Not only is Boston known as a college town, but it is a city where you can visit some of the most amazing museums and cultural institutions. After finishing your year of service, and before you leave Boston, make sure to discover all the city has to offer. Especially this coming holiday weekend. For us AmeriCorps members on a stipend, here are five museums worth checking out on a tight budget:
1) Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), located in Boston’s up-and-coming Seaport neighborhood, has free admission every Thursday night from 5-9pm where you can view the permanent collection and ever-rotating exhibitions. Come for the art, stay for the gorgeous view on the waterfront.
2) Museum of Bad Art
Located in Somerville, admission to the Museum of Bad Art is free with the purchase of a movie or concert ticket. Perhaps the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and celebration of bad art in all its forms, it is also “located in a theatre basement, convenient to the rest rooms.” In tune with the museum’s wry sense of humor, its membership page points out that one of the benefits of a free membership at the MOBA is that you “get into our free exhibitions for free.” Now who could turn down a deal like that?
3) Museum of African American History
The Museum of African American History (formerly the Museum of Afro-American History) is New England’s largest African American history museum. Admission to the museum is always free (though there is a suggested donation of $5). This museum is housed in a historic meeting house where people of color gathered for democratically run meetings in the 19th century. MAAH has hosted exhibitions of black Bostonian leaders, the history of people of color in Boston’s baseball, and portraits of notable African-American political activists, artists, and leaders.
4) Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum on the grounds of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It displays a sampling of specimens drawn from the collections of the University’s three natural history research museums. Admission is free year-round on Sundays from 9am – noon, and on Wednesdays from 3 – 5pm (September through May), but only for Massachusetts residents. The museum curates exhibits that range from great mammals, to the ecology of regional forests, to perfectly constructed glass flower models.