I often visit museums in Boston with my 5-year old and 10-month-old kids. Here are my tips for fellow cheapskates:
- The ICA Boston (modern art) is free for families on the last Saturday of every month. The current Anish Kapoor exhibit, in particular, is ideal for kids (just don't let them touch any of it though!!!). For example, one piece is a bulge in the wall which you can only see from the side, and when you look at it head-on you only see a blank wall. My son loved this. If you bring them to see this exhibition, it may well stick in their head for years. As well as the last saturdays of each month (for families), the ICA Boston is free for all from 5 to 9 pm every Thursday for "Target Free Thursday Nights".
- The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) and the Harvard Museum of Natural History (Cambridge) are both free to Bank of America card-holders on the first weekend of every month. I only realized this recently, as Bank of America do not seem to publicize their "Museums on Us" program in Boston. The Harvard Museum of Natural History, in particular, is excellent for kids. It brought me back to childhood visits to the so-called "Dead Zoo" in Dublin (currently closed because a stairs collapsed). The Harvard Museum of Natural History is also free for Massachusetts residents on Sundays from 9am until noon, and on Wednesdays from 3pm to 5pm from September to May.
- I have family membership of the Children's Museum. So it is always "free" for me. But, there are "Target $1 Friday nights" every Friday from 5:00pm until 9:00 p.m. This museum is close to the ICA Boston and makes a good joint trip (along with a kid-friendly meal at the Barking Crab). Unfortunately for us cheapskates, their "Target Nights" are not on the same evening though...
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