Massachusetts museums and galleries are among the finest in the world
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.
75 Court Street
Plymouth, MA, 02360
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.
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, MA, 01420
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.
200 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA, 02115
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
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.
1 College Street
Worcester, MA, 01610
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.
55 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA, 01609
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 38,000-piece collection includes works by Cassatt, Gauguin, Goya, Monet, Sargent and Whistler. It’s also home to an exhibition of arms and armor and Helmutt’s House, an interactive space just for kids. 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.
65 Main Street
Watertown, MA, 02472
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
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
Storrowton Village Museum
1305 Memorial Avenue
West Springfield, MA, 01089
A restored New England village, featuring blacksmith shop, homes, schoolhouse, and a meetinghouse. Open seasonally. There is an admission fee.
Provincetown Art Association and Museum of Art
460 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA, 02657
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.
Indian Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
33 Hendee Street
Springfield, MA, 01104
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.
New Bedford Fire Museum
868 Pleasant Street - New Bedford
New Bedford, MA, 02740
Restored fire trucks and interactive exhibits highlight this museum of firefighting, firefighters and their tools.
Hours: Call ahead for visiting hours.
Willard House and Clock Museum
11 Willard Street
Grafton, MA, 01536
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.
Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy
180 Main Street
Andover, MA, 01810
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.
Cape Cod Children's Museum
577 Great Neck Road
Mashpee, MA, 02659
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.
Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton Street
Brookline, MA, 02445
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.
Museum of African American History, Boston campus
46 Joy Street, Beacon Hill
Boston, MA, 02114
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.
Salem Witch Museum
19 Washington Square North
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.
Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, MA, 02638
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.
Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA, 01950
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,
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.
USS Constitution Museum
24 Fifth Street at the Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA, 02129
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.
132 Main Street
Wenham, MA, 01984
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.
Charles River Museum of Industry
154 Moody Street
Waltham, MA, 02453
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.
Cahoon Museum of American Art
4676 Falmouth Road
Cotuit, MA, 02635
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.
General, $8; seniors, $7; students, $6; children under age 12, free.
66 Main Street
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.
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Lower Lake Road
South Hadley, MA, 01075
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.
Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University
5 South Street
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.
Mead Art Museum
Amherst, MA, 01002
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.
1 Trinity Park
Oak Bluffs, on Martha's Vineyard, MA, 02557
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.
Thornton W. Burgess Museum
4 Water Street (Route 130)
Sandwich, MA, 02563
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
Milton Art Museum
900 Randolph Street
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.
Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Glendale Road (Route 183)
Stockbridge, MA, 01262
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.
88 Old Main Street
Deerfield, MA, 01342
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.
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
397 Main Street
Hyannis, MA, 02601
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.
Hull Lifesaving Museum
1117 Nantasket Avenue
Hull, MA, 02045
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.
New England Quilt Museum
18 Shattuck Street
Lowell, MA, 01852
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.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA)
87 Marshall Street
North Adams, MA
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.
Children's Museum at Holyoke
444 Dwight Street
Holyoke, MA, 01040
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.
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.
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.
Martha’s Vineyard Museum
59 School Street at Cooke Street
Edgartown, MA, 02539
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.
Witch Dungeon Museum
16 Lynde Street
Salem, MA, 01970
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.
220 Morrissey Boulevard, Columbia Point
Boston, MA, 02125
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.
Aptucxet Trading Post Museum
24 Aptucxet Road
Bourne, MA, 02532
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.
Hadley Farm Museum
208 Middle Street
Hadley, MA, 01035
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.
Hammond Castle Museum
80 Hesperus Avenue
Gloucester, MA, 01930
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.
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138
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.
Highland House Museum
27 Highland Road
Truro, MA, 02666
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.
Orleans Historical Society and Museum
3 River Road
Orleans, MA, 02653
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.
Crane Museum of Papermaking
30 South Street
Dalton, MA, 01226
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.
Sandwich Glass Museum
129 Main Street
Sandwich, MA, 02563
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.
Springfield Museums & Dr Seuss Nat’l Memorial Sculpture Garden
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA, 01103
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.
Museum of African American History, Nantucket campus
29 York Street
Nantucket, MA, 02554
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
Arthur M. Sackler Museum
485 Broadway Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138
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.
Williams College Museum of Art
15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2
Williamstown, MA, 01267
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.,
Institute of Contemporary Art
100 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA, 02210
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.
Longyear Museum and Historical Society
1125 Boylston Street (Route 9)
Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467
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.
Davis Museum at Wellesley College
Wellesley College, 106 Central Street
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.
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
869 Main Street (Route 6A)
Brewster, MA, 02631
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.
Chatham Railroad Museum
Chatham, MA, 02633
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.
270 Main Street
Amesbury, MA, 01913
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.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA, 02740
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.
Smith College Museum of Art
Elm Street at Bedford Terace
Northampton, MA, 01063
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.
Adults, $5; seniors 65 and older, $4; students 13 and older, $3; youth age 6–12, $2.
The Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artists
300 Walnut Avenue
Boston, MA, 02119
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.
Whistler House Museum of Art
243 Worthen Street
Lowell, MA, 01852
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.
Nantucket Whaling Museum
13 Broad Street
Nantucket, MA, 02554
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.
Lowell Heritage State Park
160 Pawtucket Blvd
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.
Children's Museum in Easton
The Old Fire Station, 9 Sullivan Avenue
North Easton, MA, 02356
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.
Salem Wax Museum of Witches and Seafarers
288 Derby Street
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.
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
10 Willow Creek Road
Lenox, MA, 01240
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.
National Heritage Museum
33 Marrett Road, Route 2A
Lexington, MA, 02421
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.
French Cable Station Museum
41 South Orleans Road
Orleans, MA, 02653
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.
Nantucket Life Saving Museum
Nantucket, MA, 02554
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.
Old Colony and Fall River Railroad Museum
Fall River, MA, 02720
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.
Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Road
Concord, MA, 01742
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.
Heritage Museums & Gardens
67 Grove Street
Sandwich, MA, 02563
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.