Free Fun Fridays 2017 Schedule

A whopping 85 museums and other cultural institutions will offer free admission on select Fridays as part of the Highland Street Foundation’s popular summer series.

free fun fridays 2017 boston massachusetts

From left: Photos by Peter Vanderwarker (ICA); Siena Scarff (Gardner Museum); courtesy of the Mary Baker Eddy Library (Mapparium); Anton Grassi (Athenaeum); Olga Khvan (MFA)

No summer events series in Boston is more popular than Free Fun Fridays, hosted by Highland Street Foundation. The program, which has grown every year since launching in 2009, offers free admission to dozens of art museums and other cultural institutions in Massachusetts throughout the summer on select Fridays. It’s a family- and budget-friendly way for people to check items off their bucket list while also learning a thing, or two, or ten.

In previous years, Free Fun Fridays have lured hundreds of thousands of people out of their summer hideaways to explore Massachusetts’ many cultural destinations. The program appeals to people of all ages—from families with children on school vacation, to senior, veteran, and student groups. It’s an opportunity for locals and tourists to experience smaller venues they’re less familiar with—Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, anyone?—or revisit one of the majors like the MFA and ICA, without spending a dime.

Free Fun Fridays expands this year to 85 spots, up from 80 in 2016. Some notable Boston additions this year are the return of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (that courtyard!) and the Mary Baker Eddy Library (the Mapparium!). Beyond the city, new participants include the Gardens at Elm Bank in Dover, the Lynn Museum, Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, and the JFK Hyannis Museum.

Ten weeks, 85 destinations…good luck planning, there is much to do.

Here’s the schedule:

June 23

  • Lyric Stage Company of Boston
  • Mary Baker Eddy Library
  • The Sports Museum
  • Clark Art Institute
  • The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home
  • Worcester Art Museum
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • The Discovery Museums

June 30

  • Boston Children’s Museum
  • MIT Museum
  • Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Springfield Museums
  • EcoTarium
  • Maritime Gloucester
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • The Gardens at Elm Bank (Massachusetts Horticultural Society)

July 7

  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society
  • Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
  • Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
  • Amelia Park Children’s Museum
  • Falmouth Museums on the Green
  • Pilgrim Hall Museum
  • Children’s Museum in Easton
  • The Hall at Patriot Place

July 14

  • Edward M. Kennedy Institute
  • The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
  • Harvard Museums of Science and Culture
  • Larz Anderson Auto Museum
  • Provincetown Art Association and Museum
  • Edward Gorey House
  • Museum of Russian Icons
  • Cape Ann Museum

July 21

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA)
  • Tanglewood
  • Boston Athenaeum
  • The Museum of the NCAAA
  • Fruitlands Museum, The Trustees
  • Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History
  • Lynn Museum
  • Hancock Shaker Village
  • Sandwich Glass Museum

July 28

  • JFK Presidential Library and Museum
  • Commonwealth Museum
  • Arnold Arboretum
  • The Eric Carle Museum
  • Berkshire Theatre Group
  • Historic Deerfield
  • Cape Cod Museum of Art
  • Wenham Museum
  • Tower Hill Botanic Garden

August 4

  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
  • Old State House
  • The Greenway Carousel
  • Fort Devens Museum
  • Children’s Museum at Holyoke
  • International Volleyball Hall of Fame
  • The Old Manse, The Trustees
  • JFK Hyannis Museum

August 11

  • Franklin Park Zoo
  • Fuller Craft Museum
  • Cape Cod Maritime Museum
  • Worcester Historical Museum
  • Griffin Museum of Photography
  • Fitchburg Art Museum
  • Jacob’s Pillow Dance
  • Smith College Museum of Art
  • Naumkeag, The Trustees

August 18

  • The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (ICA)
  • Old Sturbridge Village
  • Freedom Trail® Foundation
  • Buttonwoods Park Zoo
  • Cape Cod Children’s Museum
  • Concord Museum
  • Berkshire Museum
  • Emily Dickinson Museum

August 25

  • Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park
  • USS Constitution Museum
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Nantucket Whaling Museum
  • The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River
  • Museum of African American History
  • Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
  • Heritage Museums and Gardens


For more about Highland Street Foundation, visit

Plus, check out more summer event lineups.