Have Twins, Will Travel

What’s New on the Boston Art Scene?

Boston, Massachusetts – When the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) moved to dramatic new quarters on the South Boston waterfront, it foreshadowed a phenom. A half-decade later, Boston’s most prominent and prestigious artistic institutions are upgrading their contemporary offerings in significant ways. In a city known for its historical sites, this artistic trend is a welcome surprise. Take a tour of Boston’s new and improved arts scene. Read an updated version of the article on Lonely Planet… 

Disclaimer: This article is not about traveling with kids. In fact, it’s not about kids at all. But Boston’s art museums are awesome for kids! Both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Arts offer a slew of art classes targeting kids of different ages. Aside from these formal opportunities (which you have to sign up for and pay for), there are many more informal ways that families can enjoy the art:

Museum of Fine Arts

    • On weekends (and more frequently in summer), visit the Family Art Car in the
      courtyard at the MFA for puzzles, scavenger hunts, games and other
      activities that encourage kids (age 4 and up) to engage with the
    • On any day, kids above age 4 can borrow a tote bag that contains a sketch pad,
      pencils and other information for self-guided activities.
    • Toddlers are invited to bi-monthly playdates on the first and third Mondays of
      every month. The program includes stories, songs and age-appropriate
  • Older kids and teens can come once a week in the evening for drawing in the
    galleries. Materials and instruction are provided and all are welcome.

Institute of Contemporary Arts

    • Families get in free on the last Saturday of every month! That means two
      adults and two kids. There is usually a directed activity or performance
      geared toward children taking place on that day.
  • One Sunday a month, the ICA hosts a workshop for creative kids. Coming soon: puppet
    making and film making.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Kids love exploring this mysterious old house. Download a family guide before your
    visit for thematic scavenger hunt of sorts.

Children are naturals when it comes to admiring, critiquing and creating. Enjoy!