The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland.com, the travel site for New England.

Enjoy Free, Inexpensive Museum Admission in the Boston Area

Find museums in the Boston, Mass., area with free and inexpensive museum admission.
We have found that expensive admission prices have been on prominent display at many museums recently, so thank goodness there are several in the Boston area that charge very little, if anything at all to enjoy some fine culture (admission prices and museum hours subject to change, always call ahead):

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is regarded as one of the most impressive art museums in the world with nearly 450,000 works of art. Great news for you budget travelers looking to see this cultural masterpiece: They offer free admission or voluntary contributions at certain times of the week and year (subject to change, call ahead).
Wednesday nights after 4 p.m., admission is by voluntary contribution.
Free admission…
Monday, January 21, 2019 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day Open House)
Saturday, February 9, 2019 (Lunar New Year Celebration)
Monday, May 27, 2019 (Memorial Day Open House)
Monday, October 14, 2019 (Fall Open House)
Log onto the MFA web site for more info.

The Art Complex Museum at 189 Alden St. in Duxbury, Mass. (Tel. 781-934-6634), is a regional art museum with around 8,000 pieces. Admission is free. Museum hours are from 1-4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Web site: http://www.artcomplex.org/

The Boston University Art Museum at 855 Commonwealth Ave. in Boston, Mass. (Tel. 617-353-3329), features extensive international, national, and regional art exhibitions, mostly from the 20th century. It’s open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. 5p.m. and Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Admission is free. Log onto the BU Art Museum web site for more info.

The USS Constitution at 1 Constitution Rd., in Charlestown, Mass. (a section of Boston), is the oldest commissioned ship in the world still afloat dating back to 1797. Active duty U.S. Navy sailors conduct guided tours given every 30 minutes. This is a must-see as part of your Boston travel plans as the enormity of the ship — and all its history, architectural complexities and nooks and crannies — make for a fascinating, educational and entertaining experience. Admission is free. For specific seasonal hours, log onto the USS Constitution web page.

The Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College at 106 Central St. in Wellesley, Mass. (Tel. 781-283-2051),has on display paintings, sculptures, photos and decorative objects from around the world. Admission is free. Call for seasonal hours. Davis web site: https://www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum

The Fuller Craft Museum at 455 Oak St. in Brockton, Mass., (Tel.  508-588-6000) is a terrific museum in a beautiful woods and pond setting with a fabulous collection of contemporary crafts-based art. For current information on the affordable admission charges, click here.

Admission is free for youths 17 and under at The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), 100 Northern Ave., Boston, (Tel. 617-478-3100). Check out the ICA’s web site for more info.



In addition to the info above, we thank one of our readers, Nina Berger, Media Relations Director for the Arts at Wellesley at Wellesley College, for sharing these affordable admission museums in the Boston area:

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham is always free –  www.brandeis.edu/rose

The Boston Cyberarts Gallery, located at Green Street Station in Boston, is always free.  Boston Cyberarts also programs “Art on the Marquee,” on the 80-foot LED marquee at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.  Every Sunday night they play a full-hour video of the entire art collection specially made for the “largest art gallery in Boston.”  More info is available at www.bostoncyberarts.org and artonthemarquee.com.

Always call these museums in advance to ensure hours mentioned here have remained intact!

If you know of any Boston-area museum that charge no admission fee or a low price or any other travel related free things to do in Boston, please contact us at the Thrifty New England Traveler!

Related articles:
Free, guided tours available at the Longfellow House, Cambridge, Mass.

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