Last updated: 3/11/2011
Boston, Massachusetts
Street Address
300 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
Mailing Address
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
phone: 617-426-6500
fax: 617-426-1944
e-mail: info@BostonChildrensMuseum.org
web: www.bostonkids.org
Hours
Sunday - Thursday, Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Friday10 AM - 9 PM
Admissions
Adults: $12.00
Seniors(65+): $12.00
Children (1-15): $12.00
(0-12 Months): Free!
Museum Type(s)
Art
Services
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Cafe/Restaurant
Staff
Jo-Anne Baxter, Director of Marketing/PR
Description

Boston Children's Museum (BCM) was founded in 1913 by a dedicated group of teachers who wanted to expose city children to objects from the natural world and also create an innovative center for the exchange of materials and ideas that would advance the teaching of science. BCM has evolved into an internationally recognized children's museum that develops and delivers informal education for children in the areas of science, culture, health, and the arts. From 1962 to 1986, under the leadership of children?s museum revolutionary Michael Spock, the Museum pioneered the development of child-centered, interactive exhibitions, a model now used throughout the world to engage learners of all ages and all levels of knowledge and ability. Since 2010, when Carole Charnow took over as President and Chief Executive Officer, BCM has made a citywide commitment to assisting families in making sure their children are ready for school.

On April 14, 2007, BCM opened a newly expanded and renovated Museum. The 23,000-square-foot expansion and 75,000-square-foot renovation project increased the programs, services, and resources that the Museum offers children and families on the historic Fort Point Channel. The project included a three-story addition, as well as a new theater and major new exhibitions in arts, culture, science and math, and health and fitness. Through changing exhibitions, live performances, in-depth classes, and educational programming, BCM is providing an even greater level of support for parents, grandparents, teachers, and childcare providers.

Museum's mission is to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. As an early museum experience for children, our environment is informal, but our purpose is serious. Central to our philosophy is the belief that real objects, direct experiences, and enjoyment support learning. We want children to grow up feeling secure and self-confident, with respect for others and the natural world. We encourage imagination, curiosity, questioning and realism, and we provide opportunities for new insights, involvement with the world, and understanding of human differences. Our goals are to:
- Be an innovative multicultural center that bridges Boston?s schools, neighborhoods, and communities;
- Create exhibitions and programs that provide thought-provoking interactions with real objects in the areas of sciences, cultures, the visual and performing arts, and health and development;
- Attract and support a diverse talented staff committed to working with children;
- Provide resources and support for parents;
- Work with teachers and community agency staff to extend the Museum's philosophy and resources;
- Continue as a research and development center exploring new methods of informal education and new roles for museums.

In FY10 (July 2009-June 2010), the Museum served 590,782 visitors, approximately half of those adults. Of BCM's 553,782 visitors in FY08, 161,641 or 29% were served via free or discounted visits - expanding access to schools, community groups, and individuals from low-income communities - through $2-per-person library passes, $1-per-person Friday Night admissions, and sponsored groups including school visits and community group visitors. 69% of Museum visitors were Caucasian, 10% were Black/African American, 7% were Latino, 6% were Asian, and 8% 'Other. - Half the children who visit were 6 years old and younger

About 8% of our visitors come in camp, community, or school groups, among which 53% are children of color. 88.43% of Museum visitors come from New England, of which 77.49% are from Massachusetts and 20% are from Boston. 11.57% of our visitors come from other states and countries. BCM continues to offer a variety of membership programs including family, educator, and community memberships that provide discounts on admission ranging from 12% to 50%. Family members at BCM total 10,000 households, while library memberships total 215. Another 74,000 children, parents, caregivers, and educators enjoy the Museum's resources through our outreach programs. 5,000 educators access resources and professional development each year. In addition, the Museum's website averages 300,000 page visits every month.

Mission

Boston Children's Museum exists to help children and families enjoy, understand and become active citizens of the world in which they live. We want children to grow up as successful learners who respect others and the natural world. We encourage imagination, curiosity, investigation, innovation, and play. Central to our philosophy is the belief that meaningful interactions with real objects, direct engagement and enjoyment promote learning.

History

Founded in 1913 by a group of teachers in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood, Boston Children's Museum began a "hands-on" tradition long before that phrase became commonplace.

As early as 1913, it meant engaging youth in identifying and marking nature walks, preparing specimens, making clay and wax models for exhibits, and even attempting a working model of the metropolitan water system.

In the 1960's, Michael Spock (museum director 1962-85) led the institution in revolutionizing the traditional museum experience, getting objects out of cases and into children's hands in exhibit areas where children could interact, experiment, and follow their own curiosity. Hands-on learning is now a part of American education and we are proud to have had a "hand" in it from the beginning.

Today, after 98 years, Boston Children's Museum exists to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live. As an early museum experience for children, our environment is informal, but our purpose is serious. We want children to grow up feeling secure and self-confident with respect for others and the natural world. We encourage imagination, curiosity, questioning, and realism. We provide opportunities for new insights, involvement with the world and understanding of human differences with world-class exhibits and programs.

Publications

1. Annual Report
2. Quarterly Event Updates

ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Services

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Special Event Rental

Restaurant

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MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Tuesday, September 6 - Friday, September 9, 2022 — Portland, Oregon
WMA 2022 Annual Meeting in partnership with the Oregon Museums Association
Portland, Oregon
Wednesday, September 14 - Friday, September 16, 2022 — Enid, Oklahoma
2022 Oklahoma Museum Conference
Enid, Oklahoma
Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
Buffalo, New York
Thursday, October 6 - Sunday, October 9, 2022 — Portland, Oregon
2022 Oregon Annual Conference, co-hosted with Western Museums Association
Portland, Oregon
Monday, October 24 - Wednesday, October 26, 2022 — Rogers, Arkansas
SouthEastern Museum Conference 2022 ANNUAL MEETING
Rogers, Arkansas
Tuesday, October 25 - Thursday, October 27, 2022 — Temecula, California
2022 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Temecula, California
Friday, June 23 - Thursday, June 29, 2023 — ,
2023 American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago
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