Indoor Activities and Things to Do in Boston
Don't fret if you end up in Boston on a rainy or chilly day. The city has no shortage of indoor activities that you can enjoy. From world class museums to classic historic sites, these are some of the best indoor activities in Boston.
Sports Museum of New England
Sports are a huge part of the life and culture of Boston and this museum is a great example of how sports bring the city to life. With teams such as the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins, there are many passionate fans around town. The city also hosts a number of sporting events including the famous Boston Marathon. This museum is located in the TD Garden, which is home to the Bruins and Celtics, and it covers many aspects of sports in Boston.
100 Legends Wy, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
This large theatre seats nearly 3,700 guests and is ornately decorated on the interior emulating the Paris Opera House. And, appropriately, this theatre hosts opera, ballet, concerts, and other premier events.
270 Tremont Street, Theatre District, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of African American History
This museum educates visitors on the African American community and the people who lived on the north slope of Beacon Hill during the 19th century. This community actively worked to improve civil rights during this time. The two buildings that make up the museum include the African Meeting House, which is the oldest, still standing black church, and the Abiel Smith School, which is the country's oldest public school for African American children. It later became the headquarters for black Civil War veterans.
46 Joy St, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA, 02114
Boston Children's Museum
This three story museum offers hands-on learning for anyone who loves to play and explore. It's one of the largest children's museums in the world and has a range of exhibits that display historical items, toys, and natural specimens. There are many opportunities for hands-on learning including a bubble room, a dinosaur room, and a playspace for the youngest kids.
308 Congress St, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, MA, 02210
Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation
Located at Massachusetts General Hospital, this museum highlights the accomplishments of more than 200 years of research in the medical field. There are exhibits on various medical breakthroughs, as well up frequently updated features on the latest in medical technology. On the third floor there's a roof top garden that offers beautiful views of the Beacon Hill skyline. The Ether Dome is an amphitheater where anesthesia was first successfully used in 1846.
2 N Grove St, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
Old State House
Dating back to 1713, the Old State House was the site of the Boston Massacre where British soldiers fired into protesting colonists. This building was the seat of British government at the time, and became a spot where local colonists debated the details about their government leading to the revolution. Now, the building is a museum (combined with the Old South Meeting House) showcasing exhibits from the history of the revolutionary era.
206 Washington St, Downtown, Boston, Massachusetts
The Paul Revere House
This simple, two story, wood-frame home offers a glimpse into how Paul Revere and his family lived during the late 18th century. The Tudor-style house is part of the Freedom Trail.
19 N Square, North End, Boston, MA, 02113
Located in Plymouth, about halfway between Boston and Cape Cod, the Blake Planetarium is run by the Plymouth Public School system. They have a fantastic 4K fulldome theater which provides shows to students as well as the general public.
117 Long Pond Rd, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 02360
Boston Fire Museum
This small museum has exhibits on the historical aspects of firefighting. There are hand-operated pumpers from 1793 and a steam pumper from 1882. There's also a ladder truck from 1860. This is a fun museum for kids who like fire trucks and all things related to firefighting.
344 Congress St, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, MA, 02210
Emerson Colonial Theatre
This is the oldest continuously operating theatre in the United States. The interior is ornate and gorgeous. Hosting a variety of performances and musicals such as Broadway-style shows as well as locally produced plays, this theatre has seen its share of hits. In fact, it was where several shows debuted before they went on to become Broadway hits such as Oklahoma! and Porgy and Bess.
106 Boylston Street, Theatre District, Boston, Massachusetts
Opened in 1910, Boston's Shuburt Theatre has ties to the theatres in New York with the same name. As such, visitors can see a variety of Broadway-style shows here including dramas and musicals and large productions.
265 Tremont Street, Theatre District, Boston, Massachusetts
The Paramount Theatre is a performing arts center that hosts several touring Broadway productions each year. Opened in 1896, the Paramount Theatre is one of the oldest theaters in the country. It hosts many Broadway shows as well as concerts and operas.
559 Washington Street, Theatre District, Boston, Massachusetts
Featuring productions of Blue Man Group
and Shear Madness
for more than 30 years, these are the only two shows hosted at this theatre, and they are extremely popular! The theatre itself was built in the Greek Revival architectural style and offers plenty of charm.
74 Warrenton Street, Theatre District, Boston, Massachusetts
Old North Church
This historic church is one of the main landmarks in the historic area of Boston's North End. Surrounded by houses and buildings that are hundreds of years old, the church itself dates back to 1723. Not only is it well preserved, but it has a special place in American history as the beginning of Paul Revere's famous ride to let everyone know that the British were indeed coming. Self-guided tours of the church are available, and additionally visitors can go down into the crypt underneath the church as well. Furthermore, the church is open for services on Sundays if you make a reservation.
193 Salem Street, North End, Boston, Massachusetts, 02113
Framingham State University Planetarium
As part of the McAuliffe Center, this planetarium hosts a variety of education astronomy shows and events for students as well as the general public. Located in the western suburbs of Boston, it's not too far from the city if you want to make the trip to experience one of their shows, mostly in the evenings, several times per month.
100 State Street, Framingham, Massachusetts, 01702
Charles Hayden Planetarium
Located inside the fantastic Museum of Science, this amazing planetarium features shows that educate and entertain children and adults. While some of the shows are more scientific than others, they offer shows that accommodate a variety of audiences. For example, a Sesame Street
; themed show engages young children while teaching them about astronomy, and Descent into Jupiter
shows us what the gas giant is made of. Tickets can be purchased at the museum and shows run several times per day when the museum is open.
1 Science Park, West End, Boston, Massachusetts
This interactive museum is perfect for the tech lovers among us. There are exhibits on robotics, oceanographic research, photography, and innovative engineering. The exhibits and programming changes frequently so there's also something new and exciting to check out. Both kids and adults of all ages can have fun exploring and playing at this hands-on museum.
265 Massachusetts Ave Building N51, Cambridge, MA, 02139
Boston Garden (TD Garden)
The iconic Boston Garden indoor stadium (currently named the TD Garden) is home to both the Boston Celtics NBA team and the Boston Bruins NHL team. While it's been around for awhile, this stadium is loved by fans from near and afar for it's close, intimate seating where spectators can see all of the action of their favorite teams. In addition to sporting events, the venue also hosts hit concerts and other shows on occasion such as Disney on Ice and famous comedians.
100 Legends Way, West End, Boston, Massachusetts
Museum of Science
The Museum of Science runs between East Cambridge and Boston's West End along the Charles River. This is one of the largest science museums in the world and, with more than 700 exhibits, this museum makes a good tribute to a city known for it's contributions to the field of science.
1 Museum Of Science Driveway, Science Park, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
Established as a permanent central marketplace in Boston, and gifted by the wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil, this marketplace building was constructed in 1742 and then later expanded over the following decades and centuries. The meeting hall on the upper floor of the building became famous as a place of protest against the British during the era of the Revolutionary War. It has since become a place of protest and democracy throughout American history. Today, visitors can tour the historic building as well as visit the shops and restaurants of the marketplace buildings. Grab a souvenir and a bite to eat in the food court, or join one of the many walking tours of Boston that begin in this part of town.
4 South Market Street, North End, Boston, Massachusetts
New England Aquarium
Rated one of the best aquariums in the world, the memories of the immersive aquatic experience that you will have here will last a lifetime. Visitors will find huge tanks filled with various marine species and ecosystems such as coral reefs, sharks, the north Atlantic, the northern Pacific, and more. Penguins, harbor seals, a touch tank, sea lions, and other exhibitions are also housed here, providing a day-long adventure through the seas. It's terrific for all ages, especially kids and kids-at-heart, or anyone who wants to learn more about the oceans and seas.
1 Central Wharf, Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110
First Harrison Gray Otis House
This 1796 Federal-style house has been fully restored with bright colors, and elegant but timely furnishings. It offers a glimpse at upper class life in Boston during the late 1700s and early 1800s. There's also an interesting architecture museum in the basement.
141 Cambridge Stree, West End, Boston, MA, 02114
Harvard Museum of Natural History
This museum offers a glimpse into the botanical, geological, and zoology research being done at Harvard. Some of the museum's collections date back to the 1780s with popular exhibits including the dinosaur hall, the gem gallery, the glass flowers, and the great mammal hall. With your admission fee you also give you access to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology next door.
26 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA, 02138
Museum of Fine Arts
The MFA houses an impressive collection that includes more than 450,000 pieces of art and artifacts. It has one of the best collections of Korean art outside of the Korean peninsula. It also has an impressive Egyptian collection as well as a European wing that includes the Claude Monet gallery.
465 Huntington Avenue, Fenway-Kenmore, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115
Boston Opera House
The Boston Opera House is now the home of the Boston Ballet. It also hosts a number of Broadway shows.
26 West Street, Downtown Crossing, Boston, Massachusetts, 02111
The Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art is in the Seaport District by the harbor. From the location you can enjoy impressive views of the Boston Harbor. The beautiful museum features 20th and 21st century work by notable women including Louise Bourgeois, Doris Salcedo, and Eva Hesse. There is also a satellite space that is opened seasonally during the summer months. It's accessible by shuttle but must be booked in advance.
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, 02210
Old South Meeting Place
This historic church was built in 1729 and is famous for its role in the 1773 Boston Tea Party. At the time, it was the largest building in the city, and the gathering point of more than 5,000 people during the protest. This was the organizing point for the Boston Tea Party, on December 16th, 1773. It is also part of Boston's famous Freedom Trail.
294 Washington Street, Downtown, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110-1301
The Orpheum Theatre was built in 1852 and was the original home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Today the venue hosts a mix of performances, with live music concerts being the most common.
1 Hamilton Place, Downtown Crossing, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108
Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums include three museums - the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. There are also four research centers included in the system. These are the Archaeological exploration of Sardis, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Straus Center for conservation and Technical Studies.
477 Broadway, Inman Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $29 to $30. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $29. A few of the best options are below.
Where to Stay in Boston
How much do vacation rentals cost in Boston? Prices vary by location, date, size of the place, and the level of luxury. See below for options.