BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Kick off a visit to this youngster-friendly museum by scaling the giant, three-story New Balance Foundation Climb. Kids engage in interactive and educational displays; exhibits include “Arthur and Friends” and “Our Green Trail.” Open Sa-Th 10 am-5 pm, F 10 am-9 pm. Admission: $16. 308 Congress St., 617.426.6500.
BOSTON TEA PARTY SHIPS & MUSEUM
Live actors, tea-tossing reenactments, high-tech interactive exhibits, a film and three authentically restored tea ships tell the full story of the Boston Tea Party and its aftermath. Guided tours every 30 minutes, daily 10 am-4 pm. Tickets: $18-28. 306 Congress St., 866.955.0667.
DREAMLAND WAX MUSEUM
Famous historical faces come alive through the magic of wax and expert craftsmanship. Located near City Hall and Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Open Su-W 10 am-7 pm, Th-Sa 10 am-9 pm. 1 Washington St., 508.400.1712.
EDWARD M. KENNEDY INSTITUTE FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute offers a dynamic, interactive experience in democracy. Visit a full-scale representation of the United States Senate Chamber and see a replica of Senator Kennedy’s Washington office. Open Tu-Su 10 am-5 pm. Admission: $8-16. Columbia Point, 210 Morrissey Blvd., 617.740.7000.
HARVARD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Offers a look at fascinating objects, including meteorites, 1,500 mammal and bird specimens, and the a dazzling collection of 3,000 glass flowers and plants. Open daily 9 am-5 pm. Admission: $8-12. 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, 617.495.3045.
HARVARD SEMITIC MUSEUM
Part of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, this institution houses Harvard University’s collections of Near Eastern archeological artifacts, many that have come from museum-sponsored excavations in Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, and Tunisia. Founded in 1889, the collection holds over 40,000 artifacts that run the gamut from pottery and sculpture to coins and cuneiform tablets, and there are currently five exhibitions on display. Open Su-F 11 am-4 pm. 6 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, 617.495.4631.
JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
Dedicated to JFK and the legacy of Camelot, spotlighting such subjects as JFK as a child, the 1960 campaign, Vietnam, the Peace Corps, and civil rights. Open daily 9 am-5 pm. Admission: $10-14, free ages 12 and under. Columbia Point, 617.514.1600
THE MARY BAKER EDDY LIBRARY
Explore achievements of Mary Baker Eddy, 19th-century writer, teacher and businesswoman who founded the Christian Science religion, The Church of Christ, Scientist, and the newspaper The Christian Science Monitor. Admission: $4-6. Open Tu-Su 10 am-4 pm. 200 Massachusetts Ave., 617.450.7000.
MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY
New England’s largest African-American history museum is dedicated to the preservation, conservation and accurate interpretation of the contributions of African Americans. Exhibits offer the stories of leaders, activists and citizens of this region who have impacted history from the Colonial period through the 19th century. Open M-Sa 10 am-4 pm. Admission by donation. 46 Joy St., 617.725.0022.
MUSEUM OF SCIENCE
A compelling technology and science-based destination. Permanent exhibits study the weather, mathematics, space, the human body and other “minds-on” topics. Admission: $20-25. Open Sa-Th 9 am-5 pm, F 9 am-9 pm. 1 Science Park, 617.723.2500.
MUSEUM OF THE ANCIENT AND HONORABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Chartered in 1638 as the New World’s first organized military. Headquarters have been in Faneuil Hall since 1746. Today, the space is a museum featuring artifacts from every war America has been a part of. Open M-F 9 am-3:30 pm. Faneuil Hall, 617.227.1638.
PAUL S. RUSSELL, MD MUSEUM OF MEDICAL HISTORY AND INNOVATION
This medical museum tells the rich story of Massachusetts General Hospital’s two centuries of history. Learn about the hospital’s important contributions to the medical field and see how these discoveries and advancements have shaped the present. Open M-F 9 am-5 pm, Sa 11 am-5 pm. Free admission. Massachusetts General Hospital, 2 North Grove St., 617.724.8009.
PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
Collections include American art and architecture, maritime art and history, Native American art, Asian export, African, Oceanic and contemporary art, photography and the fascinating Yin Yu Tang house. Great hands-on activities, tours, concerts, classes and family programs. Open Tu-Su 10 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults $20, seniors $18, students (with ID) $12; Free for youth (under 16) and Salem residents (with ID). 161 Essex St., Salem, 866.745.1876.
PEABODY MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND ETHNOLOGY
World cultures are highlighted with Native American and Latin American galleries. Exhibits include: “Day of the Dead” and “The Legacy of Penobscot Canoes,”
Ongoing. Admission: $8-12. Open daily 9 am-5 pm. 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, 617.496.1027.
SALEM WITCH MUSEUM
This popular museum brings the Witch Trials of 1692 to life, recreating the drama of accusers and accused, court proceedings and the execution of 20 victims. On exhibit: “Witches: Evolving Perceptions.” Multilingual translations available. Admission $9-12, free under age 6. Open daily 10 am-5 pm; 10 am-7 pm July & August. Extended hours in October. 19 1/2 Washington Square North, Salem, 978.744.1692.
THE WEST END MUSEUM
This small-scale museum documents the history of Boston’s West End, with particular emphasis placed on the immigrant era from 1880 to 1958, when the neighborhood was “lost” to urban renewal. Open Tu-F noon-5 pm, Sa 11 am-4 pm. Free admission. 150 Staniford St., 617.723.2125.
THE USS CONSTITUTION MUSEUM
Located beside where Old Ironsides is berthed, the museum teaches about the historic warship named by George Washington. Suggested $3-10 donation. Open daily 9 am-6 pm. Charlestown Navy Yard, 617.426.1812.