Museums are a uniquely personal experience: Do you prefer sculpture or painting, modern or ancient art? Thankfully, Cambridge has a museum for everyone’s art tastes.
Harvard Art Museums
This museum has a little of everything thanks to the fact that it’s actually three museums: the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum holding 250,000 objects across all mediums. In 2013, the Harvard Art Museums opened in the new space designed by architecture firm Renzo Piano Studio on the college’s campus. The new space offers the opportunity to walk through the centuries and across the continents, from ancient coins and oil paintings of early Bostonians to an impressive Impressionist collection.
Harvard Museum of Natural History
Have family in tow? This museum offers something fun for everyone, from the Great Hall of Mammals (there are nearly 500 on display) and the giant sloth and dinosaurs to the marine life in the Putnam Family Gallery. The 2,000 intricate Ware Collection of Blaschka glass flower models date from the late 19th century and wow with their detail.
Science geeks will love this museum for its exhibitions on artificial intelligence, robotics, and holography (the largest collection in the world). See art and engineering combine in Gestural Engineering: The Sculpture of Arthur Ganson and trace maritime history since the early 19th century in the Hart Nautical Gallery.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Fans of Indiana Jones and Night at the Museum will love the pieces on display at this museum named after its original benefactor, George Peabody. The collection has thousands of objects covering millions of years from North, Central, and South Americas, Asia and Africa. Find a feather headdress from the Amazon Basin, artifacts from Chichen Itza, and even Neolithic stone tools from Europe on view during your visit.
Science Museum of Boston
Yes, it’s technically in Boston, but seeing as this pioneering science museum—one of the country’s most significant—is halfway across the Charles River on a bridge, we can lay partial claim. Stop here for lightning shows, fascinating touring exhibitions, a planetarium, and more. And while exhibitions are entirely family-friendly, there’s nothing that says adults sans kids can’t go on their own.