA, 01566 Phone: 508-347-3362 Toll-Free: 800-733-1830

Old Sturbridge Village presents the artifacts, activities, and seasonal celebrations of rural New England during the 50 years following the American Revolution (1790-1840). The centerpiece of the museum is a recreated rural New England town of the 1830s encompassing a center village, mills area, and countryside. Period handcrafts, heirloom gardens, and heritage breeds of farm animals are part of the village. Many seasonal activities and celebrations for all ages. Open year-round, but hours vary seasonally. Information: www.osv.org/

185 Elm Street Fitchburg, MA, 01420 Phone: 978-345-4207

Discover the world’s art treasures right nearby

With over 20,000 square feet of space showing current and ongoing exhibitions, the Fitchburg Art Museum features works from historical collections and special loan exhibitions focused on regional contemporary art. The permanent exhibitions include 19th century American art, American photography, African, Greek, and Roman art, and one of the best exhibits on ancient Egypt in New England. Founded in 1925 through the bequest of artist, collector and Fitchburg native Eleanor Norcross (1854-1923), the Museum is a showcase and testament to her extraordinary talents and educational vision as an important pioneer in American social history. Discover masterpieces in 12 beautifully designed galleries. And on the first Thursday of the month from November to March, shop the Fitchburg Farmers’ Market on site.

1 College Street Worcester, MA, 01610 Phone: 508-793-3356

Artwork that provides insights into spiritual issues

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery promotes and supports the intellectual and cultural life of College of the Holy Cross. Through its exhibitions and acquisitions, both historical and contemporary, the Gallery educates members of the College community, the Worcester community and the larger community of scholars and artists about the fundamental intellectual, cultural, spiritual and aesthetic issues encountered through art.
Throughout the academic year the gallery presents a series of original and loan exhibitions featuring contemporary and historically significant works of art. In conjunction with exhibitions, the gallery also serves as a center for social interaction between students, faculty and community members through receptions, guest lectures, readings and student presentations. The Cantor Gallery is free and open to the public.

65 Main Street Watertown, MA, 02472 Phone: 617-926-2562

Explore three millennia of rich culture, art and history

This is a must-see destination for lovers of culture and art has amassed a vast collection of textiles, artifacts, metal work, and more, spanning 3,000 years of Armenian history. In its more than 40-year history, the museum has grown from a small collection stored in a church parish to a full-scale museum housed in a four-story building at the center of Watertown. Its permanent collections include the photography of Yousuf Karsh (known for his iconic portraits of Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, and many others) and an eye-opening exhibition explaining the history and effects of the Armenian Genocide. You don’t have to be Armenian to find something fascinating at this premier destination for student groups, families and tourists. Click on our link above to plan your visit and learn more.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

1000 Hall of Fame Avenue Springfield, MA Phone: 877-446-6752

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is home to more than 300 inductees and more than 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Hundreds of interactive exhibits share the spotlight with skills challenges, live clinics, and shooting contests. Basketball fans will find exhibits, interactive kiosks, memorabilia, and hands-on activities. Children and adults can spend the day in the 80,000-square-foot facility shooting baskets on a regulation court, measuring their skills against sports legends in an interactive game. Kids are invited to coaches’ clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hours vary by season

Williams College Museum of Art

15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2 Williamstown, MA, 01267 Phone: 413-597-2429

Modern and contemporary art, American art from the late 18th century to the present, and the art of world cultures. Maurice and Charles Prendergast gallery. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m., Admission: Free. Information: wcma.williams.edu.

Cape Cod Children's Museum

577 Great Neck Road Mashpee, MA, 02659 Phone: 508-539-8788

Children will find much to learn and do here. Hands-on exhibits, pirate ship, indoor planetarium; puppet theater, toddler play area, and daily programs. Hours: Tuesday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m. Admission: Up to age 59, $7; seniors age 60 and older, $6. Information: www.capecodchildrensmuseum.org/

Custom House Maritime Museum

25 Water Street Newburyport, MA, 01950 Phone: 978-462-8681

Follow the history of maritime Massachusetts through the exhibits at this museum. Hours: May 15 to December 21, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday & holiday Mondays, noon to 4 p.m.; January 1 to May 15, Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; seniors and students, $5, Information: www.customhousemaritimemuseum.org.

Concord Museum

Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Road Concord, MA, 01742 Phone: 978-369-9763

Exploring historic Concord? Begin at the Concord Museum!

For a small town, Concord has a big history. From the “shot heard round the world” to the writers of the American literary renaissance, things have happened here, words have been spoken here and books have been written here which changed the face of a nation. Over time, Concord has become a symbol of liberty and intellectual freedom. And nowhere is that important heritage captured more dramatically than at the Concord Museum. An inspiring collection of American treasures includes the 1775 “one, if by land, two, if by sea” Revere lantern, Thoreau’s Walden desk and Emerson’s Study. Linger in engaging history galleries, enjoy the beauty of Concord antiques, and create your own memories with family-friendly activities. Open daily year round.

Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University

5 South Street Waltham, MA Phone: 781-736-3432

The Rose Art Museum specializes in modern and contemporary art. It has top-shelf works by, among others, Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ad Reinhardt. When you enter campus through the main entrance, take a left. You will pass the admissions building and the round Spingold Theatre building, both on your left. The Rose Art Museum will be on your left. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission: Free. Information: www.brandeis.edu/rose/

Aptucxet Trading Post Museum

24 Aptucxet Road Bourne, MA, 02532 Phone: 508-759-9487

This museum is set in a replica of a 17th century trading post. Exhibits feature a windmill, gardens and artifacts from the period. Open seasonally. There is an admission fee.This museum is set in a replica of a 17th century trading post. Exhibits feature a windmill, gardens and artifacts from the period. Open seasonally. There is an admission fee.

Crane Museum of Papermaking

30 South Street Dalton, MA, 01226 Phone: 413-664-2538 Toll-Free: 800-268-2281

Situated in Crane's historic 1845 old stone mill. Exhibits and displays of nearly 200 years of papermaking in Dalton.
Hours: June through mid-October, Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m.. To schedule a group tour, call 413-684-7780.
Admission: Free.
Information: www.crane.com/about-us/crane-museum-of-papermaking

Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Wellesley College, 106 Central Street Wellesley, MA Phone: 781-283-2051

The beautiful Rafael Moneo-designed Davis Museum offers innovative temporary exhibitions and spacious galleries for the museum’s permanent collection of nearly 10,000 works of art that spans the 3,000 years of art history. The permanent collection features American Art. This hidden gem on the Wellesley College campus is free and open to all. Hours: Tuesady–Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon–4 p.m. Admission: Free. Information: www.davismuseum.wellesley.edu.

Museum of African American History, Nantucket campus

29 York Street Nantucket, MA, 02554 Phone: 508-228-9833

The Museum of Afro-American History on Nantucket features two historic sites, the African Meeting House and the Florence Higginbotham House. These buildings were at the center of a thriving nineteenth-century African American community on the island. The Museum presents cultural programs and interpretive exhibits on the history of African Americans on Nantucket. Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, 43; children age 13-17, $3; children younger than 12, free. Hours: July to October, Monday to Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 1-3 p.m. Other months by appointment Information: www.afroammuseum.org/nantucket_campus.htm

Provincetown Art Association and Museum of Art

460 Commercial Street Provincetown, MA, 02657 Phone: 508-487-1750

Since 1914, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum has served as a collecting museum and a professional artists association. PAAM houses five galleries, two sculpture gardens, more than 2,000 works by more than 500 artists, and a museum school run by professional artists. Year-round programs include a concert series, a film series, auctions, galas, readings, lectures, and Friday night exhibition openings. Hours: October-May, Thursday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; Memorial Day-September, Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Over age 12, $7; free Friday evenings. Information: www.paam.org.

Whistler House Museum of Art

243 Worthen Street Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-452-7641

The birthplace of James Abbott McNeil Whistler. Exhibits of Whistler's and others' artwork.
Hours: Wednesday-Saturrfday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $5; seniors and students, $4.
Information: www.whistlerhouse.org.

Old Colony and Fall River Railroad Museum

Battleship Cove Fall River, MA, 02720 Phone: 508-674-9340

Exhibits in this museum center on the history of railroading in the Fall River area and Southern New England. Train cars filled with extensive collection of railroad memorabilia. Hours: Call ahead for hours of operation and admission charge. Information: www.facebook.com/oldcolonyandFRrailroadMuseum

Willard House and Clock Museum

11 Willard Street Grafton, MA, 01536 Phone: 508-839-3500

Over 90 Willard clocks displayed in 1718 Willard homestead and 1766 clock shop; 18th century pewter and furniture; 19th century Oriental rugs and children's toys; Willard family furnishings and portraits; 18th and 19th century firearms; Nipmuc Indian artifacts; and horological research library. Reservations requested for groups of eight and larger. Hours: April-December, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; Winter Hours, January-March, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; seniors, $6; students ages 13 and older, $6; children ages 6-12, $3. Information: www.willardhouse.org.

Storrowton Village Museum

1305 Memorial Avenue West Springfield, MA, 01089 Phone: 413-205-5051

A restored New England village, featuring blacksmith shop, homes, schoolhouse, and a meetinghouse. Open seasonally. There is an admission fee.

Thornton W. Burgess Museum

4 Water Street (Route 130) Sandwich, MA, 02563 Phone: 508-888-4668

The author of the Peter Rabbit stories lived in this home and did much of his work here. The museum features a variety of memorabilia relating to the life and times of Thornton Burgess. Visitors can browse a variety of books, toys, games, and household goods that feature some of Burgess’ most famous characters including Peter Rabbit, Reddy Fox, and Jimmy Skunk. Also housed in the museum are a gift shop, featuring Green Briar Jam Kitchen products, educational toys and games, storybooks, and Cape Cod goodies. Hours: June 4-October 13, Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; closed on Sunday Admission: Donation. Information: www.thorntonburgess.org/

Cahoon Museum of American Art

4676 Falmouth Road Cotuit, MA, 02635 Phone: 508-428-7581

Open:

Colonial farmhouse from 1775; primitive paintings by Ralph and Martha Cahoon; 19th- and early 20th- century American art; changing exhibits.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m. closed January.
Admission: General, $8; seniors, $7; students, $6; children under age 12, free.
Information: www.cahoonmuseum.org.

Milton Art Museum

900 Randolph Street Canton, MA Phone: 781-821-2222

The Asian Collection includes examples of original art and artifacts, prints, sculptures and craftsmanship from the Asian cultures. Thai Headdresses, Bhuddahs, Furniture, Sume-i painting, Chinese and Japanese Calligraphy are on permanent display. The Western collection includes Remington and Russell cast bronzes, and American and European etchings and lithographs spanning from 18th to the 20th century. On exhibit are Piranesi, Turner, Renoir, Picasso, Chagall, Manet, Cezanne, Kollwitz, Whistler, Signac and Baskin to name a few. The modern art collection of signed prints include Warhol, Dali, Margritte, Komjate, Miro, Motherwell, Hundertwasser, Lebadang, and Calder. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon. Admission: Free. Information: miltonartmuseum.org/

Nantucket Life Saving Museum

Polpis Road Nantucket, MA, 02554 Phone: 508-228-1885

This museum is the re-creation of the 1874 life guard station originally at this site.
Hours: Late May to Columbus Day, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; youth age 5-18, $3.
Information: www.nantucketshipwreck.org.

Mead Art Museum

Amherst College Amherst, MA, 01002 Phone: 413-542-2335

More than 16,000 works; collections range from antiquity to present; portraits by Gilbert Stuart, Italian Renaissance paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, Mediterranean antiquities, and pre-Columbian ceramics. Hours: Academic year hours, Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 9 a.m.– midnight; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Summer hours, Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission: Free. Information: www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/

Heritage Museums & Gardens

67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA, 02563 Phone: 508-888-3300

Located on 100 acres of gardens and nature trails.

Heritage Museums & Gardens celebrates American culture. Three gallery buildings house automobiles, American folk art, historical artifacts, a vintage carousel, and special exhibitions. Hidden Hollow, an interactive family-friendly area, allows for exploration of the natural world and learning about the environment.

During the 2014 season, special exhibitions include Wicked Plants (April 19 – September 1) and David Rogers’ Big Bugs (May 31 - October 26). Inspired by Amy Stewart’s best-selling book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities, this exhibit gives visitors an up-close view of some of the world’s most diabolical botanicals. With Big Bugs, sculptor David Rogers creates insects such as 25-foot long ants and dragonflies using various combinations of whole trees, cut green saplings, dry branches, and other forest materials. Open April 19 – October 26, 10am-5pm; Memorial Day Weekend – Labor Day Weekend, 10am-6pm.

Salem Witch Museum

19 Washington Square North Salem, MA Phone: 978-744-1692

The story has been told in books, films, and on the stage: in a short period during 1692 and 1693, the puritanical town of Salem tried and executed 20 people for the crime of witchcraft. The Salem Witch Museum in Washington Square tells the story through exhibits and live performance. Haunted Happenings, in October, is a giant witchcraft and Halloween festival.

Nantucket Whaling Museum

13 Broad Street Nantucket, MA, 02554 Phone: 508-228-1894

The museum features a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, a restored 1847 spermaceti candle factory, exhibition space, and an observation deck. The candle factory, built following Nantucket’s Great Fire in 1846, still has its original whale-oil beam press. Visitors can learn about the whale hunt and see the whale skeleton, a rigged whaleboat, a collection of whaling tools, and portraits of whaling captains. Other galleries include scrimshaw, lightship baskets, an 1850 Fresnel lens, and the 1881 town clock. Children’s activities allow lots of hands-on exploration and fun. Concerts of traditional music take place all summer. Hours: April 30–October 8, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; October 9–December 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adult, $17; seniors (over age 64), $15; students, $15; youth (age 6-17), $8. Information: www.nha.org/sites/index.html

Boston Children's Museum

The museum’s interactive exhibits focus on early childhood development and have three themes: arts, culture, and science. Exhibits that encourage children to have fun while they learn are extensive, including the New Balance Climb, a climbing maze made up of brightly painted towers and tubes; Science Playground, a series of sensational physical science exhibits; Hall of Toys, filled with intricate dollhouses, and much more.

Orleans Historical Society and Museum

3 River Road Orleans, MA, 02653 Phone: 508-240-1329

This Greek Revival structure is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is used for special exhibits and cultural programs. The Society has a collection covering genealogical information, diaries, deeds, 19th- and 20th-century photos, artwork by local artists, about Orleans families and people, ships' logs, Native American artifacts, and other items relating to the history of Orleans. Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon or by appointment. Admission free, suggested donation.

Wenham Museum

132 Main Street Wenham, MA, 01984 Phone: 978-468-2377

Museum of social history from 175h century to present. Claflin-Richard House (c. 1690); world-renowned doll collection, dollhouse, costumers, model trains, toys. Conant photography collection, family discovery, and changing exhibits. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Mondays and major holidays
Admission: Adults,$8; children ages 1- 18, $6.
Information: www.wenhammuseum.org.

Indian Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame

33 Hendee Street Springfield, MA, 01104 Phone: 413-737-2624

The Indian Motorcycle Museum chronicles the history of American Indian motorcycles, the beautiful, vintage predecessors to the two-wheeled vehicles we know today. Set in the former Indian Motorcycle factory, the museum features such attractions as the world's first motorcycle (made of wood), the only remaining water-cooled aircraft engine, a folding motorcycle designed to give paratroopers a quick transportation option upon landing, and much more. The museum resides in the heart of town, near Blunt Park. Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $3; children, $1. Information: http://bit.ly/VT0KS1

160 Pawtucket Blvd Lowell, MA Phone: 978-458-8750

Park describes the history of this industrial city; also boating, fishing, and walking along esplanade

This state historical park describes the life and history of Lowell’s 19th-centry textile mills and the generations of immigrant workers that passed through their doors. The site includes a network of canals that furnished power to the textile mills along the water and a 2-mile esplanade along the Merrimack River.

Bartlett Museum

270 Main Street Amesbury, MA, 01913 Phone: 978-388-4528

Museum features collections of horse-drawn carriages and Native American artifacts.
Hours: Memorial Day to Labor Day, Friday and Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.; other times by appointment Admission is free.
Information: www.bartlettmuseum.org.

French Cable Station Museum

41 South Orleans Road Orleans, MA, 02653 Phone: 508-240-1735

One of the most significant developments of the 19th century was the transatlantic cable connecting North America to Europe by telephone. This museum houses the original equipment used to lay that cable. Hours: July and August, Thursday through Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; June and September, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Admission: Free; donations welcome. Information: www.frenchcablestationmuseum.org

Norman Rockwell Museum

9 Glendale Road (Route 183) Stockbridge, MA, 01262 Phone: 413-298-4100

Largest collection of original work by Norman Rockwell, the quintessential American illustrator famous for his "Saturday Evening Post" covers. Artist's studio; exhibitions of Rockwell's work, his contemporaries, and modern illustrators. Hours: May-November 11 and holidays, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Thursdays until 7 p.m. in July and August; November 12-May, weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; weekends and holidays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $16; seniors 65 and older, $14.50; college students, $10; youth ages 6-18, $5. Information: www.nrm.org.

The Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists

300 Walnut Avenue Boston, MA, 02119 Phone: 617-442-8614

A total focus the art of Afro-Americans, including exhibits, tours, lectures, films, and concerts. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday,1-5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $4; seniors and students, $3. Information: www.ncaaa.org/museum.html.

National Heritage Museum

33 Marrett Road, Route 2A Lexington, MA, 02421 Phone: 781-861-6559

American history exhibits; films, shows, and concerts; permanent exhibit on freemasonry and the American Revolution. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission: free. Information: www.monh.org/

Chatham Railroad Museum

Depot Road Chatham, MA, 02633 Phone:

Paradise for railroad enthusiasts features thousands of train models, restored train depots, railroad artifacts and a 1910 caboose.
Hours: Second and fourth Sundays of the month, 2-4 p.m., except holidays.
Admission: Free.
Information: www.chathamrailroadmuseum.org.

Institute of Contemporary Art

100 Northern Ave. Boston, MA, 02210 Phone: 617-478-3101

The Institute of Contemporary Art unveiled its new home on Fan Pier on Boston's waterfront in December 2006. The building's dramatic cantilevered design integrates the city's HarborWalk into the museum and offers shifting views of the harbor. The design weaves together interior and exterior space, producing shifting perspectives of the waterfront throughout the museum's galleries and public spaces. Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. with free admission on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $13; students, $10. Information: www.icaboston.org/

New Bedford Fire Museum

868 Pleasant Street - New Bedford New Bedford, MA, 02740 Phone: 508-991-6124

Restored fire trucks and interactive exhibits highlight this museum of firefighting, firefighters and their tools. Hours: Call ahead for visiting hours. Information: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/fire/museum.html

Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy

180 Main Street Andover, MA, 01810 Phone: 508-759-4015

Paintings, prints, sculpture, decorative arts, and photography by American artists from Colonial times to the present. Works by John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere, James Whistler, Edward Hopper, Frank Stella, and Alexander Calder displayed on a rotating basis. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.; closed August 1 through Labor Day. Admission is free. Information: www.andover.edu/museums/addison/

Cape Cod Museum of Art

60 Hope Lane Dennis, MA, 02638 Phone: 508-385-4477

Paintings, graphics, and sculpture by Cape Cod artists. Sculpture garden. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Admission: Adults. $9; seniors age 62 and older, $8; youth age 13-18, $5. Information: www.ccmoa.org/

Larz Anderson Auto Museum

15 Newton Street Brookline, MA, 02445 Phone: 617-522-6547

The Larz Anderson Auto Museum is home to America’s oldest car collection. For over 75 years the Larz Anderson Auto Museum has been supporting the community through a variety of educational programs, exhibits, and lectures. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Admission: Adults, $10; military people, seniors, students, and children age 6-12, $5. Information: larzanderson.org.

Historic Deerfield

88 Old Main Street Deerfield, MA, 01342 Phone: 413-775-7214

Located in western Massachusetts off Routes 5 and 10 in the 330-year old village of Deerfield, the museum has been called the gem of rural New England. It includes 12 houses dating to the 18th and 19th centuries and three exhibition galleries at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life. Guided and self-guided tours are offered. A full calendar of programs, special events, and village walking tours are offered throughout the year. The Museum Store and Bookshop feature gifts, museum reproductions and books about early America and the decorative arts.
Hours: Open Daily, year round; hours vary by season. Call ahead or counsult website.
Admission: Adults, $12; youth age 6-17, $5.
Information: www.historic-deerfield.org.

Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers

288 Derby Street Salem, MA Phone: 978-740-2929

This gallery-type museum has 50 wax figures in scenes that show Salem's history from its founding in 1626 through to the witch trials 1692 and into it period of global commerce in the 18th century. In the Interactive area, you can learn to tie knots like a sailor, create a gravestone rubbing, or feel what it’s like to be locked up in a life-size re-created jail cell. Other offerings are a guided tour called The Salem Witch Village, and Frankenstein’s castle. Hours vary by season. See hours of operation.

Children's Museum in Easton

The Old Fire Station, 9 Sullivan Avenue North Easton, MA, 02356 Phone: 508-230-3789

Located in the historic Old Fire Station in North Easton, the Children's Museum of Easton offers hands-on experience to stimulate curiosity and motivate learning. Three floors of interactive exhibits and over 100 programs allow kids to explore the world around them. Primarily for children age 1 to 8. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; closed most Mondays; call ahead for holidays or school vacation hours Admission: $7.50 per person; children under 1 admitted for free. Information: www.childrensmuseumineaston.org

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum

397 Main Street Hyannis, MA, 02601 Phone: 508-790-3077

This museum focuses on Kennedy's life and activities during the times he vacationed in Hyannis. Hours: Mid-April through Memorial Day, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Memorial Day through October 31, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; November, Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; closed December and January; mid-February through March 31, Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission: Adults age 18 and older, $8; children age 10-17, $3; seniors over age 65, $4. Information: jfkhyannismuseum.org/

New England Quilt Museum

18 Shattuck Street Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-452-4207

The New England Quilt Museum presents, interprets, and celebrates American quilting past and present. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; May-October also open Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; seniors and students, $5; children under age 6, free. Information: www.nequiltmuseum.org/

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

10 Willow Creek Road Lenox, MA, 01240 Phone: 413-637-2210

Restored 1902 depot with railroading exhibits and model train displays; Berkshire Cottages exhibit in vintage railroad coach. On summer weekends and holidays the museum offers two 90-minute round trip excursions from Lenox Station to Stockbridge and a 45-minute round trip excursion from Lenox Station to Lee narrated by a uniformed conductor. Hours: For schedule of rides and events, call railroad or visit http://berkshirescenicrailroad.org/schedules.php Admission: Consult railroad website. Information: berkshirescenicrailroad.org/

USS Constitution Museum

24 Fifth Street at the Charlestown Navy Yard Charlestown, MA, 02129 Phone: 617-426-1812

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat. The museum houses the ship's logs, weapons, charts, journals, arts, and more. Visitors fire a cannon, swing in a hammock, or command the USS Constitution in battle using a computer.
Hours: November 1-March 31, daily, Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; April 1-October 31, daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, $3; children, $2.
Information: www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org.

Longyear Museum and Historical Society

1125 Boylston Street (Route 9) Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467 Phone: 617-278-9000

Exhibits focus on the life of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church.
Hours: Monday, Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Information: www.longyear.org.

Smith College Museum of Art

Elm Street at Bedford Terace Northampton, MA, 01063 Phone: 413-585-2760

More than 25,000 art objects from a variety of cultures from 2500 B.C. to present. Special exhibitions. Internationally known for collection of 19th- and 20th- century European and American art. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Second Fridays, 10 a.m.– 8 p.m. (4-8 p.m., free admission. Admission: Adults, $5; seniors 65 and older, $4; students 13 and older, $3; youth age 6–12, $2. Information: www.smith.edu/artmuseum/

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

869 Main Street (Route 6A) Brewster, MA, 02631 Phone: 508-896-3867

Eighty-acre site abutted by 300 acres of conservation land; nature trails, exhibits, films, guided walks, lectures, and family activities. This museum features exhibits on the local flora and fauna, and nature trails. Events, classes and walks are scheduled throughout the year. Hours: February 16-March 31, Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; April 1-May 31, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; June 1-September 30, daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; October 1-December 30, Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10; seniors age 65 and older, $7; children age 3-12, $5. Information: www.ccmnh.org.

Martha’s Vineyard Museum

59 School Street at Cooke Street Edgartown, MA, 02539 Phone: 508-627-4441

The island's largest museum includes 30,000 items like tools, archaeological material, paintings, prints and sculpture, baskets, coins, costumes, decoys, hunting and fishing and shell fishing tools, guns and swords, furniture and household equipment, medical and scientific tools and equipment, musical instruments, fossils, maritime tools, scrimshaw, ship models, Wampanoag tools, woodworking tools, toys, a whaleboat, wagon, sleigh, fire engine and an 1854 Fresnel Lens used in the Gay Head Aquinnah lighthouse. Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed major holidays. Admission: Adults: $6-$7; seniors, $5-$6; children ages 6-15, $4. Information: www.mvmuseum.org/

Commonwealth Museum

220 Morrissey Boulevard, Columbia Point Boston, MA, 02125 Phone: 617-727-9268

The entire state of Massachusetts is on display: Places around the state, famous people who were born or have resided in the state, in addition to its politics and special role in America's history. Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Admission: Free. Information: http://bit.ly/WPnWi

Highland House Museum

27 Highland Road Truro, MA, 02666 Phone: 508-487-3397

The Highland House Museum is located in the former Highland House, a hotel built on the Highlands in 1907. Also near the Highland Lighthouse in North Truro, it is a classic example of a turn-of-the-century summer resort hotel. The museum displays artifacts and information about early European settlers and the Native Americans that preceded them.
Hours: June 1 to September 30, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Information: www.trurohistorical.org/intro.html

New Bedford Whaling Museum

18 Johnny Cake Hill New Bedford, MA, 02740 Phone: 508-997-0046

The New Bedford Whaling Museum houses the world's most comprehensive collection of whaling and maritime artifacts. Climb aboard the world's largest ship model, the 89-foot bark Lagoda, and view the 66-foot skeleton of a rare blue whale.
Hours: October-April, Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; May-September, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; open holiday Mondays; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Admission: General, $14; seniors, $12; students, $9; children, $6.

Cottage Museum

1 Trinity Park Oak Bluffs, on Martha's Vineyard, MA, 02557 Phone: 508-693-0525

Thirty-five acres of brightly painted cottage dating back to mid 1800s; tour a gingerbread home; performances at the tabernacle. Visitors to the Cottage Museum can view the interior of a typical Campground cottage, complete with period furnishings of the 1800s. Also on display are vintage photographs and other documents relating to the history of the Campground.
Hours: Summer months, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $2; children age 3-12, 50 cents.
Information: www.mvcma.org/museum.htm

Arthur M. Sackler Museum

485 Broadway Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 Phone: 617-495-9400

Ancient, Asian, Islamic, and Later Indian art: Chinese jades, bronzes, and cave temple sculpture; Korean ceramics; Japanese wood block prints; and Greek and Roman sculptures, vases, and ancient coins. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $9; seniors 65 and older, $7; college students, $6; children under age 18, free. Information: http://hvrd.me/T7CdJb

Charles River Museum of Industry

154 Moody Street Waltham, MA, 02453 Phone: 617-893-5410

Located in America's first factory, the history 1814 Boston Manufacturing Company textile mill, on the National Register of Historic Places. Exhibits include the American Industrial Revolution, steam power, Waltham Watch Company, plus the bicycle and automobile manufacturing industries along the Charles River. Explore the inventions that powered America into the modern age and the geniuses who perfected them. Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $7; students, $5; seniors, $5. Information: www.crmi.org/

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Lower Lake Road South Hadley, MA, 01075 Phone: 413-538-2245

Beautifully exhibited and critically acclaimed broad-based permanent collection. Comprehensive scope ranges from ancient to contemporary art and represents diverse cultures. Imaginative special exhibitions; scavenger hunts for kids. Docent-led tours available with advance notice. Collections focus on Asian art; 19th- and 20th-century European and American paintings and sculpture; Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art; Medieval sculpture; and early Italian Renaissance paintings. 6-8 exceptional special exhibitions annually. Visit the college's botanical gardens next door too. Hours: Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1–5 p.m., closed Mondays and certain college holidays. Call ahead for seasonal changes. Admission: Free. Information: www.mtholyoke.edu/artmuseum.

Witch Dungeon Museum

16 Lynde Street Salem, MA, 01970 Phone: 978-741-3570

This museum features a tour of the dungeon where those accused of witchcraft were held. Reenactment of the trial is also part of the exhibits. Hours: April-November, daily; last performance starts at 5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $8; children age 4-13, $6; seniors over age 64, $7. Information: www.witchdungeon.com/witchdungeon.html

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA)

87 Marshall Street North Adams, MA Phone: 413-662-2111

Since opening in 1999, MASS MoCA has become one of the world's premier centers for making and showing contemporary art. MASS MoCA exhibits work by many of the most important artists of today, focusing on large-scale and complex installations that are impossible to realize in conventional museums. MASS MoCA hosts more than 75 performances year-round, including popular music, contemporary dance, alternative cabaret, world music dance parties, outdoor silent films with live music, documentaries, and avant-garde theater. Hours: September-June 25, daily except Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; June-September, daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: Adults, $15; students,$10; children age 6-16, %4. Information: www.massmoca.org/

Museum of African American History, Boston campus

46 Joy Street, Beacon Hill Boston, MA, 02114 Phone: 617-725-0022

The African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School on Beacon Hill, both built in the early 1800s, are two of the Museum of Afro-American History's most valuable assets. Located in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th-century African American community, these buildings remain a showcase of black community organization and enduring testimony to black craftsmanship. Once a church, a school, a vital community meeting place, the African Meeting House is open to the public. The Abiel Smith School, the nation's first public school for African American children, currently houses a first-class exhibit space and the museum store. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $5; children age 12 and younger, free; seniors and youth age 13-17, $3. Information: www.afroammuseum.org/boston_campus.htm

66 Main Street Essex, MA Phone: 978-768-7541

The Essex Shipbuilding Museum tells the story of a New England village that built more two-masted wooden fishing schooners than any other place in the world. Visitors to the museum will see shipbuilding tools, photographs, exhibits about the shipbuilding industry, and the schooner Evelina M. Goulart. Guided and self-guided tours are offered. A gift shop offers ship plans, maritime books, T-shirts, toys, CDs, and maritime memorabilia.
Hours: Summer: June-October, Wednesdays- Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; after mid-October, open weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Guided Tour, $5-$10, depending on age; self-guided tour with Shipyard Map, $7.

Busch-Reisinger Museum

32 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 Phone: 617-495-9400

Collections of art from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and related cultures. Major holdings of Austrian Secession art, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and Bauhaus archives. Post-war and contemporary art from German-speaking Europe including work by Joseph Beuys. Of particular interest is the lovely sculpture garden. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission: Admission: Adults, $9; seniors 65 and older, $7; college students, $6; children under age 18, free. Information: http://hvrd.me/UDtbmd

Sandwich Glass Museum

129 Main Street Sandwich, MA, 02563 Phone: 508-888-0251

Sandwich was home to a glass factory throughout much of the 19th century. This museum features exhibits of glassware made from 1825 to 1888.
Hours: Summer hours, April 1-December 30, daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Winter hours, closed in January; hours in February and March are Wednesday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $6; kids age 6-14, $1.25.
Information: www.sandwichglassmuseum.org.

United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum

This museum is home to the USS Salem, the world’s only preserved heavy cruiser and place for children and families to explore this unique fighting vessel. In addition to day trips, kids can camp overnight on the USS Salem and take part in hands-on activities like radar tracking, damage control, simulated fire fighting, scavenger hunts, cold water survival, and first aid lessons.

Hammond Castle Museum

80 Hesperus Avenue Gloucester, MA, 01930 Phone: 978-283-2080

John Hays Hammond, Jr. built his medieval-style castle between the years 1926 and 1929 to serve both as his home and as a backdrop for his collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts. Visitors to Hammond Castle Museum may explore the castle on a self-guided tour of eight rooms including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, two guest bedrooms, the inventions exhibit room, and the tower galleries. Visitors may also enjoy the beauty of the castle grounds and a view of the Atlantic shore line.
Hours: Open April-October; call ahead for hours.
Admission: Adults, $10; seniors over age 64, $9; children age 6-12, $8.
Information: www.hammondcastle.org.

Springfield Museums & Dr Seuss Nat’l Memorial Sculpture Garden

21 Edwards Street Springfield, MA, 01103 Phone: 413-263-6800

The Springfield Museums consists of five institutions at one location: the D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum and the Museum of Springfield History. In addition, the property includes the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, with life-size statues of Springfield native Dr. Seuss and his favorite characters including Horton, the Grinch and the Lorax.
IN the five art, science and historical museums, guests can find Samurai armor and weaponry; an internationally-acclaimed collection of Oriental bronze, jade and porcelain; intricate Middle Eastern rugs; fine American and European paintings and sculpture; a savannah of animals in the R.E. Phelon African Hall; Dinosaur Hall with its towering Tyrannosaurus Rex; Astronomy Hall complete with a planetarium; and exhibits about Connecticut River Valley history. Curriculum-based tours and programs are available.

Fogg Art Museum

32 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 Phone: 617- 495-9400

Collections illustrate the history of Western art from Middle Ages to the present with major focus on Italian early Renaissance, British pre-Raphaelite, and 19th-century French art. Major collection of Impressionist and post-impressionist work and works by Picasso. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $9; seniors age 6 and older, $7; college students, $6. Information: http://hvrd.me/Qjfixw

Hadley Farm Museum

208 Middle Street Hadley, MA, 01035 Phone: 413-586-1160

Early New England farm equipment in restored 1782 barn: blacksmith tools, ox cart, stage coach, plows, early domestic appliances.
Hours: May-October, Saturday and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. or by appointment.
Admission: Adults, $5; students and seniors, $3; children under 12, $1.

Hull Lifesaving Museum

1117 Nantasket Avenue Hull, MA, 02045 Phone: 617-925-5433

Nineteenth-century Life Saving Station facing Boston Light; working rescue apparatus; exhibits, shipwreck lore, and kid's loft. Hours: Year-round, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; July-October, also open weekends, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Additional hours and guided tours available by appointment Admission: Adults, $5; seniors, $3; children 18 and younger, free. Information: www.lifesavingmuseum.org.

Children's Museum at Holyoke

444 Dwight Street Holyoke, MA, 01040 Phone: 413-536-KIDS

Hands-on exhibits for children. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission: Seniors, $3; all others above age 1, $1. Information: www.childrensmuseumholyoke.org/