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Group Visits

Group Visits

Since its founding by teachers a century ago, Boston Children’s Museum has been a leading destination for memorable field trips and outside-the-classroom learning. We welcome visiting groups from schools, community groups, afterschool programs, childcare centers, and even colleges and corporations to roll up their sleeves, learn together, and interact with our world-class exhibits and staff. We support learning by providing real objects and direct experiences that encourage imagination, curiosity, and questioning. Our environment is informal, but our purpose is serious!

For information about organizing your visit, reservations, and policies please explore the sections below.

You can start a reservation right now by clicking the Request a Reservation button above or by calling our Groups Coordinator between 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday. Reservation requests must be submitted at least two weeks in advance. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Groups Coordinator at 617-426-6500 x405 or e-mail GroupVisits@BostonChildrensMuseum.org

Group Visit Types

Boston Children's Museum offers two types of group visits:
Self-Guided Visits and Program Visits. Both types of visits are eligible for sponsorship.

Self-Guided Visits
Cost: $12 per student
Self-Guided Visits offer groups the opportunity to explore our many exhibits and public programs at their own pace, following the children’s curiosity and imagination. Children and their chaperones are likely to discover some very thought–provoking activities—and in doing so develop lifelong interests and skills.

Program Visits
Boston Children's Museum offers several educational programs suitable for children in grades 1 and up. We offer one hour and two hour programs, hands-on experiences and a place where children's imagination and creativity is encouraged through play and educational activities.

Single Program Visits
Cost: $15 per student (50 student maximum)
Single Program Visits consist of a one-hour educator-led program and time for do-it-yourself museum exploration.

Double Program Visit
Cost: $20.50 per student (50 student maximum)
Double Program Visits consists of two different programs, one hour each, and bonus time for Museum exploration.


Please note: Double Program Visits cannot be sponsored.

Current Program Offerings

Global Stories

Boston Children's Museum has been collecting objects from around the world for nearly 100 years. In this new school program, we invite students to put on white gloves and take a closer look at the Museum's collections. We'll open our eyes to just how much we can learn from careful observation of a single cultural artifact and what it tells us about its origins: Who made this? What is it for? What is it made of? Is it old or new? Where is it from? What makes you think so?

This multidisciplinary program will feature selected collections pieces representing Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, and Africa*. Using a variety of media, students will explore the geography and culture behind the objects, how form fits function, and common threads across the human experience. Students will then incorporate these concepts into an original 2D or 3D work of art inspired by their observations.

Age recommendation: Grades 2 and up

Standards Met: Visual Arts for K-4: 1.2, 2.5, 3.1, 6.1, 8.1, History and Geography: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.4

A Day in the Life of a Japanese Child

Take off your shoes and step into an authentic 100-year old house from Kyoto, Japan! Your students will experience a typical day for a Japanese child and will discover what customs, artifacts, and aspects of home and school life in Japan are similar to, and different from their own. We provide cultural immersion and hands-on activities in the Kyo-no-Machiya (the Japanese House) using contemporary stories, objects, and images.

Age recommendation: Grades 1 and up. Adaptations to connect with your curriculum may be available.

Standards Met: History and Social Science: 1.1, 1.6, 2.1, 2.3, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9,G6 NEA, English Language Arts: 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 4.3

Suminagashi

(Offered along with “A Day in the Life of a Japanese Child” only)
Suminagashi (Japanese for “ink-floating”) is a paper marbling technique that has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Students will learn the “secrets” of this technique and use them to create one-of-a-kind images on paper. They will also surprise teachers and themselves, as they master the focus and tranquility of this unforgettable art-making experience.

Age recommendation: Grades 1 and up

Standards Met: 1.3, 1.4, 3.2, 7.1, 8.3

Balls & Tracks

After observing gravity, friction and momentum in action in the Raceways exhibit, your class will work in groups to design their own unique Raceways track. Kids are the engineers as each team of students designs a roller coaster track using only the materials given to them. In addition to putting their problem-solving skills to work, your students will improve their teamwork abilities. The design challenges will be adjusted to suit your grade.

Age recommendation: Grades 2 and up

Money Matters

Money Matters is an early financial literacy program. In this exciting one-hour program, students can role-play as wage earners in our Boston Black exhibit, discuss important community roles and jobs, and "spend" the money they're earning at the local barber shop, flower store, corner market and restaurant. Together as a group they will explore the many ways that members of a community rely on each other for goods and services. This program aligns with Massachusetts Standards in both Economics and Mathematics.

Age recommendation: Grades K-2

Shake, Rattle and Roll

In this exciting new engineering and design program, students will have the opportunity to work in small teams to build a structure that can survive an earthquake. Using ordinary craft materials, they will be challenged to engineer a structure that is strong, yet flexible, and will then test their creation on our specially designed “earthquake table” to see how it holds up. The ultimate challenge will be to build the tallest possible structure than can survive the quake!

Age recommendation: Grades 3-5

Build A Better Roof

What’s the best roof design to keep the rain out of your house? Kindergarten thru 2nd graders will be testing out different answers to this question as they work in teams to build roofs for model homes. Students will be challenged to think about both roof shape and materials selection as they craft their design. The program culminates in putting the roofs to the test with a “rainstorm” in a tub.

Age recommendation: Grades K-2

Contemporary Art Gallery Program

Introduce your students to contemporary art with a visit to the Gallery at the Boston Children’s Museum. The BCM Gallery features a variety of contemporary art by New England artists and is designed to work as an introduction for children to the art gallery experience. In this program, students will be familiarized with an art setting and discuss their interpretations of the artwork on display, taking into consideration visual inventory, materials, and artists’ intents. Art making and movement activities will help expand their understanding of the artwork. Gallery exhibits change approximately every two months; school visit programs will be altered to fit the exhibit on display.

Sponsored Visits

Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our donors and corporate sponsors, Boston Children's Museum grants partially sponsored admission visits to qualifying groups throughout the calendar year. To qualify, your organization must be a non-profit that supports our mission and the enrichment of the museum's core audience, children ages 0-10.

To apply for a Sponsored Visit, please request a reservation using by clicking the "Request a Reservation" Button at the top of this page.

For more information on participating in our sponsored visit program contact our Groups Coordinator at (617) 426-6500, ext. 405 or GroupVisits@BostonChildrensMuseum.org

Homeschool Visits

Boston Children's Museum welcomes homeschoolers and their families to participate in programs designed to complement your homeschool curricula. Whether you're visiting as a parent-student duo or a large homeschool organization (or anything in between), we can accommodate students age 6-14 and their adults for hands-on explorations of culture, art, science, and engineering.

Upcoming Homeschool Day:

A Day in the Life of a Japanese Child
Thursday, January 12th:
11 am – 12 pm: Ages 4 – 7
12 – 1 pm: Ages 8 – 12

Program Description:
Take off your shoes and step into an authentic 100-year old house from Kyoto, Japan! Your students will experience a typical day for a Japanese child and will discover what customs, artifacts, and aspects of home and school life in Japan are similar to, and different from their own. We provide cultural immersion and hands-on activities in the Kyo-no-Machiya (the Japanese House) using contemporary stories, objects, and images.

Participating students: $15*
1 adult for every student admitted free
Younger siblings not participating in the program: $12
Space is limited. Reserve your spot by Friday, January 6th by emailing groupvisits@bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Please use the subject line “January Homeschool Day” and include the age of your child. If you have children who fall into more than one age bracket and would like them to do the program together, please indicate which program time you would prefer.

*Members will be charged the program rate for the participating student(s), but adults and younger siblings (not participating in the program) can be admitted free with a membership.

The program cost includes admission to the museum for the day. Come early or stay later and explore the other exhibits!

Please note: Any child under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times while in the museum, including during the program.

We cannot do advanced payment, all payments will be done during check-in on the day of the program. Please arrive 15 minutes before the program is scheduled to start.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Groups Coordinator at 617-426-6500 x405 or e-mail GroupVisits@BostonChildrensMuseum.org

FAQs

What ages are appropriate for a visit? The museum and do-it-yourself visits are geared towards children 0-10. Program visits are geared towards first grade and above though the program may be adapted for younger students by request.

How far in advance should we schedule a group visit? Group visits must be booked at least two weeks in advance. We recommend booking at least a month in advance to ensure availability.

Do we need a reservation for our group visit? Yes, in order to receive the group rate, you must book a visit at least two weeks in advance.

How long should we allow for a visit? We recommend at least two hours to explore the museum, but groups are welcome to stay longer.

Can we book a group visit on a Saturday or Sunday? Yes, your group can book a Self-Guided Visit during the weekend, but the Program Visits are not available. Please note that the Group Welcome Room is not available for groups visiting on the weekend.

Can we use memberships to pay for our group visit? No, memberships and other discounts/passes cannot be used towards group admissions.

Our organization/school serves low income areas/families. Do you have any funds available for us? Yes! Through the generosity of our museum donors, we are able to offer partially sponsored visits to qualifying groups throughout the year. For more information contact GroupVisits@BostonChildrensMuseum.org or 617-426-6500 x405.

How many chaperones should we bring? Boston Children's Museum requires one chaperone for every five students; those chaperones are admitted free. We cannot guarantee admission to groups bringing less than the required amount of chaperones. If you bring any adults above the 5:1 ratio, we will charge the museum general admission price. Please be advised, if your number of students changes on the day of your visit, your free chaperone number will be adjusted as well. All chaperones must be over the age of 16. Anyone under the age of 16 is considered a child.

Do teachers count as chaperones? Yes, teachers count as chaperones and will be counted towards the 5:1 ratio.

When do we pay for our visit? You will pay on the day of your visit upon your arrival. All group leaders are required to check-in at the admissions desk upon arrival.

How do we pay for our visit? We accept cash, checks, credit cards and authorized purchase orders only.

What is your cancellation policy? All visits must be canceled/rescheduled at least 7 days in advance. No-show groups and groups that cancel/reschedule less than 7 days in advance will be subject to a $50 cancellation fee.

What is your refund policy? Refunds for payments that exceed the balance due will only be issued if they are more than $50. The refund will be mailed to the organization after the visit. This policy applies to pre-filled out checks presented at the admissions desk. There are NO cash back refunds given at the admissions desk.

Where should our buses drop-off/pick-up? Your buses must drop-off/pick-up on Sleeper Street behind the museum. You will enter the museum through the Group Welcome Entrance at the opposite end of building from the main entrance. Do not unload your buses on Congress Street. Your group will not be allowed to enter the museum through the main entrance.

Where can our buses park? Boston Children's Museum does not have any on-site parking. Bus Parking is available at 390 Congress Street. For rates and more information, please call LAZ Parking at 617-737-3363. There are a number of other above ground lots that allow buses within walking distance of the museum.

Do you have somewhere we can eat lunch? Weather permitting; you may eat your lunch on the boardwalk or in Children's Wharf Park. If the weather is inclement, you may eat your lunch in our Group Welcome Room or lunch room. Please be advised, these areas are open to all museum visitors and groups. We recommend eating your lunch in smaller groups to ensure seating. Aside from water, no food or drinks of any kind are allowed in the Museum exhibits.

Do you have somewhere we can store our lunches/belongings? Yes, your group will be assigned a bin to store your lunches and other belongings. Please do not store valuable items in the group bins; Boston Children's Museum is not responsible for items left in the bins. Please lock your valuables in the lockers on the first floor.

If you have any questions regarding a group visit, please contact our Groups Coordinator at 617-426-6500 x405 or GroupVisits@BostonChildrensMuseum.org