Get Cultured on a College Budget

As any college student knows, an education doesn’t come cheap! It costs a lot of money to become a well educated and interesting person. So when opportunities to get cultured for a free or reduced cost fly by, you’ve got to grab them and hold on tight. That’s why every college student in the Boston area should know about these great perks from local museums.

Museum of Fine Arts

The MFA is free with any valid student ID! They are open on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m., and Wednesday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-9:45 p.m. They have an extremely wide variety, with art from all over the world, including the Americas, Oceania, Africa, Europe and Asia. They also have Contemporary Art, photography, instruments and jewelry; as well as changing exhibitions such as visiting masterpieces like a selection of Picasso paintings there from Feb. 13th 2016 to June 26th, 2016. It even has it’s own stop on the Green Line so it’s almost impossible to get lost on the way there!

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is right next to the MFA, so you might as well hit up both the same day! And if your college participates in the program, which Emerson does, you can get in for free with your ID. They are open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Thursdays until 9 p.m. This museum is full of the personal collection of Ms. Gardner herself. Her collection is full of over 2,500 pieces of paintings, sculptures, rare books, etc. from the ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy and many more. It has a much more selective collection than most of these other museums, and let me tell you, it is great for if you feel like making fun of some really old looking babies. 

Harvard Art Museum

The Harvard Art Museum is $10 for non-Harvard students, a five dollar discount from their normal rate for adults. They are open daily from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. They have seemingly any and every kind of art imaginable, from Uruguayan to Roman Imperial, made from chalk to chocolate and everything in between. Also as part of such an immensely important learning institution, the museum also has a large learning component with a Art Study Center where visitors can request to see objects not on display in the galleries, as well as research centers.

New England Aquarium

The aquarium might not seem like the ideal place to get a lot of culture, but seal culture is always worth observing! Their regular price is $26.95, but for students with a valid ID it’s $24.95, which is a small discount, but every penny counts when you have a desperate desire to look at turtles. Students also get a small discount for the Simons IMAX Theater, so they can get in for only $7.95.  They have lots of great exhibits including some where you can touch the animals like the  Shark and Ray Touch Tank, and an Edge of the Sea touch tank.

Institute of Contemporary Art

The beauty of the ICA starts on the outside. It is located on the Boston Harbor at the Seaport District and has a beautiful glass wall to look over at the harbor through bleachers outside. There is free admission for universities with a membership, including Emerson! In 2015, they also held their first college night where they invited all students with a membership to come and enjoy art with a DJ, a photo booth, and free food and drinks. They are open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. The museum features large exhibitions and pieces from leading and emerging contemporary artists.

MIT Museum

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a great museum that combines art with science. Any non-MIT college student is given $5 admission. They are open daily from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Many of their sections are things like architecture, holography, and robotics. If you love science, or could never get into traditional art, this might be the perfect place for you!

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Like the Harvard Art museum, this museum is also open to non-Harvard students for $10. It is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. It has exhibits on animals from all over the world, Earth and planetary  sciences, marine life and even a hands-on exhibit.

Boston is full of many great museums and great discounts to take advantage of while you’re still in school.

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