Best of Boston

BEST Museum

2016 BEST Museum, Family-Friendly

Peabody Essex Museum


As any kid might confess, museums can often be dull. Not this one. Younger visitors might push one of Theo Jansen’s kinetic Strandbeest sculptures across the gallery, learn about design by prototyping a product, or simply lounge on a beanbag chair. read more»

2015 BEST Museum

Museum of Fine Arts


On the strength of its individual exhibits alone—notably the vast Goya retrospective and Shinique Smith’s exuberant showcase—the Museum of Fine Arts is a formidable contender for best museum. But when you consider the institution’s past year as a whole, it’s… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, Family-Friendly

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum


At this 30-acre outdoor sculpture garden, kids can touch, and, in some cases, interact with the mega-scaled artwork, such as Paul Matissse’s Musical Fence, a low wall of aluminum pipes that “sing” when struck gently with sticks. Kids under 12… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, North
Photograph courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum

Peabody Essex Museum


The key to the PEM’s brilliance is its diversity. In the past year alone, it put on exhibits from titans such as Alexander Calder and J.M.W. Turner; displayed worldly treasures, from abstract Indian art to imperial Chinese ceramics; and stayed… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, West

Rose Art Museum


Six years ago, Brandeis University feared the recession would shutter its art museum. Thankfully, a public outcry and powerful art collectors reversed that plan, and the school hired a new director, Christopher Bedford, to add to the museum’s collections. The… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, South

Fuller Craft Museum


Don’t let the name fool you: This Brockton institution isn’t a musty warehouse of old quilts and wooden shoes. It’s instead a showcase for contemporary handmade objets d’art, a place where sublime ceramics made at East Cambridge’s Clay Dragon Studios… read more»

2014 BEST Museum
Photograph by Alex Lau

Museum of Fine Arts


We love underdogs, but lately the MFA has reminded us why it’s the establishment. It has earned its bona fides with shows of trippy hippie fashion, action-packed samurai armor, John Singer Sargent watercolors, and a thematic exploration of the color… read more»

2011 BEST Museum, Art

Museum of Fine Arts


Boston’s foremost art museum has it all: mummies and amphorae, French impressionists, and abstract expressionists. The jaw-dropping highlight, however, is the Arts of the Americas Wing, opened in fall 2010, which has taken many pieces formerly displayed in dark basement… read more»

1996 BEST Museum, Exhibit for Kids

“Investigate” at the Museum of Science


Kids can’t help acting like young Galileos when they’re encouraged to conduct cool experiments with gizmos that simulate lie-detectors or to dig in the sand like archeologists for pre-Columbian garbage. read more»

1996 BEST Museum, Software for Kids

The Computer Museum


Now you can double-click before you buy. On June 29, this museum opened a wonderful gallery that houses 14 terminals, all of which have access to 50 unabridged CD-ROM titles for children, plus plenty of additional recommendations. Families can peruse… read more»