Tips for Visitors on the Autism Spectrum and Their Families

We are really looking forward to welcoming you back to the MFA. Some new procedures and guidelines are in place to help keep you and everyone safe.

Plan Your Visit

Download and print the map before your visit so you can see which parts of the Museum are open and plan where to visit. There are also large maps at Sharf Visitor Center in the Museum. Some areas of the Museum that you like to visit might be closed, but you may be able to discover new art you haven’t seen before.

You can also use the MFA Mobile app on your smartphone or tablet to access the map, see information about what’s on view, and access audio content and more for select exhibitions and galleries.

Tips for Visiting


General admission tickets allow you to visit all of the museum apart from some special exhibitions, which need separate tickets. General admission tickets can be used at any time while the museum is open on the day you are visiting.

Special exhibitions require a specific exhibition ticket that includes general admission.

Before entering you’ll be asked to present your ticket at the Huntington Avenue Entrance. See Visit for more information about the entry procedure.


Restrooms are open and indicated on the map. All restrooms have automatic hand dryers except for those near the Gund galleries on the Lower Ground floor. Currently all restrooms also have paper towels. All toilets have automatic flushes.

Food and Drink

Outside food and drink are not permitted in the Museum. Exceptions are made for medical or religious needs. Water fountains are available. See Dining for more information about available dining options at the Museum.

Social Narratives

For more information about what to expect when you visit the MFA, please read the social narratives for families and teens and adults.

Other Important Tips

  • Noise-reducing headphones and fidgets are not available from the Museum; please bring your own.
  • Some galleries play music.
  • Seating is available in some galleries. You can also borrow a gallery stool from the Sharf Visitor Center.
  • Hand sanitizing stations can be found throughout the Museum and can be used if you want to clean your hands and you are not close to a restroom.
  • The temperature can be different in spaces throughout the Museum. Some galleries are warmer, and some are quite chilly. It is a good idea to bring a sweater.
  • Break areas are available. The Calderwood Courtyard (weather permitting) and the Shapiro Family Courtyard are areas where you can take a break while you are in the Museum. Right now, if you leave the Museum, there is no re-entry if you leave.
  • If you think you would like to visit the Museum often, but are not sure how long you may be able to stay each time, purchasing a membership is an option that will allow you to get free general admission tickets, so you can visit for as long as you like, any day the Museum is open. Members can also reserve free timed entry tickets for special exhibitions.

For further information on general accessibility at the MFA, see Accessibility.