Boston Museum of Science

On your next tour with children in Boston, you should know that there are many places to visit as a family, and an excellent option is the Museum of Science. Here I tell you how to buy tickets, the exhibits you will find and everything you need to make your visit fun and unforgettable.

Laura Gómez

Laura Gómez

9 min read

Boston Museum of Science

Boston Museum of Science | ©Andrew Heald

There are many attractions and activities that you will find in Boston available for sightseeing. Among the most popular is the Museum of Science, one of the largest science centers in the world and the most visited cultural center in New England.

This icon of the region, founded in 1830, today receives more than 1 million visitors a year, who come here to explore, learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics thanks to its more than 700 interactive exhibits, live presentations and audiovisual shows.

The Museum is mainly focused on children, making it one of the best things to do in Boston with kids.

How much do tickets to the Science Museum cost?

Exterior of the Museum of Science| ©Chris Rycroft
Exterior of the Museum of Science| ©Chris Rycroft

To enter this museum has an approximate costof....

  • 27 euros for adults (including 12 year olds)
  • 22 euros for children between 3 and 11 years old
  • 23 euros for seniors (from 60 years old)
  • Free for children under 3 years of age.

Are tickets to the Science Museum available at the ticket office?

Museum ticket office| ©Andrew Quinney
Museum ticket office| ©Andrew Quinney

The purchase of tickets for this museum is only done online, so it is not possible to do it at any ticket office. In addition, all purchases require prior reservation, specifying the day and time of entry in terms of 15 minutes.

You can make reservations and purchase tickets for this museum on the museum's website or by calling 617-723-2500.

Are tickets to the Science Museum included in any of the city's tourist passes?

Go Boston Pass| ©Klook
Go Boston Pass| ©Klook

Sure! With the Go Boston Card you'll save big money on your admission to the permanent exhibits at the Museum of Science, including discounts at other attractions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Paul Revere House, and the Children's Museum.

And it's not the only option! With the Boston City Pass you will save almost 50% on admission to this museum and others included in this pass, such as the New England Aquarium, the Franklin Zoo or the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Buy your Go Boston Card

Are there special tickets for children?

Child at the Science Museum| ©Edward Liu
Child at the Science Museum| ©Edward Liu

The prices to enter this museum vary according to age. For children between 3 and 11 years old, the approximate price is 22 euros, while children under 3 years old can enter for free.

Are there guided tours of the Museum of Science and is it worth it?

Dinosaurs at the Science Museum| ©Bogdan Tapu
Dinosaurs at the Science Museum| ©Bogdan Tapu

At the Museum of Science there are different options for guided tours, however, they are not suitable if you are traveling individually or with your family. Either way, I will tell you about them and leave them for your consideration.

  • Students: especially for school groups, educators and other accompanying persons. An online reservation is required with the day of the visit and the number of people in the group. Costs are variable, but approximate between 4 and 6 euros. You can see more details here

  • Tours for groups (non-students): It is required to fill out the form on this website with the number of people in the group, date of visit among other information and send it to the email [email protected] or phone 617-723-2500. With this, they will indicate the price and payment methods. This option would be convenient only if you are traveling as an agency and with at least 10 people.

Another option, which is not exactly inside the museum, is a Duck Boat tour offered in Boston.

In a special vehicle, this tour will take you from the gates of the museum directly to navigate the waters of the Charles River. A minimum group size of 20 people is required.

Book your Duck Boat ride in Boston

How to get to the Museum of Science

Boston Train| ©davemontalvo
Boston Train| ©davemontalvo

The Museum of Science is located in Science Park, a thoroughfare that crosses the Charles River and is one of the main thoroughfares connecting the heart of the city with a large section across the river.

This is an advantage, but as in almost any city, traffic can bring surprises. For this reason, getting around by public transportation will be ideal.
Here are the following options to get to the museum:

  • By Train: Northstation is the closest train station...about an 8 minute walk. The line you can take is the Framingham/Worcester line.
  • By Subway: The museum's location is a short walk from the E branch of the Green Line (direction North Station). Other lines you can use are the Orange Line (to Haymarket or North Station) and the Red Line (to Charles/MGH Station).
  • By Bus: The best stations to get to are Lechmere or Portland St & Causeway St. Both are less than a 5 minute walk from the museum. You can take the EZRide (towards Outbound), 69 (towards Harvard), the 80 or 88 (towards Lechmere) or the 87 (towards Arlington Center).

Top exhibits not to be missed at the Museum of Science

Green Wing of the Museum| ©Andrew Quinney
Green Wing of the Museum| ©Andrew Quinney

The easiest way to explain what you will find in this museum, is if I talk about its sections or wings, or "wings", as they are called in English. Red, green or blue ... these wings are present in each of the three main floors that are part of this huge building.

In each one you will find exhibits, live performances and other spaces that add to the experience.

Blue Wing

Starting with the blue wing, this is the one that houses the most exhibits...and crowds. Here you'll learn about the science behind electricity and apply concepts of mathematics, motion and optical illusions.

You'll take a look at cold expeditions on the arctic adventure in a global warming scenario and learn more about the historic moon landing.

In addition, you will take a tour to learn more about the importance of small insects, but you will also realize how insignificant we are in this infinite universe. The fossils of a huge dinosaur will not be missing either.

Among the Blue Wing's most popular and exciting presentations is Lightning!, a show where you will discover the science behind a thunderstorm in the world's largest electricity-generating sphere. Definitely... a "very high voltage" show not to be missed.

Green Wing

Much of what you'll find in the green area is related to life...from the human body to the rich biodiversity of the New England region, taking a look at what's hidden in its forests, coastlines and salt ponds.

From this wing, I especially recommend "A Bird's World," where you will be amazed at the number of birds you can find in this area of the United States and how to identify them.

Red Wing

And in the red wing? In this area you will find the museum store, as well as the Planetarium and the Omni Theater, the largest IMAX screen in all of New England.

Both spaces feature impressive audiovisual productions that are worth including in your visit at an additional cost.

In the red wing, you'll also find a space with the museum's star animals, i.e., those that accompany traveling exhibits or serve as props for educational events. Here, more than 120 animals steal the attention of young and old while they are cared for by veterinarians and assistants.

How much time you need to visit the Science Museum

The Electricity Theater| ©Andrew Quinney
The Electricity Theater| ©Andrew Quinney

Visiting this museum in its entirety will take you a minimum of 3-4 hours.
And if you feel like it and maybe even have more time to spare, you can leave the audiovisual productions on the IMAX or Planetarium screens for another day.

Opening hours of the Science Museum

Inside the Museum| ©Jon Batson
Inside the Museum| ©Jon Batson

The museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with admission every 15 minutes. Closing times for some exhibits may change throughout the year.

It is closed on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. However, to be on the safe side and not be caught by surprise by closed doors, I recommend you visit the "Today's Schedule" menu on their website.

Tips for visiting the Museum of Science

Touring the Museum| ©Bogdan Tapu
Touring the Museum| ©Bogdan Tapu
  • Temporary exhibitions, presentations, events... When? This museum claims that "it's never the same place twice", so it's best to check the "Today's Schedule"on their website in advance, so that the only thing that surprises you is the dinosaur fossil or the huge ball of Lightning!
  • Red yes, but better to see it: Here I leave you a link with the map of the museum, so you can see better what I tell you here.
  • Better public transport: The museum is located in a very connected way of the city and there are many important avenues around it. Although the museum has a parking lot, it has a limited capacity (and usually fills up soon). Also, the traffic in this area may not help to make the most of the day...and in a city where public transportation is plentiful, why not use it? This is my recommendation.

What is the Science Museum store like?

Object that can be purchased in the store| ©FranMoff
Object that can be purchased in the store| ©FranMoff

In the museum store you can find clothing, toys and other items that can include everything from puzzles, videos, books and board games to lamps, hats, little scientist kits and freeze-dried astronaut ice cream.

It is quite possible that here it will take you quite a while to browse and choose from the wide catalog of products, apart from the queues at certain times.

Store hours are Sunday through Thursday, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays the closing time is until 9:30 pm.

Where to eat near the Museum of Science

Eating Pizza| ©Fatima Akram
Eating Pizza| ©Fatima Akram

At the science museum, you can bring your own food...but you can only eat it on the esplanade in front of the museum, or at the picnic tables behind the building.

Also, inside the museum there are some small restaurants, with sandwiches, salads, hamburgers, pizzas and pastas. I leave you this link if you want to get more details about the opening hours and other conditions of these spaces.

Now, if you feel like going out, you will find several restaurants one, two or up to 5 streets towards both sides (West End and East Cambridge) of the river. For Italian food, a highly recommended option (although not one of the most affordable) is Gepetto.
If you are craving more traditional American food, you will find options such as The Lexington and, a little further away (you won't mind because they eat very well) the Porters Bar and Grill.

For Japanese food, a very good option is Shabu & Mein and, as the list can get very long, I leave you more options by clicking on this link.

What other tourist attractions can I find near the Science Museum?

Getting to know north end| ©Brett Chisum
Getting to know north end| ©Brett Chisum

The closest attraction to the museum is undoubtedly the riverbank with its different parks such as North Point Park, Charles River Esplanade or Paul Revere Park, with circuits for walking, cycling, seeing an art exhibition or spending an afternoon picnic.

A must-see for sports enthusiasts is the Sports Museum. This place celebrates all that is sporting competition in Boston, the figures who have put the name of this city high and the events that have marked the history.

Another museum within walking distance of the Science Museum is the Museum of African American History. Here, you will find exhibits that showcase the contribution of African Americans in New England. It is considered the largest museum dedicated to these groups in the area.

Boston's oldest church is also an attraction near the Science Museum. This building was a key site in the beginning of the American Revolution.

Here you can enter the church and other surrounding spaces...which by the way, is located in the North End neighborhood, an Italian neighborhood recognized as the oldest in the city and part of the best guided tours of Boston.

You can wander the cobblestone streets of this neighborhood while enjoying the old architecture and the aroma wafting from its many restaurants. The house of the revolutionary hero Paul Revere is another place you can visit in this curious neighborhood.