Originally formed as the Boston Society of Natural History in 1830, the Boston Museum of Science is an iconic attraction centered in Science Park. The Museum is home to more than 700 interactive exhibits, as well as the only domed IMAX screen in the New England area, the Mugar Omni Theater. Here, audiences can fully immerse themselves in whatever film they’re watching, as a 5-story-tall domed screen wraps around the theater. Aside from having the only domed IMAX in New England, the Boston Museum of Science also features the Charles Hayden Planetarium – the most advanced in the region. Guests can blast into space with the power of a Zeiss Starmaster projector to light up their eyes.
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Of the 700 exhibits, there are several permanent showcases that have been with the Museum for years. Each is interactive and some exhibits, like Take a Closer Look, rely on all five senses to get through. The exhibits are great for both young and old, as we could all use a little science lesson every now and then. Children can learn about the dinosaurs while stroking a real fossil, or learn about flight while flying RoboBee, a robotic bee. New England’s only domed IMAX screen, the Mugar Omni Theater, is one of the Museum’s must-see attractions. The screen wraps 360o around the audience and provides surround sound speaker systems to allow audience members to really lose themselves in the showing. Aside from the visually stunning cinematography offered ny the IMAX theater, the Museum also features a unique 4-D Film experience. These films create a unique, multi-sensory experience for all audience members. Whether the elements of the film include rain, snow, or wind, the theater is able to recreate these conditions flawlessly. Aside from all the cool exhibits, the Boston Museum of Science is one of only three bases in Boston that the esteemed Duck Tour departs from.
Six young scientists hoping to explore their scientific interests founded the Museum in 1830, and thus, the Boston Society of Natural History was born. It slowly transformed into a museum as their collection of artifacts and specimens expanded and gained attention. Shortly after gaining new leadership at the end of World War II, the Society was renamed to the Boston Museum of Science. For 38 years, the Museum housed an endearing great horned owl, Spooky, who became the Museum’s mascot.
Located in Science Park, the Museum stretches across Charles River; a popular spot for sailing, kayaking, sculling, and rowing (as well as several other water sports). For guests staying in the area, there are three major neighborhoods that surround the Museum. These neighborhoods include Cambridge, Beacon Hill, and the West End. In these neighborhoods, you can find three houses built by famous American architect, Charles Bulfinch, for lawyer Harrison Gray Otis. The three houses are each called the Harrison Gray Otis House, respectively; the first is now a National Historic Landmark adjacent to the Old West Church in the West End. If your kids still seem to have too much energy after your day at the Museum and you can’t get them to sit still, a trip to Charlesbank Playground might do the trick. While your child climbs monkey bars, you can enjoy the tranquil flow of the Charles River, and it’s only a short walk from the Museum.
Beacon Hill is a wealthy neighborhood that was actually ranked as one of the top two most expensive neighborhoods in Boston. It is home to the Liberty Hotel, a great place for adults to unwind after a long day of activities. The hotel’s restaurant, Scampo Restaurant, offers guests fine dining and delicious drinks in a comfortable environment.
East Cambridge is a popular neighborhood filled with activities. Trendy boutique hotels like the Royal Sonesta Hotel and Hotel Marlowe line the neighborhood’s streets and let guests relax comfortably and luxuriously. The latter makes the trip complete with stunning views of Boston’s city skyline and top-notch cuisine prepared by Chef Jay Silva at the hotel’s Bambara Kitchen & Bar.
Should I Go?
Though the Museum offers many learning and exploration tools for children, adults can enjoy a variety of activities as well. There’s always room to brush up on your science skills, and this Museum offers parents and children alike new information and experiences. Aspiring designers can put their skills to the test with any of the Museum’s numerous drop-in activities. These activities are entirely hands-on and asks participants to find solutions, design prototypes, and recreate ancient architecture. Live animal shows are held daily and attract a wide range of audiences, as the Museum’s Animal Care Center houses over 120 animals. Plus, when parents have reached their breaking point, they can enjoy a burger or beverage at any of the Museum’s various dining options including The Riverview Café, which serves Wolfgang Puck cuisine daily.
Currently undergoing renovation to include three new exhibits – What is Technology?, Hall of Human Life, and the Yawkey Gallery, the Museum is constantly updating and developing new sights. The last mentioned exhibit will offer stunning views of the skyline normally not available to the public.