Free Museums in Boston

Boston has many wonderful museums, including a number of them that are free. Some of these museums are always free while others are sometimes free or are free to some patrons.

If you are interested in visiting a museum that is only sometimes free or free to specific patrons, remember to check the museum’s website for details since they may have changed.

The following is a list of free museums in Boston:

Museums That Are Always Free:

USS Constitution Museum

A museum dedicated to the history of the historic U.S.S. Constitution. Donations are suggested but not required. Address: Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA. Website: ussconstitutionmuseum.org

The M?seum

A small art museum dedicated to showcasing micro-sized art by local artists. Admission is free. Address: 72? Union Square, Somerville, MA. Website: tinymuseum.org

Metropolitan Waterworks Museum

A museum dedicated to the history of the Chestnut Hill Waterworks building. Donations are suggested but not required. Address: 2450 Beacon St, Chestnut Hill, MA . Website: waterworksmuseum.org

Free Museums in Boston

The Plumbing Museum

A museum dedicated to the history of the plumbing industry. Admission is free. Address: 80 Rosedale Rd, Watertown, MA. Website: www.theplumbingmuseum.org

Commonwealth Museum

A museum dedicated to the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Admission is free. Address: 220 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA. Website: www.sec.state.ma.us/mus/index.html

Boston University Art Galleries

A series of three art galleries, the 808 Gallery, the Stone Gallery and the Annex, operated by Boston University. Admission is free. Address: 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. Website: www.bu.edu/art

Boston Fire Museum

A museum dedicated to preserving fire fighting memorabilia from the Greater Boston area and the historic Congress Street Fire Station. Donations are suggested but not required. Address: 344 Congress St, Boston, MA. Website: www.bostonfiremuseum.com

The Museum of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company

A military museum dedicated to the history of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company, which is the oldest chartered military organization in the western hemisphere. Admission is free. Address: 4 Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA. Website: www.ahac.us.com

Bunker Hill Museum

A museum dedicated to the history of the Battle of Bunker Hill featuring exhibits on the battle as well as on the building of the Bunker Hill monument and the history of Charlestown. Admission is free. Address: 43 Monument Sq, Charlestown, MA. Website: www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/bhmuseum.htm

Warren Anatomical Museum

A medical museum that features unusual and instructive anatomical and pathological specimens. Admission is free. Address: Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 10 Shattuck St, Boston, MA. Website: countway.harvard.edu/center-history-medicine/warren-anatomical-museum

The Ether Dome

A medical exhibit in a historic surgical operating ampitheater in the Bullfinch Building at Massachusetts General Hospital. Admission is free. Address: 55 Fruit Street, Bulfinch Building, 4th Floor Boston, MA. Website: www.massgeneral.org/museum/exhibits/ether-dome

Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation

A medical museum dedicated to the 200-year history of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Admission is free. Address: 2 N Grove St, Boston, MA. Website: www.massgeneral.org/museum

Massachusetts Historical Society

A historical society and library that features an exhibition hall with various exhibits on Massachusetts history. Admission to the exhibition hall is free. Address: 1154 Boylston St, Boston, MA. Website: www.masshist.org

McMullen Museum of Art

An university art museum at Boston College. Admission is free. Address: 2101 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. Website: www.bc.edu/sites/artmuseum

MIT List Visual Arts Center

A contemporary art gallery of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Admission is free. Address: 20 Ames St, Cambridge, MA. Website: listart.mit.edu

Boston Public Library

A public library that features various exhibits that are free and open to the public. Address: 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. Website: www.bpl.org/special-collections-departments/explore-special-collections/current-exhibitions-on-display/

The Vilnal Shul

A historic synagogue and Jewish cultural center in Beacon Hill. Donations are suggested but not required. Address: 18 Phillips St, Boston, MA. Website: vilnashul.org

Museums with Free Days:

The Museum of Fine Arts

An art museum featuring over 45,000 works of art. Admission is free on Martin Luther King day, Lunar New Years and Memorial Day. Children ages 7 to 17 are admitted free weekends, weekdays after 3 pm, and Boston public school holidays. Members of the museum, members of the University Membership Program and New Hampshire and Maine resident students receive free admission. Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, Ma. Website: www.mfa.org

The Institute of Contemporary Art

An art museum featuring modern art. The museum is free on Thursday nights from 5pm to 9pm. Timed tickets are required on free nights and are available on Thursday mornings at 10am. Admission is always free to youths 18 and under and to students, faculty and staff of ICA University Members. Address: 25 Harbor Shore Dr, Boston, MA. Website: www.icaboston.org

MIT Museum

A technology museum featuring exhibitions inspired by MIT’s innovative research and discoveries. Free admission on the last Sunday of the month from September and June. Address: 265 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA. Website: mitmuseum.mit.edu

Coit Observatory

An astronomical observatory operated by Boston University. Admission is free during Public Open Nights on Wednesday nights, weather permitting. Space is limited so you must reserve a ticket ahead of time on Thursday mornings through the observatory’s eventbrite page. Address: 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. Website: www.bu.edu/astronomy/undergraduate/astronomy-department-facilities/judson-b-coit-observatory/

Museums That Are Free For Some:

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

An art museum featuring European, Asian, and American art. Admission is free to youths 18 and under, members of the museum, members of the University Membership Program, U.S. and military and families and anyone named Isabella. Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA. Website: www.gardnermuseum.org

Museum of Bad Art

An art museum. located in the basement of the Somerville Theater, dedicated to bad art. Admission to the museum is free with the purchase of a movie ticket. Address: 55 Davis Square, Somerville, MA. Website: museumofbadart.org

Harvard Museum of Natural History

A museum about natural history operated by Harvard University. Admission is free for members of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture and for youths under three. Address: 26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA. Website: hmnh.harvard.edu

The Peabody Museum of Archaelogy and Ethnology at Harvard University

A museum about ethnography and archaeology of the Americas that is operated by Harvard University. Admission is free for members of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture and for youths under three. Address: 11 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA. Website: www.peabody.harvard.edu

The Harvard Art Museums

A series of three art museums, the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums, that are all operated by Harvard University. Admission is free to all college students, Harvard ID holders plus one guest, Harvard Museums Friends, youths under 18, Massachusetts Teachers Association Members, Cambridge residents, Massachusetts residents who visit on Saturdays between 10am?noon, active duty military personnel, individuals with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card plus up to five family members. Address: 32 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA. Website: www.harvardartmuseums.org

Boston Athenaeum

A library that also features exhibits and an art gallery. Admission is free to youths 12 and under and Boston Athen?um Members. Address: 10 ? Beacon St, Boston, MA. Website: www.bostonathenaeum.org

For more info on fun things to do in Boston, check out this article on Boston attractions.