Archive 2008 - 2019

Free Fun Friday Program: August 23 Activities

by Yvette Cain

MA Cultural Attractions for Your Summer Enrichment

This week’s offerings for Free Fun Fridays include a great line-up of institutions, trails, and gardens, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation. Admission, but not parking or transportation is free!

Check out some of the links, as sometimes a location has an entire day’s schedule planned for Free Fun Friday. Additionally, some have signups for their newsletters that will keep you “in the know”!

Friday, August 23

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

“For more than 75 years, the ICA has presented contemporary art in all media—visual arts, performance, film, video, and literature—and created educational programs that encourage appreciation for contemporary culture…In its new facility, the ICA has expanded the scope and size of its exhibitions and programs—increasing its audiences tenfold and serving as a catalyst for contemporary art in Boston.”


Berkshire Museum

“In 1903, Berkshire Museum founder Zenas Crane, inspired by such institutions as the American Museum for Natural Science, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, decided to blend the best attributes of these establishments in a new museum for the people of Western Massachusetts. Thanks in large part to Crane’s efforts, the broad and varied collections of Berkshire Museum include objects from virtually every continent, from important fine art and sculpture to natural science specimens and ancient artifacts.”

Boston Athenaeum

“We are pleased to once again open the Athenæum’s first floor for Free Fun Friday, supported by the Highland Street Foundation. The day's free activities for children and adults will include quiet reading spaces, programs that highlight the Athenæum's history and collections, and stories and crafts for our youngest visitors. “

Buttonwood Park Zoo

For a 120 years, we have been proud to be part of the New Bedford community as the 12th oldest zoo in the United States. Our mission is to create experiences for exploring and enjoying the natural world. We hope to offer families an opportunity to learn the importance animals play in our world.“

Emily Dickinson Museum

“The Emily Dickinson Museum comprises two historic houses in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts associated with the poet Emily Dickinson and members of her family during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The Homestead was the birthplace and home of the poet Emily Dickinson.  The Evergreens, next door, was home to her brother Austin, his wife Susan, and their three children.”


Fort Devens Museum

“Fort Devens Museum is a private non-profit organization that collects, preserves, and shares artifacts and stories that tell the history of Camp Devens and Fort Devens from 1917 to the present. Once known as “New England’s largest Army Base”, Fort Devens now has more than 100 years of history under its belt.

Beyond historical exhibits, our space also functions as a welcoming place for Veterans and their families to gather, remember, and share the stories that are most important to them.

On Free Fun Friday, see exhibits about the history of Devens from 1917 to the present, try on uniforms, and have some fun!”

Freedom Trail Foundation

“Walk Into History® and experience more than 250 years of history on Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail®— the 2.5-mile red line leading to 16 nationally significant historic sites, each one an authentic treasure. Preserved and dedicated by the citizens of Boston in 1951, the Freedom Trail is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.  Today the Freedom Trail is a world-renowned, signature tourist experience attracting over 4 million people annually to visit Boston's precious 17th-, 18th- , and 19th-century sites.”

Heritage Museums & Gardens

“Heritage Museums & Gardens is the largest public garden in Southern New England…made up of 100 acres of landscaped gardens, water features, sculpture, walking trails, nature trails, gallery buildings and more. The gardens and gallery buildings are accessible via walking, wheelchair or electric scooter. A limited supply of wheelchairs is available at the ticket office. When visiting Heritage, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes and giving yourself plenty of time to experience all that the gardens and gallery buildings have to offer.” 

Museum of African American History

Participating in Free Fun Fridays: 46 Joy Street, Boston, MA, USA

“Among the most important National Historic Landmarks in the nation, the African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School on Beacon Hill were built in the early 1800's and are two of the museum's most valuable assets. Located steps away from the Massachusetts State House in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th-century African American neighborhood, these buildings remain a showcase for community organizing and an enduring testimony to black craftsmanship.

Once a church, a school, and vital community meeting place, the African Meeting House has been returned to its 1855 appearance through historic restoration and is open to the public for talks and tours, our events and yours. The Abiel Smith School, the nation's oldest public school for African American children, currently houses first-class exhibit galleries, education programs, caterers' kitchen, and a museum store filled with books and inspired gifts.”


The Mary Baker Eddy Library & Mapparium

Plan your visit to this world-famous, three-story, stained-glass globe—one of the key attractions at the Library. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

“The Library is also showing a complementary exhibit, “The Mapparium: An Inside View,” featuring letters, documents, and artifacts never before made public. These showcase the construction, history, and significance of this magnificent architectural and artistic achievement.”

Be sure to check the website or call each destination for special events planned for Free Fun Fridays.  Some have special concerts, programs, and exhibits for the day.

Also remember that Free Fun Fridays! includes only admission to the institution.  Parking and/or transportation is not included.

Have a great day!