Boston was one of the first cities to shut down when the novel coronavirus began spreading throughout the United States. Months later, nonessential businesses are steadily unshuttering but with new safety restrictions in place.
Rediscover Boston's History, Arts, and Culture
Just in time for the high temperatures of summer, several Boston attractions are allowing guests back indoors. Here are some great places to beat the heat while taking in some arts and culture.
Peabody Essex Museum
On the outside, the Peabody Essex Museum is a formidable structure of glass and stone but on the inside, the sunlight is gentle and warm throughout the galleries. The museum will be reopening to the public on July 18 and will be using a timed-entry, advanced ticketing system to prevent overcrowding. The museum was excited to announce that the “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” exhibit has been extended through mid-August before it moves on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Museum regulars were pleased to discover the “Charles Sandison: Figurehead 2.0” and Anila Agha’s “All the Flowers are for Me” exhibits will be reopening as well, both excellent examples of the intricacies of light and shadow. The museum will be open Tuesday-Sunday. Face coverings are required of staff and visitors, social distancing must be maintained throughout the galleries, and signs are posted to help direct the flow of traffic.
Boston Tea Party Museum
The Boston Tea Party was a catalyst for the American Revolution and the museum dedicated to it is offering tours once again. The tours will be operating at a reduced capacity making advanced tickets highly recommended. The Meeting House, both tea ships, and the Robinson tea chest will all be part of the interactive tour where visitors can actually throw tea into the harbor. The 3-D Reenactment Experience and the Minuteman Theatre will remain closed until further notice. Abigail’s Tea Room and the gift shop are both open to the public without a ticket to the museum. Face masks are required indoors and when safe social distancing cannot be observed outdoors. All food and beverages in the tea room will be served in a to-go format with condiments available upon request. The Boston Tea Party Museum is also offering self-guided tours of Griffin’s Wharf for visitors looking to avoid a tour group.
New England Aquarium
Adults and children can get up close and personal with marine life at the New England Aquarium starting July 16. The aquarium is implementing a timed ticketing system; children under 3 are still free but require a ticket to enter with their caregiver. Visitors must wear face coverings and follow the one-way paths through the aquarium. Interactive exhibits like the “Science of Sharks” will remain closed, but the “Trust Family Shark and Ray Touch Tank” will be open on a view-only basis. Other exhibits like the 9,000-gallon, floor to ceiling “Indo-Pacific Coral Reef” exhibit are fully open and dazzling guests with color and beauty. Alternatively, the “Olympic Coast” exhibit gives visitors a look into the shallow tide pools and kelp forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Museum of Science
Boston’s Museum of Science will reopen July 26 to the general public and offer previews to members on July 22-25. Masks will be required of all guests and staff. Even the T.Rex that stands at the entrance to the museum has donned a mask. The dinosaur hall, a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science, will reopen (with high-touch surfaces frequently sanitized) and the Butterfly Garden is expected to reopen as well. The special exhibit “The Science Behind Pixar” will debut focusing on the STEM concepts used to create family favorites like Toy Story. Visitors can experience the film making process as well as hear from some of the masterminds on the studio’s production teams.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, made famous outside of Boston because of a heist in the 1990s involving 13 works of art, is open to the public once again. Inspired by a Venetian palazzo, the museum is home to hundreds of works of European, Asian, and American art. The “Boston’s Apollo: Thomas Keller and John Singer Sargent” exhibit has been extended through October, a chance for visitors to explore the dynamic role of race, gender, and identity in early 20th-century art. Face coverings are required for all guests and staff. The museum has implemented a time-specific advanced ticketing system to help curb overcrowding.