Search

Kids and Family Visiting Tips

Welcome, parents and children!

The MFA is a great place to bring children. Kids 6 and under are always free, and kids 7 to 17 are free during nonschool hours (weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston public school holidays). You can find more helpful visiting information at Planning Your Visit with Kids; follow some of the tips below to make your visit full of art and fun while you're here.

The MFA is a great place to explore. You will see paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, videos, and more!

Pick up a Museum map at the Sharf Visitor Center or any admissions desk. You can also find this Guide to Family Fun, with ideas for looking together with children in the MFA and lists of other activities to enjoy in the Museum.

Before you begin,

  • Don't feel like you need to see the entire Museum in one day. It's a big place and worth many visits!
  • Help us keep the artwork safe by not touching or climbing on objects.
  • Always walk, don't run.
  • Please don't eat in the galleries; take a snack break in one of our dining areas.
  • Children under 14 must always be accompanied by an adult.
  • And remember, security guards protect you and the art; please respect their requests.

Look closely 

As you look at paintings, imagine the sights, sounds, and smells you would experience if you stepped inside. Try striking a pose like the sculptures you see.

Create an adventure

Create a family adventure plan. Search for faces, crowns, or animals; choose a culture to explore (ancient Egypt, colonial America); or look for a specific kind of art (paintings, photographs). Not sure where to start? Pick up an Art Connections Card at Sharf Visitor Center or download here and search for objects by theme.

Sketch

Using paper and pencils, sketch what you see in the galleries. If you don't have sketching supplies stop by Sharf Visitor Center and ask for a tote bag with drawing materials and activities.

Search

Search for specific shapes, lines, colors, or animasl in different galleries. For example, look for zigzag lines or find all the things that are yellow in each gallery.

Play

Play a gallery game. You can play "I spy" in one of your favorite galleries.

Or pick two similar works of art and compare them. Discuss how they are the same and how they are different.

Or try playing the Memory Game together. Look at a work of art for a few minutes. Then, turn around and describe what you saw. Take turns. Does each person remember the same details or different parts?

After Your Visit

On your way home discuss your visit. What was each person's favorite object or gallery?

Create a work of art together when you get home. Sketch a favorite object, create a sculpture using found objects or clay, or paint a picture of your home, neighborhood, or something special to you.

Come back for more!