Artful Adventures

Program Information

Artful Adventures provides opportunities for children and teens to connect with the art and cultures of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas through engagement with the MFA collections. Teachers, parents, and group leaders work closely with Museum instructors to design customized visits that fit the interests and needs of their group. Each visit lasts an hour and a half and combines a gallery tour with an art-making activity. Artful Adventures programs can also be offered in Spanish.

Sample Tours

We love to customize visits! Choose one of the adventures below or work with a Museum instructor to create your own.

Animals in Art
Search for animals in paintings and sculptures in different galleries.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, masks, painting, or puppets

Asian Art
Walk through a Chinese house and a Buddhist Temple Room, learn about impressive gods and goddesses, and take a closer look at scroll paintings.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, pendants, or Sumi-e painting

Colors and Shapes
Discover how shapes and colors can be combined to create a masterpiece! Young children learn about the three primary colors and discover how to create secondary colors.
Art Activity Suggestions: Collage or painting

Fantastic Creatures
Dragons, griffins, and sphinx! Find artwork featuring animals and other creatures.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, masks, pendants, or puppets

Examine clothing and accessories worn by people in paintings and sculptures.
Art Activity Suggestions: Drawing with watercolor pencils in the galleries, jewelry, paper dolls, pendants, or puppets

Images of Power
What does it mean to be powerful? Learn about gods and goddesses from different countries, cultures, and time periods.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, masks, painting, pendants, or puppets

Learn about impressionism from American and European impressionist paintings and compare these to others in the collections.
Art Activity Suggestions: Drawing with watercolor pencils in the galleries or painting on canvas

Are masks just for holidays? Journey through the Museum to look at masks from around the world.
Art Activity Suggestion: Masks

Reading Adventures!
See below for more information about Reading Adventures!

Stories in Art
There are interesting stories behind every work of art. Take a closer look, hear stories, and create your own!
Art Activity Suggestions: Bookmaking, clay, collage, drawing, masks, painting, or puppets

The Art and Mysteries of Ancient Egypt
Unlock the mysteries of ancient Egypt and hear about daily life in this amazing civilization. Meet our mummies and learn why and how Egyptians prepared for the afterlife.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, mummy masks, or pendants

Ancient Greece

Visit the MFA to explore the art and culture of ancient Greece! Discover gods, heroes, and monsters from Greek mythology; learn what it was like to be an Olympic athlete in ancient times; and much more!

From now through December 2017, groups of children age 14 and under who currently attend a Greek school in the New England area can participate in a guided Greek-themed Artful Adventures experience for FREE! Participatory and interactive, programs at the MFA last 90 minutes and include a tour and art-making activity.

Reservations are required at least 4 weeks in advance.

Please mention the NHS Pass at time of registration.

Reading Adventures!

Reading Adventures! tours are specifically designed around the images, stories, and themes found in books. Teachers and group leaders may choose one of the suggested books listed below or work with a Museum educator to create a customized visit based on a book that your group is currently reading.

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaires
This book includes popular myths surrounding the pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses. At the Museum children can see mythology depicted in ancient Greek and Roman vases, statues, and other works of art.
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, masks, pendants, or puppets

Katie Meets the Impressionists
by James Mayhew
While visiting the art museum with her grandmother, Katie steps inside Impressionist paintings to gather a bouquet of flowers for Grandma’s birthday. Inside the paintings she discovers picnics, friends, art studios, and theaters. At the Museum children will be able to look at Impressionist paintings at the Museum just like those in which Katie finds herself!
Art Activity Suggestions: Drawing with watercolor pencils in the galleries or painting on canvas

The 5,000-year-old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt
by Claudia Logan
Will travels to Giza to help find the next Egyptian burial tomb. Readers help Will solve the mystery surrounding the tomb and learn about various ancient Egyptian customs. See all of the objects mentioned in the book and learn about the real-life archaeological expedition that brought the objects to the Museum’s Egyptian collection during your visit!
Art Activity Suggestions: Clay, mummy masks, or pendants

Visiting the Art Museum
by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
A wonderfully illustrated picture book that follows a family during their visit to an art museum. Many of the paintings, sculptures, and artifacts portrayed in the photographs and illustrations refer to pieces from the Museum of Fine Art’s collection!
Art Activity Suggestions: 3D sculptures, clay, drawing with watercolor pencils in the galleries, painting, or pendants

The Hunter and the Crocodile
by Baba Wague Diakite
A West African tale rich in the culture and history of Africa that tells the story of a man and animal working together to survive. At the Museum children can see not only African art, but other pieces that describe the relationship between man and nature.
Art Activity Suggestion: Masks


Ages & Number of Children

Artful Adventures tours are suitable for children between 3-18 years.

Visits may be scheduled with fewer than 10 participants, but we charge for a minimum of 10 even if there are less. Groups with 80-120 participants can be accommodated with advance notice. We try to maintain a ratio of 1 Museum instructor for every 15 children.


All adult chaperones are free, however, we ask that groups try to not have more than 1 adult for every 3 students. Chaperones must be adults. Teen volunteers and CIT’s are welcome, but they are included in the headcount for payment at the student rate.

If you arrive without the appropriate number of chaperones the Museum reserves the right to cancel your visit.


$9 per child (includes Museum admission). We charge for a minimum of 10 children. Payment in full is due on the day of your visit, not in advance. Once confirmed, the fee and number of children listed on your confirmation is the minimum.


Reservations are required at least four weeks in advance. Please fill out the online request form.

To cancel or change an existing reservation, please call 617-369-3303 at least two business days in advance.


Visits may be scheduled to start:

Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday

  • Anytime between 10:00 am and 3:30 pm

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

  • Anytime between 10:00 am and 8:30 pm


Please call 617-369-3303 at least two business days prior to your scheduled visit if you need to cancel, make changes to your reservation, or if your attendance numbers have increased or decreased by more than 10 children.

You will be billed for the full amount listed on your confirmation sheet if changes and cancellations are not made at least TWO business dayS in advance.


Groups that bring bagged lunches may reserve the lunch tables in the Druker Family Pavilion, Room 159 between 10 am and 1:30 pm, Monday through Friday. These tables can accommodate a maximum of 60 students (larger groups will need to reserve multiple time slots). The cost of reserving these tables is $40 per half hour - pre-registration is required.

Please call 617-369-3303 or e-mail if you are interested in reserving the lunch tables and a request was not placed with your original reservation. Reservations should be made as early as possible - times and space are limited. We regret that lunch table reservations are not available on the weekend and during the summertime.



Please try to arrive fifteen minutes before your visit is scheduled to begin. Arriving early ensures that you have time to check-in and your group can begin the visit as soon as possible.

If you will be late please call your Museum instructor. You may receive an abbreviated tour and activity. If you are more than 30 minutes late we cannot guarantee that you will have a guide.


Before 4:30 pm

Please enter through the Linde Family Wing Entrance, located on Museum Road directly across from the parking garage. 

After 4:30 pm

Please enter through the State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance located across from the park.


Upon arrival a teacher or chaperone should enter alone with the confirmation letter to check in and pay. Once the check-in process is complete, a Museum staff member will bring your group into the Museum.

Payment is due on the day of your visit and not in advance.

Coats and Bags

Please leave your belongings on the bus or if your car whenever possible, especially any items of value. We have a limited number of bins available for use at the entrance. All parcels, umbrellas, and bags larger than 11” x 15” containing needed medical equipment or for use in nursing/ childcare are allowed in the Museum. Please note: the following items cannot be checked: laptop computers, cameras, and other valuables. The Museum assumes no responsibility for any lost or stolen items.

Museum Guidelines

Parents, Teachers, and Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their group. Please help your students follow these guidelines.

  • Works of art in the Museum should not be touched
  • Please walk in the Museum
  • Use inside voices
  • Always stay together as a group
  • Please don’t eat, drink, or chew gum in the galleries


Support provided by: Michael D. Dingman Fund; Pamela D. Adams Fund for Artful Adventures; Richard W. and Marjorie S. Dammann Fund; Mrs. Charles H. Taylor Fund; William O. and Sally Taylor Fund; Rieka, Samuel, and Renée Rapaporte Fund for Educational Outreach for Youth and Families; Kennedy P. and Susan M. Richardson Fund for Learning and Community Engagement; Bramhall Fund; Estate of Charlotte Brayton.