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Boston's Best Family-Friendly Museum Exhibits

Boston is full of family-friendly museum exhibits and entire museums that are fine for kids and adults of all ages. Among these treasures of the city are some of the best exhibits one can enjoy with a child in tow. From the largest Van de Graaff generator on the planet, to a house brought across the world, everyone in town should see these family-friendly exhibits. Before planning a day at any of them, check the local library for discount passes to the museums that house them.

Museum Of Science
(Photo Credit: Museum of Science)

Museum of Science, Boston
1 Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 723-2500

There is nothing more exciting for the emerging science fan than Lightning! at the Museum of Science. Powered by a massive Van de Graaff generator and set to the tune of music made by a Tesla coil, it does not get much cooler. Presenters talk about weather, safety and electricity while creating indoor lightning in a very controlled setting. It can get loud, so bring earmuffs so little ones can enjoy the show too.

Related: Boston's Best Science Exhibits

Harvard Museum Of Natural History
(Photo Credit: Harvard Museum of Natural History)

Romer Hall of Vertebrate Paleontology
Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-3045

There are a lot of fascinating sights to see for families at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. This includes everything from stuffed mammals to glass flowers. Many kids will love the Romer Hall of Vertebrate Paleontology. It has a kronosaurus skeleton that is 42 feet long. Also featured are a pteranodon skeleton and the skull of a triceratops. This exhibit is not all about dinosaurs and marine reptiles though. The exhibit has plenty of mammals to enjoy also.

Boston Children's Museum
(Photo Credit: Boston Children's Museum)

Japanese House
Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress St.
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 426-6500

This exhibit is straight from Kyoto, Japan. Kids and parents can explore a silk merchant's home that was put back together in Boston by Japanese carpenters, so everything is authentic. It has been in the museum since 1979, so it is a bit of an historic landmark. Just make sure everyone is wearing clean socks when it comes time to head to the museum. Like most Japanese homes, guests are expected to remove their shoes before entering.

MIT Museum
(Photo Credit: MIT)

Robots and Beyond
MIT Museum
MIT Museum Building
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 253-5927

MIT and artificial intelligence seem to go hand in hand. This school is at the cutting edge of robotics and many other technologies. Thankfully the school took time to put some of its work on display so people can experience robotics at MIT. There are some amazing robots in the exhibit with names like Kismet, Cog and RoboTuna that kids are bound to enjoy. Very young children are not likely to understand what is happening, but any kid old enough to know what a robot is will appreciate what this exhibit has in store.

Related: Boston's Best Permanent Exhibits

Larz Anderson Auto Museum
(Photo Credit: Larz Anderson Auto Museum)

Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton St.
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 522-6547

This old estate is filled with beautiful antique cars. There are temporary exhibits at the museum periodically, but the main focus is the cars collected by the home's original eponymous owner. Expect to find antique cars like the early Ford models and some of the first sports cars. Everything is spread out beautifully, so there is plenty of room for families to browse the collection together.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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