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Spend the Day at the Boston Childrens Museum

10 Things to do in Boston Seaport District

7. Spend the Day at the Boston Childrens Museum

Although the Boston Children’s Museum is geared toward those 18 and under, adults will find much to enjoy at this beautiful harborside institution. In addition to fun and interactive exhibits about art, the museum also places a great deal of emphasis on science, health and fitness, and environmentally oriented studies. Whether a child is just undertaking his or her first science project or learning about fine arts, the BCM offers a robust palate of educational and engaging options.

Founded in 1913, the BCM is one of the largest children’s museums in the world. The BCM distinguishes itself primarily by encouraging each of its visitors to think about the materials and situations they are viewing. This interactive quality means that many of the exhibits, such as the art studio, are designed with personal exploration in mind. No two families will have the exact same experience visiting the BCM. Each child lucky enough to attend will have a very personal experience, tailored to their specific interests. The Explore-A-Saurus exhibit, for example, encourages families not just to look at fossils and replicas of dinosaurs, but to dig into the fossil record and understand how the dinosaurs lived, breathed, and looked in real life. The skills that children use while undertaking these activities, including math, problem solving, and tool usage, are all vital for their continued education, but can be enjoyed in a fun, inventive environment.

Other permanent exhibitions include the Japanese House and the New Balance Climb. As the name suggests, the New Balance Climb is a three story installation consisting of ropes, nets, and concrete and plastic inserts that encourages children to safely experiment with scaling the structure. The Japanese House, meanwhile, is a real two-story silk merchant’s home that was imported, piece-by-piece, from Kyoto. In addition to being a rare example of this type of architecture, the home is also filled with authentic period pieces, from lighting fixtures to furniture to various cultural and domestic objects specific to the time era. Special fabrics, paneling, and other exquisite details can be observed by families in person, making this a truly memorable and singular experience.

Spread out over three floors, the BCM is designed to provide a balance between small, cozy spaces and larger public areas that make it possible to take in views of the harbor and surrounding Seaport District. An enormous glass elevator transports visitors between the floors. A 40 foot tall structure known as The Hood Milk Bottle is located directly outside the museum’s main entrance. Although it is not a real milk bottle, if it were used for holding liquid, it is large enough to contain over 58,000 gallons of milk.

With the exception of holidays, the museum is open most days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special late-night hours on Friday to 9 p.m. The BCM is easy to reach via public transit, as it is only a few blocks from both the MBTA South Station and the Courthouse Station. Also, there are several waterborne routes to the BCM from neighboring cities including Hull, Salem, and Hingham.

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