There’s no question that planning a day out can get expensive. However, we’re lucky enough here in Massachusetts to have plenty of free attractions and activities at our disposal. Here are a few little-known museums that don’t charge admission and you can explore for free.
1. The Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley
Art lovers should head to The Davis Museum for an afternoon at one of the most celebrated academic fine art museums in the country. Their collection includes art from all over the globe and from almost every time period. Admission is always free and the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.
(106 Central Street, Wellesley)
2. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston
The Massachusetts Historical Society has an incredible collection of rare documents, artifacts, and national treasures that travel the history of the state and the nation. Admission is always free and the museum is open Monday through Saturday. (1154 Boylston St, Boston)
3. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Cambridge
This fascinating museum in Cambridge offers Massachusetts residents free admission every Wednesday from 3 - 5 p.m. from September to May each year with a state ID. Guests can learn about the cultural history of the Americas and peruse interesting artifacts. (11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge)
4. Berkshire Art Museum, North Adams
This lovely museum houses permanent and changing art exhibitions in 25,000 square feet of space within two gorgeous repurposed buildings. Admission to the Berkshire Art Museum is free for Berkshire County residents, museum donors, and children under 6 years of age. Otherwise, admission is $5 per person. (159 East Main St., North Adams)
5. The Salem Museum, Salem
The Salem Museum will take you on a journey across time, teaching you about the seafaring history of this coastal town and introducing you to enigmatic former residents. You’ll also get an insider’s glimpse at the infamous Salem witch trials. Admission is free and the museum is open daily from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., seasonally. (32 Derby Square, Salem)
6. The Old Manse Grounds, Concord
The Old Manse is a historic home that once hosted Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. It’s also just a few moments away from the spot where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. Though there is an admission fee required to enter the home itself, the gorgeous historic grounds are free to wander and explore year-round, sunrise to sunset. There’s also a short network of footpaths that connects the Old Mansion to North Bridge. (269 Monument St., Concord)
7. Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Shelburne Falls
Stop on by the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, to learn about and explore the museum’s beautifully restored vintage trolley cars, climb on the big red caboose, and pick up a few goodies at train shop. Admission to the TrolleyShop, Visitors Center, grounds is free, but you will need to pay $4 for a 15-minute ride on the trolley car. Please note that this museum is closed until Memorial Day. (14 Depot St., Shelburne Falls)
Do you know of any other museums in Massachusetts that offer free admission? Share and let us know in the comments! For more of the best museums to visit in Massachusetts, click
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