Pricey and Popular

  • You can borrow passes from the Goodnow library to get into most of these places for a discounted rate or even for free.

    The Discovery Museum

    The Discovery Museum in Acton looks small from the road, with its original house-like building and popular dinosaur sculpture. (The dinosaur wears different hats and costumes throughout the year.) The museum is actually much larger, with sections for children of different ages. It's a hands-on, interactive museum with water tables, places to climb and explore, and lots of things to see, move, hear, and touch. They are wheelchair accessible and have special programs for families who speak American Sign Language, children with autism, and other specialized populations.

    The Butterfly Place

    The Butterfly Place in Westford is a large greenhouse with a flower garden and hundreds of butterflies. It's a great place to go when elder relatives visit because they can sit on a bench and enjoy the butterflies landing on their arms while the kids run around. Kids study the butterfly life cycle in early elementary school so they can tell you all about the science. There is a gift shop with lots of butterfly-themed items, including hatching kits so your child can observe the transformation of butterflies up close.

    The Ecotarium

    The Ecotarium in Worcestor is a science and nature education museum for children. Outside they have a zoo with animals such as mountain lions, owls, and river otters. Inside they have a variety of interactive exhibits.

    The Boston Children's Museum

    The Boston Children's Museum is an educational museum with a wide variety of exhibits such as an art lab, a traditional Japanese house (a gift from the city of Kyoto), bubbles, and an exhibit based on the popular Arthur children's books by Marc Brown. The most notable attraction is the very safe, 3-story climbing structure that runs up the center of the building. Parents can see their kids as they walk up the nearby stairs and meet them on the next floor.  They have accessible programs for families with a variety of needs including children with compromised immune systems.

    The Museum of Science

    The Museum of Science in Boston has educational exhibits for all ages, focusing on science, engineering, and math. They also have shows and experiences in their three theaters. In the Omni theater you can watch IMAX films projected onto a 5 story, domed screen so you feel like you're in the movie. In the Hayden Planetarium they have traditional planetarium shows, shows for children, and light shows set to pop music. In the 4-D theater you experience films with 3-D glasses, physical sensations, and even smells.