Free Admission to area Art Museums

Many Massachusetts art museums offer free admission at the beginning of the month. Find out how you and your family can receive free admission to the deCordova Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Worcester Art Museum and more in this week’s Frugal Family

Have you taken your kids to an art museum recently? They might be skeptical, but see what happens when you arrive at the museum. My children took out their pencils and paper and the magic began. We've stopped on stairways to draw large ceramic vases, copied ancient designs and hieroglyphs, and sketched a three-dimensional cube seen in a modern painting. It’s a wonderful thing when your children are inspired. Here are a few museums around Massachusetts to visit that have free or discounted admission so your outing won’t break the bank. Some of the museum admissions can be covered by museum passes that you can borrow from the . Talk with your kids about the visit before you go. Discuss the plan for the day, the length of the visit, and the rules of the museum, such as what may not be touched or climbed. Don’t forget your sketch pads.

1. Get free and discounted admission to the deCordova Sclupture Park and Museum. There are many ways to visit this museum for free. The admission for children 12 and under is free. All visitors are admitted free on the first Wednesday of the month. The next free Wednesday is March 7 and children 5 and under can also enjoy a story hour at 10:30 a.m., also free. Are you a WBGH member? Receive $2 off your paid adult admission and receive free admission on the last Thursday of the month when you present your WGBH member card. The deCordova Museum is located at 51 Sandy Pond Road in Lincoln.

2. Museum of Fine Arts: Visit this beautiful museum and see the many galleries with art that spans many eras and continents. Admission for children ages 6 and under is free and children ages 7-17 are admitted free on weekdays after 3 p.m., on weekends and on Boston public school holidays. Stop by the Sharf Visitor Center and pick up a map and pre-printed activities for kids. My crew and I designed a great first visit activity: On the back of the museum map and visitor guide are 15 museum highlights. Have your kids find them. You will see some great exhibits, such as mummies, and paintings by the Impressionists, Turner, Sargent, and Pollock. Your energetic children get to move around as they climb up and down stairs in search for the next item. Check-off the items as you find them and leave the items you don’t get to for your next visit. For a quick snack, check out the Garden Cafeteria, an affordable and family-friendly dining spot. The Museum of Fine Arts is located at 465 Huntington Ave. in Boston.

3. Worcester Art Museum: Admission is free for kids 17 and under. All Admission is free on first Saturday morning of the month from 10 a.m. to noon; the next “Free First Saturday Morning” is March 3. If your kids like animals, try to find different animal art in the galleries. There is free parking available. The Worcester Art Museum is located at 55 Salisbury St. in Worcester.

4. Danforth Museum First Sunday Drop into Art, March 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. Children ages 5-10 and their parents or guardians can visit the museum and create works of art. Admission is free. Free or discounted admission is available to many organizations, employers, or holders of reciprocal museum memberships, as well as WGBH and AAA members. The Danforth Museum is located at 123 Union Ave. in Framingham.

5. Lars Anderson Auto Museum: Visit this beautiful museum and collection of classic cars in Brookline. Admission is free now until March 2. Currently on exhibit is the Tesla Model S Beta. I remember really enjoying this museum during an elementary school field trip. My children’s friends confirmed it as a hit for kids by giving the museum and grounds a double thumbs-up. Located at 15 Newton St. in Brookline. 

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