Free and discounted admission to museums in Massachusetts: Save money

Updated July 11, 2024  |   Published June 24, 2024

Massachusetts has a booming arts and culture scene. There are over 260 museums in the state, including 28 art museums, 97 history museums, and 23 science and technology museums. We searched for all the ways you can save money on your museum visit (or visit for free!) so you can keep your money in your account where you need it.

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Art Museum Discounts

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

A general admission ticket to the MFA Boston is normally $27 for adults and $10 for ages 7-17. Ages 0-6 and Members of the MFA always get in for free. But all Massachusetts residents can get free admission to the MFA Boston on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, and Indigenous People’s Day.  Additionally, you can get free or discounted admission if you are:

  • US Active Duty Military, Veterans, and family
  • College or University Student
  • Receive EBT or ConnectorCare
  • Wonderfund Access Card holder
  • Boston Public School Students visiting on a Sunday
  • K-12 Teacher from any school in New England
  • Buy tickets in bulk

See their website for frequently asked questions and more information about tickets.

Worcester Art Museum

The Worcester Art Museum is open with free admission to everyone on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Patriots Day, Juneteenth, Indigenous People’s Day, and for their Spring Celebration, Diwali Celebration, and Hanukkah at WAM. You can also receive free admission if you are a student at:

  • Anna Maria College
  • Assumption University
  • Clark University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Fay School
  • Grafton Job Corps Center
  • New England Innovation Academy
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Saint John’s High School
  • The T.E.C. Schools
  • Worcester Academy
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Worcester State University

There is a long list of local organizations whose members can also get free admission. See the list on their website.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is known for its beautiful galleries and courtyard, and one of the most notable art heists in history. General admission tickets are free for children under 17. Seniors and college students receive discounted tickets. You can also get free admission:

  • On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Juneteenth, and Indigenous People’s Day
  • On the first Thursday of every month after 3pm
  • If you’re military or family of military
  • If you’re student, faculty, or staff of MIT
  • If you’re a Wonderfund Access Card holder

See their website to plan your visit.

Institute of Contemporary Art

The ICA gives free admission for visitors 18 and under and on every Thursday from 5-9pm. Like the other Boston museums, admission is free all day on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, and Indigenous People’s Day. Unlike the others, you can also visit for free on Labor Day. Boston Public School students always receive free admission, and their families can get in for free on Sundays. There are several more opportunities to receive discounted tickets if you’re a member of certain organizations. See their full list here.

Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums is made up of three museums: the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. Admission to these museums is free to everyone, every day that they’re open!

Peabody Essex Museum

You can get free admission to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem if you’re active military or a veteran, a teacher anywhere in New England, have an EBT card, are a student or faculty member of Salem State University or Montserrat College of Arts, or are a part of any of these groups/organizations:

  • American Alliance of Museums
  • Council of American Maritime Museums
  • Homeschooling Network
  • HR Consortium Staff
  • Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • North American Reciprocal Museum Association
  • New England Museum Association
  • Salem workers

There are admission discounts available through WBUR, WGBH, AAA, Hawthorne Hotel, and teacher outside of New England. Additionally, the PEM owns Ropes Mansion, a historic colonial house which you can tour for $5 – and the Ropes Mansion garden which is free to everyone every day, year-round!

Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge, MA has a museum dedicated entirely to the works of artist Norman Rockwell. Members, active military, and children can visit for free. Seniors, Massachusetts Teachers, and College students receive a discount. Front line medical workers, AAA members, NARM members, EBT/WIC/ConnectorCare Cardholders, and Stockbridge residents can get reduced pricing as well.

New Bedford Art Museum

The New Bedford Art Museum is free all day every Saturday and Sunday. Military Active Duty and their families get free admission from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Children under 12 get free admission every day. You can also get free or discounted admission if you are an EBT/WIC/ConnectorCare Cardholder or a member of the museum.

Fitchburg Art Museum

On the first Thursday of every month, admission to the Fitchburg Art Museum is free. You can also visit for free if you are a student or faculty member at Fitchburg State University, Mount Wachusett Community College, or Fitchburg Public Schools. Active Military and their families, NARM Members, NEMA members, AAM Members, Residents of City Ward 4B, and Wonderfund Access Cardholders enjoy free admission as well. There are several discounted ticket options including seniors, college students, and more. See the full list on their website.

There are many more art museums you can visit in Massachusetts. Many offer the same discounts, but you should always check their websites before visiting to see which days you may be able to get in for free. Now for our history buffs…

History Museum Discounts

House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA is a 1668 colonial mansion known from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel by the same name. Salem residents, Gables members, Narm members, and children under 5 can visit for free.  Additionally, seniors, children 5-12, and off-season passes are sold at a discount.

Old State House/ Old South Meeting House

The Old State House and Old South Meeting House can both be visited with one ticket, and you can get that ticket for free if you are a member, active US Military, Veteran, Massachusetts Teacher, MBTA employee, or EBT/WIC cardholder.

USS Constitution Museum & Ship

This museum is free if you’re a member, active military or veterans and their families, EBT/WIC/ConnectorCare Cardholder, Massachusetts Teachers, Library Pass holder, or members of NEMA, AAM, CAMM, and Smithsonian Affiliates. The ship is free to everybody on a first-come first-serve basis.

Pilgrim Hall Museum

If you live in Plymouth or are a member of the Pilgrim Society, admission is free to the Pilgrim Hall Museum. Children 5 and under can visit for free as well. There are discounted ticket opportunities for seniors, students, retired and active military and their family members, and EBT/WIC/ConnectCare cardholders.

Paul Revere House

The Paul Revere House in Boston offers free admission to:

  • Members of The Friends of Paul Revere
  • Active Duty Military
  • Residents of Boston’s North End neighborhood
  • Melrose Public Library pass holders
  • Members of NEMA, AAM, and ICOM
  • Children under 5 years old

Discounts are available for seniors, students, children 5-17 years old, and EBT/WIC/ConnectCare cardholders.

Science and Technology Museum Discounts

Boston Museum of Science

You can visit the Museum of Science for free if you are:

  • Active military – and up to 5 of their family members between Armed Forces Day and Labor Day
  • A Veteran visiting on Veterans Day
  • Member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)
  • Library Pass holder (may be discounted depending on which library)

EcoTarium

Visit the EcoTarium in Worcester for free if you are a member of the museum, a member of ASTC, a member of the North American Reciprocal Museum Association, or active duty military plus 5 of their family members. Discounts are available for:

  • Seniors
  • Students
  • EBT/WIC/ConnectCare cardholders
  • ACM members
  • Wonderfund cardholders

MIT Museum

The MIT Museum, located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, hosts a large collection of technology-related artworks, including AI, robotics, architecture, and more. Admission is free if you are a student, faculty member, or alumni at MIT, a Cambridge resident, active military, a Mass Teachers Association member, or an EBT/WIC/ConnectCare cardholder. Additionally, discounts are offered to students, seniors, and youth under 18 years old.

Check back as we update this list with new museums!

Disclaimer: Webster First was not paid to endorse or evaluate the museums or organizations listed in this post. Information is accurate as of 6/24/2024.