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Things to Do

Your comprehensive guide to the best events and things to do in Boston

The 50 best things to do in Boston
Things to do

The 50 best things to do in Boston

Whether you’re a newcomer or a lifelong local looking for the best things to do around the area, be sure check out these essential activities

The best beaches in the Boston area
Things to do

The best beaches in the Boston area

Start making plans: the North and South Shores have picturesque beaches

Cool off with the best Boston pools
Things to do

Cool off with the best Boston pools

The top options around Boston include slick hotel pools and casual public facilities

The best indoor activities in Boston
Things to do

The best indoor activities in Boston

When it’s crappy out, you don’t have to be stuck inside all day

The best things to do in Boston this week
Things to do

The best things to do in Boston this week

Check out a show in the Theatre District or head to TD Garden to catch a game

Where to see art in Boston

Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts

Since its founding in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts has dominated Boston’s cultural landscape, even growing in size and scope. This century, like at many other museums, curators have updated how museum-goers may interact and appreciate its artworks. That might include a time-jumping exhibit that pairs a contemporary work with a correlating old master, either linked by a theme or influence. Permanent collections include works from Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas. The MFA has one of the largest collections of impressionist painter Claude Monet’s work outside of France. Its Native American collections are impressive. The MFA’s curators do not distinguish between artifact and artwork: all are considered an artwork. While Paul Revere’s Liberty Bowl points to local history, the oldest artwork in the MFA’s collection is a Syrian vase (6400 BC), carved from gypsum and depicting a crouching rabbit.

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Institute of Contemporary Art

Institute of Contemporary Art

There’s no doubting the ICA building is a work of art in itself: the eye-catching cantilevered, modernist structure sits adjacent to the Boston Harbor. (Across the water in East Boston, the ICA Watershed is a seasonal satellite gallery, open spring through summer.) The main building’s dynamic interior has window walls looking onto the water, creating a brilliant light and contrasting natural backdrop for the exhibits by new and the greatest modern artists, working in traditional, alternative, and new mediums, such as digital and video. Barriers between artistic disciplines are broken down in exhibits that merge visual art with other forms, including, say, sound or choreography. Also, social and gender barriers are eclipsed: the ICA’s permanent collection includes philanthropist Barbara Lee’s collection of 20th and 21st-century art by major female artists.

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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Whether by accident or design, Boston’s prettiest museum celebrates nature as art with seasonally changing floral displays in its charming interior courtyard. The wealthy and privileged Gardner and her husband built what was their house in the romantic style of a 15th century Venetian palazzo and filled it with art collected on their travels. The impressive works that make up the museum’s permanent collection includes European, Asian, and Islamic art dating from classical times to the turn of the 20th century. But the Gardner also embraces contemporary mores: its newer wing extends the gallery space for exhibits and events, and the Gardner’s artworks are often presented in new dynamic ways, adding, say, performance installations and even a bespoke opera.

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Harvard Art Museums
Museums

Harvard Art Museums

There are three buildings that form the Harvard Art Museums, and each houses a different collection: The Fogg Museum is the oldest of the three and opened to the public in 1896, but was rebuilt circa 1925 in a Federal Revival style. It is also the largest, and houses Western art from the Middle Ages to contemporary works; the Busch-Reisinger Museum was founded in 1901 and is the only such museum in North America to focus solely on works from Germany and Northern Europe. It includes around 30,000 objects related to the Bauhaus; and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which opened in 1985, displaying Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and a significant collection of Asian art. All three buildings are united by a glass roof, which allows visitors to wander the total collection of some 250,000 pieces, ranging from Neolithic to 21st century pieces.

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North End Pizza Tour

North End Pizza Tour

Treat yourself to some of the best pizza in Boston on this walking food tour

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New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium

Discover thousands of marine animals at the New England Aquarium

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Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Step back in time to discover how the Boston Tea Party shaped our nation's history

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Art Lab For Beginners

Art Lab For Beginners

Created for total beginners this class starts with basics of composition, color theory and art history

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More things to do in Boston

The 18 best free things to do in Boston
Things to do

The 18 best free things to do in Boston

Gratis enjoyments can be found all around Boston, a city known for its high prices

19 fun things to do with kids in Boston
Things to do

19 fun things to do with kids in Boston

Boston’s full of G-rated pleasures, from revered museums and revamped parks to renowned attractions

Boston’s 25 best live music venues
Music

Boston’s 25 best live music venues

Rock and roll, classical, jazz, folk, and even country music play out in clubs and halls across the city

The 11 best Boston museums
Things to do

The 11 best Boston museums

These fine institutions are well worth the price of admission

The 13 best Boston city tours
Things to do

The 13 best Boston city tours

Get to know the city via culinary walks, Fenway Park tours, market treks, and other creative Boston tours

The 11 best places to see art in Boston
Things to do

The 11 best places to see art in Boston

Many of the major art galleries and museums are located in Back Bay and South End

Discover the best things to do in North America

The 20 best things to do in Nashville
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Nashville

We’re talking about the music scene, the hot chicken and, of course, the top bars in the area. 

The 20 best things to do in Fort Lauderdale
Things to do

The 20 best things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Expansion and change are on the way, and by the time you finish experiencing all of the following things to do here, we’ll likely be working on the next list.

The 31 best things to do in Las Vegas
Things to do

The 31 best things to do in Las Vegas

Vegas has professional hockey, destination-worthy art, e-sports temples and magic mountains in addition to the casinos, buffets and shows that you're used to.

The 29 best things to do in Austin
Things to do

The 29 best things to do in Austin

From hiking and swimming to picnicking and drinking, the best things to do in Austin are outside.  

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