Museum of Science

Top choice in Boston

The educational playground that is the Museum of Science has more than 600 interactive exhibits. Favorites include the world’s largest lightning-bolt generator, a full-scale space capsule, a world population meter and an impressive dinosaur exhibit. Kids go wild exploring computers and technology, maps and models, birds and bees, and human evolution. Exhibitions and presentations frequently change, but here are some of the permanent highlights.

Hall of Human Life

The Hall of Human Life takes visitors on an interactive journey into the human body. You'll explore biology, consider aspects of what makes you you, and look at how well you manage your health. 

Two huge balls rise above an auditorium.
Join a live presentation at the Museum of Science © James Kirkikis / Shutterstock

Live presentations

See bolts fly around in the world's largest Van der Graaff generator in Lightning! and see science brought to life in a rotating schedule of presentations in Science Live!

Live Animal Care Center

More than 120 furry, feathered and scaly creatures feature in daily live animal presentations at the museum. Go behind the scenes at the Live Animal Care Center to see how they live and how they're cared for when they're not taking part in a demonstration.

Charles Hayden Planetarium

The Charles Hayden Planetarium boasts a state-of-the-art projection system that casts a heavenly star show, as well as programs about black holes and other astronomical mysteries.

Mugar Omni Theater

For total IMAX immersion, check out the space-themed and natural-science-oriented flicks at the Mugar Omni Theater. A sweet sound system will have you believing you’re actually roving around Mars or being attacked by sharks.

A huge dinosaur model towers over people in a gallery
The museum's dino models have evolved following new skeleton discoveries © Jon Davison / Lonely Planet

Dinosaurs: Modeling the Mesozoic

With life-size models, fossils, bones, footprints, and dino dung, see how paleontologists piece together information to form our understanding of pre-historic beasts today.

Discovery Center 

The Discovery Center (temporarily closed) is a hands-on play area for kids under the age of eight.

Tickets and other practicalities

Timed-entry tickets must be booked in advance. There is an additional charge for the Planetarium, Omni Films and 4D films. There are accessible features throughout the museum including wheelchairs, assistive listening devices, and ASL interpreters. The Riverview Cafe is a food court–style cafeteria on-site; food must not be consumed in the Exhibit Halls.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Boston attractions

1. Ether Dome

0.32 MILES

On October 16, 1846, Thomas WG Morton administered ether to the patient Gilbert Abbott, while Dr John Collins Warren cut a tumor from his neck. It was the…

2. West End Museum

0.47 MILES

This gem of a neighborhood museum is dedicated to preserving the memory of the West End and educating the public about the ramifications of unchecked…

3. New England Sports Museum

0.47 MILES

The New England Sports Museum is not the best place to witness Boston's deep-rooted devotion to sport (try Fenway Park for that), but fans will enjoy the…

4. Otis House

0.56 MILES

This stern, Federal brick building was the first of three houses designed by Charles Bulfinch for Mr Harrison Gray Otis at the end of the 18th century…

5. John Harvard Mall

0.58 MILES

North of City Sq, this shady, brick plaza leads up Town Hill. Back in the days of the earliest European settlements, a fort crowned Town Hill, which you…

6. Great House Site

0.58 MILES

Besides being an urban plaza, the aptly named City Sq is also an archaeological site. Big Dig construction to reroute I-93 unearthed the foundation of a…

7. Museum of African American History

0.62 MILES

The Museum of African American History occupies two adjacent historic buildings: the African Meeting House, the country’s oldest black church and meeting…

8. Louisburg Square

0.65 MILES

There is no more prestigious address in Boston than Louisburg Square, a cluster of stately brick row houses facing a private park. Louisa May Alcott lived…