Free Museum Day Returns to Massachusetts

Smithsonian magazine's annual free Museum Day returns to the state, with plenty of chances to explore the state's museums.

free museum day mapparium

Photo courtesy of the Mary Baker Eddy Library

For one day only, you can see the Mass. General Ether Dome, explore “Old Ironsides,” or marvel at a real (gigantic!) whale skeleton, all for free. Saturday, September 22 is Smithsonian magazine’s annual free Museum Day, when participating museums across the country offer free admission to visitors as a celebration of curiosity and learning. This event is the perfect opportunity to take in some local art, history, or nature experiences for free.

Massachusetts museums are participating in full force, with 54 institutions across the state taking part. Be sure to check out the peaceful springs and wooded bog at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, or the famous stained-glass Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

To visit one of these museums (each email address is limited to just one, so choose wisely!), sign up at through the Smithsonian site before Saturday. Your ticket admits two people, and if museum entry is typically free for children at your museum of choice, they do not need a ticket. You can find museum hours on the Smithsonian website.

So how will you decide how to spend your free Museum Day? Here are the 54 Mass. museums you could visit:

Atwood House and Museum
347 Stage Harbor Road, Acton

Battleship Cove
5 Water St., Fall River

Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College
(always free)
11 Barrett Hill Drive, Amherst

Boott Mills Museum
115 John St., Lowell

Cape Ann Museum
27 Pleasant St., Gloucester

Codman Estate
34 Codman Road, Lincoln

Cogswell’s Grant
60 Spring St., Essex

Concord Museum
53 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord

Davis Museum at Wellesley College
(always free)
106 Central St., Wellesley

Discovery Museum
177 Main St., Acton

Durant-Kenrick House and Grounds
286 Waverly Ave., Newton

Eustis Estate
1424 Canton Ave., Milton

Falmouth Museums on the Green
55-65 Palmer Ave., Falmouth

Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm St., Fitchburg

Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Road, Harvard

Garden in the Woods
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham

Gibson House Museum
137 Beacon St., Boston

Gropius House
68 Baker Bridge Road, Lincoln

Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy St., Cambridge

Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Jackson Homestead and Museum
527 Washington St., Newton

John Cabot House
117 Cabot St., Beverly

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum Foundation
397 Main St., Hyannis

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
(always free)
83 Beals St., Brookline

Mattapoisett Museum
5 Church St., Mattapoisett

Mead Art Museum, Amherst College
(always free)
41 Quadrangle Drive, Amherst

Merwin House
14 Main St., Stockbridge

Museum of African American History
46 Joy St., Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Ave., Boston

Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union St., Clinton

New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford

Nichols House Museum
55 Mount Vernon St., Boston

Old Colony History Museum
66 Church Green, Taunton

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

Pilgrim Hall Museum
75 Court St., Plymouth

Quincy Homestead
(always free)
34 Butler Road, Quincy

Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum
396 County St., New Bedford

Sandwich Glass Museum
129 Main Street, Sandwich

Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History
241 Wellesley St., Weston

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards St., Springfield

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum
67 East Road, Adams

The Carnegie of Vineyard Trust
(always free)
58 North Water St., Edgartown

The Children’s Museum in Easton
9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
125 West Bay Road, Amherst

The Gardner Museum
28 Pearl Street, Gardner

The Mary Baker Eddy Library
200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

The Museum of Printing
15 Thornton Avenue, Haverhill

The Old Manse
269 Monument Street, Concord

The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
(always free)
2 North Grove Street, Boston

USS Constitution Museum
Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown

Wenham Museum
132 Main Street, Wenham

Williams College Museum of Art
(always free)
15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Williamstown

Worcester Historical Museum
30 Elm Street, Worcester

Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street, Amherst