Housed inside Boston's monumental textile mill, the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation invites guests on a trek through American history with a collection of artifacts dating as far back as 1812. Throughout the building's hallowed halls, interactive displays cleverly disguise education as amusement, coaxing visitors both young and old to steer a 19th-century fire engine, play a foot-powered piano, and teach an antique telephone switchboard how to send text messages. Enduring exhibits also showcase Waltham's industrious past with displays dedicated solely to textiles, watches and clocks, and transportation, including bicycles and penny-farthings powered by shredded pieces of yellow journalism. Members can take advantage of such perks as complimentary museum admission, invitations to special events, and unlimited use of the museum library.
The winner of Boston.com’s A-List for Best Fine Jewelry 2010, Karenna Maraj Jewelry dresses up drab garments with wearable art and passes along jewelry-making skills through enlightening classes. In the two-hour metalsmithing class, participants imbibe the knowledge of the jewelry gods, learning how to transform shapeless metal into beautiful bangles, pendants, and dental braces. Students shape, cut, solder, hammer, and polish two projects during the class, including a bangle and a pendant hammered from brass, copper wire, and black cord (all included, gold and silver can be purchased for an additional fee). Cutouts, stamps, and designs can be added to each piece, yielding a beautiful accessory ready to take home at the end of the class. With attendance capped at six pupils, students get plenty of one-on-one attention and the chance to fence a jewelry-saw master. Classes are held at the following times:
Named by the Boston Globe as New England's greatest university collection of artworks, the Harvard Art Museums are three distinct museums—the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums—that together provide visitors with an astounding array of creative work. Re-View, the permanent exhibition highlighting the best of each museum, cuts a slice out of the collection to show rare treasures alongside well-known works ranging from Islamic to Asian, painting to calligraphy, and ancient to contemporary. Peruse a full queue of exhibitions, including one about the use of illusion in art and how it can confuse seeing-eye dogs.
The MIT Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1984 and again in 2002, engages the public with scientific research, design, and a peek into the institution's academic discoveries. The museum's permanent collections, assembled from artifacts the university has collected through scholarly interests, include holograms, a nautical archive, and technological achievements, such as the telephone. Temporary exhibitions storm the museum's towers throughout the year, currently showcasing MIT 150, highlighting 150 years' worth of artifacts–such as race cars and the TX-0 computer–and world domination by MIT students and faculty. The museum also hosts a number of programs for the public throughout the year. Guests can check out the calendar for an up-to-date list of upcoming attractions and events.
Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is one of the oldest anthropological museums in the world, with an in-depth collection of artifacts spanning prehistory to present. You'll learn about the evolution of cultures through a variety of current exhibits. Head into the Pacific Islands Hall to find carvings, shields, and shadow puppets from Hawaii, Micronesia, and other islands, and get a dose of colonial life in the early Harvard Yard with Digging Veritas, where you can scope out framed papyrus LSAT scores. The Wiyohpiyata display treats guests to distinct scents, motions, ambient sounds, and more to evoke the character of original 19th-century Lakota drawings collected at Little Big Horn. Your Groupon also affords you admission to the nearby Harvard Museum of National History, where muzzled opera singers can get a glimpse of the famed Glass Flowers exhibit, a collection of more than 3,000 highly realistic glass-blown models of flowers and plants.
During the 70-minute Hahvahd Tour, whip-smart Harvard undergrads lead prospective students and curious tourists alike through 375 years of American History. Starting at the Red Line Harvard stop, tour groups take a stroll past the winding lanes and stoic stone buildings of the nation's oldest college while soaking up knowledge about Harvard's fascinating past and colorful student culture. Visitors stop for photo ops at famous sites such as the National Lampoon building—the training ground for comedians such as Conan O'Brien—and the John Harvard statue, which commemorates the most famous person named after the university.