Plan Your Visit

- Today's Hours

9:00am to 4:30pm
Reservations required, no walk-ins


As of Nov 30, 2022

During most business hours, masks are strongly encouraged but not required indoors for all staff and visitors ages 2 and up. On weekdays, from 9am to 10am, masks are required for all staff and visitors ages 2 and up. Masks are not required in our outdoor spaces.

Staff Vaccination

All employees and volunteers of the Museum have submitted proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Proof of full vaccination is required of all new hires.

Advance Reservations Required

All visitors—including members—must make a reservation for a specific day and time prior to coming to the Museum campus; you must check into the Museum within one hour of your reservation time, and may stay as long as you like. Your reservation only valid for the date and time you selected.

Payment for your visit, minus any applicable discounts, will be taken when you arrive.

On-site ticket purchases will only be available if the Museum is not at capacity.

If you are unable to reserve your tickets online, please call us at 978-264-4200 to reserve your tickets by phone. 

In Case of Illness | Cancellation Policy

If at any time before your visit, you or anyone in your party is exposed to or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please contact us so we can release those tickets for other visitors. Call us at 978-264-4200 or email

Adult Support & Supervision

Adults are expected to help the children they are visiting with to follow all health and safety rules. Adults must be in the same exhibit room with their children at all times. 

Health & Safety

We reserve the right to refuse admission or ask people to leave the campus if they show signs of illness or are not following the health and safety rules that have been put in place.


Masks are highly encouraged but not required during most hours. On weekdays, between 9am and 10am, visitors ages 2 and up must wear a mask or appropriate facial covering inside the Museum at all times; masks are encouraged but not required in our outdoor spaces. Per MA guidelines, masks or facial coverings must be form-fitting to the side of the head and be fastened with ear loops or ties. Gaitors, scarves, and bandannas are not acceptable. Masks with valves are not allowed unless the valve is covered with tape or another form-fitting mask. 

If you are unable to wear a mask during these hours due to a disability or medical condition, please notify our staff at the Admissions desk when you arrive.

Face shields are not required. They may be worn in addition to a mask, but not in place of a mask.

Please bring your own masks or other facial coverings with you, as they will not be provided by the Museum. 


The Museum is professionally cleaned with CDC-recommended products each night after closing, including disinfecting all high-touch areas including door handles, knobs, elevator buttons, and stair rails.

Staff disinfect high-touch areas throughout the day using CDC-recommended products, and also sanitize gallery manipulatives at the end of each day.

Air Handling

Discovery Museum’s air handling system specifications have been provided by industry professionals and reviewed by Town officials. Based on that we understand that our air exchange rate is more than sufficient for our standard, pre-COVID building capacity and in fact far exceeds the requirements given our current restricted capacity. The Museum’s air handling system provides for air flow at 11,275 cubic feet per minute (CFM), allowing for an occupancy just over 1,500 people. Museum HVAC systems are MERV-13 rated air filters. 

Hours & Tickets

School Year Hours | begin Sept 10

Note: reservations required

Monday: Closed

Tuesday - Sunday: 9:00am to 4:30pm

First Friday of each month, October - June: 4:30 to 8:00pm with free admission

First Friday Nights Free!

Join us with free admission from 4:30 to 8:00pm the first Friday night of each month, October through June.  ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED for the 4:30pm, 5:30pm, and 6:30pm timed ticketing reservation blocks in order to check in with free admission; you may stay as long as you like. 

We will gratefully accept non-perishable food items to be distributed to local food pantries.

Summer Hours

Note: reservations required

Open 7 days: 9:00am to 4:30pm

Every Friday, late June through Labor Day: 4:30 to 8:00pm with free admission

Summer Friday Nights Free!

Join us with free admission from 4:30 to 8:00pm, every summer Friday night through Labor Day.  ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED for the 4:30pm, 5:30pm, and 6:30pm timed ticketing reservation blocks in order to check in with free admission; you may stay as long as you like. 

We will gratefully accept non-perishable food items to be distributed to local food pantries.

Reservations Required

Advanced ticket reservations required—including members!

Please note: Members can reserve tickets up to 14 days prior to their visit, non-members up to 10 days prior.

Reserve Tickets

Admission Prices

You must reserve tickets online in advance; you will be charged admission when you arrive. If you have a coupon, free pass, corporate admission benefit, pre-purchased ticket, library pass, EBT or WIC benefits, or any other discount to apply, please present it to the Admissions staff when you check in and the discount will be applied to the cost of your visit. 

ONE Price for Discovery Museum and Discovery Woods

Adult: $15.50

Senior (60+): $14.50

Child: $15.50

Under 1 year old: Free

Teachers are always free!

Members: FREE 
Learn More

Ways to Save

Tips for Visiting


There is a museum building and an outdoor nature playscape on our campus; Discovery Museum and Discovery Woods are both accessible and are for all ages. Discovery Museum combines the best exhibits—beautifully reimagined and redesigned using Universal Design principles—from the former Science Discovery Museum and Children's Discovery Museum into one building. There are also a number of outdoor exhibits spread throughout our 4.5 acre campus, and a trailhead to 180 acres of Great Hill conservation land. And, of course, Bessie the dinosaur graces our lawn.


Children should be adequately supervised by responsible adults at all times.

Discovery Woods is an outdoor museum exhibit about nature play and choosing to take “just right” risks.

Adult supervision by you helps kids make choices that are right for their age and ability.  It is ok for kids to decide that an activity might be for “next time” they come.

Change of Clothes? Shoes??

There are waterproof smocks available in our Water Gallery. But, exploration of the properties of water can sometimes result in some wet clothing. You might consider bringing a change of clothes for your young scientist, or visiting the Water Gallery at the end of your visit rather than at the beginning.

All visitors that walk must wear shoes at all times. 


We discourage the use of strollers at the Museum so kids can play actively! If you must have one, small-sized or umbrella strollers are preferred. Snuggli or backpack carriers are also great for our smallest visitors. Please leave large strollers, double strollers, and wagons in your car. There is no permanent stroller parking area in the Museum, but if temporary accommodations are available staff will direct you to park your stroller there.

Changing Areas

All five restrooms in the building include changing tables.

Eating and Drinking

Please use designated areas for snacking; food is not permitted in the galleries. Outdoor tables are available for use on our patio as weather permits (they have table umbrellas but are not covered). Water fountains and bottle fillers are available inside the Museum. Snacks and drinks can be purchased from a vending machine located in the Discovery Store in our lobby; we do not have a cafe.

Infant Feeding/Nursing

A private Care and Feeding Corner is located in the Brain Building Together exhibit on the second floor. It is equipped with a dimmable light, glider chair, and outlet. A bottle warmer and sink are available nearby.

No Smoking

Smoking of any kind, including tobacco, marijuana, vaping, juuling, or any other e-cigarette, is prohibited throughout the entire campus, including Discovery Woods.


During your visit you may be photographed and/or videotaped by our staff for marketing purposes. If you prefer not to be, please tell us at the Admissions desk. We will happily provide stickers to your party so that we know to avoid you with our cameras.

Community Collections

We collect non-perishable food donations for the Acton Food Pantry and Open Table year-round; a collection bin is in our lobby. Please consider bringing a donation if you are able. 

Let It Snow!

New England weather can be unpredictable! There may be snow or ice on the Discovery Woods path, so please wear appropriate footwear and walk carefully. And please, dress your children for the weather—they may want to play outside longer than you anticipate!


We welcome visitors of all ability and mobility levels and will work with you or your group to accommodate any special needs. Please call 978-264-4200 x111 with any questions.

Discovery Museum and our Discovery Woods nature playscape and Treehouse are all wheelchair accessible. Service dogs are welcome.

Our Especially for Me programs offer free admission hours and special events for families with members with an autism spectrum disorder, with vision loss, and who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

The Discovery Museum has three floors; each is accessible by elevator. There are two elevators in the building and an accessible entrance. Exhibits are accessible and were designed based on Universal Design principles to be useable and appealing to the widest range of people. 

Discovery Woods is inclusive and accessible. An accessible pathway winds through the space, and the Discovery Treehouse is accessed on-grade from the driveway.

Our Story Guide to Discovery Museum, which includes a sensory guide to our indoor and outdoor spaces, is available in six languages, both online on our Especially for Me page and at our Admissions Desk. You might also visit the Exhibits section of our website. Please note that Discovery Woods is open year-round, but will not be open for evening events during the winter months.

Noise-reducing headphones are available to visitors who may be sensitive to sound or need a break from stimulation. A portable step stool is available to borrow for easier access to exhibits. Please ask at the Admissions Desk for these items.

An adult-sized wheelchair (can be self-propelled) and adult-sized transport chair (cannot be self-propelled, must be pushed by an adult) are available to borrow. Please ask at the Admissions Desk.

If your child uses a hearing device such as hearing aids or a cochlear implant, you may want to bring a water-resistant cover for them for your time spent in our Water Gallery. 

Looking for a quiet spot? A staff member will be happy to point you in the right direction or find a good spot for you and your child.

Adult Supervision

Adults must be in the same exhibit room with their children at all times. Children are not permitted to enter or leave the buildings or Discovery Woods without an adult.

Unaccompanied Adults

We ask that any adults who wish to visit the Museum without a child leave a photo ID at our Admissions desk.


There is a one-way flow through our parking lot; please observe all signs. Please park only in designated spaces to keep the lot safe for pedestrians, buses, and emergency vehicle access.

If meeting friends at the Museum, please consider carpooling rather than bringing multiple cars.

Handicap spots are available near the rear of the building.

Parking is free. 

Discovery Store

The Discovery Store has books, puzzles, science kits, craft supplies, and more. Members save 10% in the store! 

Group Visits

Please email Kathie Watt for more information about Field Trips or other group visits. 

Need Help?

Just ask! Our Explorer staff members are here to support your museum experience. They can be identified by their name tags and the purple aprons worn in the Museum and purple aprons or blue jackets worn in Discovery Woods. 

Getting Here & Parking

Our address: 177 Main Street (Route 27) Acton, MA 01720  

Bessie the Dinosaur graces our our front yard; the Museum is up the parking lot past Bessie, and not always directly visible from the street.

Parking is FREE! 

Find us on Google Maps

Driving Directions

From Route 95/128

Take Exit 45B (old exit number 29B) onto Route 2 West toward Acton/Fitchburg. Follow Route 2 West for about 10 miles to the Concord rotary, and take the third exit off the rotary. Continue on Route 2 West for about 2 miles. Bear left at Exit 118 (old exit number 43) for Route 111. At the lights, turn left onto Route 27 South. The museum is 1/2 mile ahead on your left.

From Route 495 heading South

Take Exit 78A (old exit number 29A) onto Route 2 East. Continue on Route 2 for approximately 5 miles to Exit 117 (old exit number 42) onto Route 27 South toward Maynard (not Acton). The Museum is one mile ahead on your left.

From Route 495 heading North

Take Exit 75 (old exit number 28) onto Route 111 Boxborough/Harvard. At the end of the ramp, turn left toward Boxborough. Continue on Route 111 for approximately 5 miles to the second set of lights. Turn right onto Route 27.  The Museum is 1/2 mile ahead on your left.

From Route 27 heading South

Follow Route 27 through Chelmsford into Acton (you will cross over Route 2).  The Museum is 1 mile ahead on your left.

From Route 27 heading North

Follow Route 27 through Natick, Wayland and Sudbury. In Maynard, Route 27 takes a left turn followed by a right turn. Entering Acton you will cross a bridge over railroad tracks, followed immediately by a set of lights. Go straight through the lights. The Museum is 1/4 mile ahead on your right.

From Boston

Take the Mass Pike West (Interstate 90) to Exit 123A/B (old exit number 15A/B) onto Route 95/128 North. Follow directions above for Route 95/128.

From Worcester

Take Route 290 East to Exit 32A/B (old exit number 26A/B) to Route 495 North toward Lowell. Follow directions above for Route 495 heading north.

Mass Transportation

Visiting from Boston? Download our subway and Commuter Rail directions and tips, including information on fun things to do together while you travel! Our Boston Travel Guide was developed in conjunction with Countdown to Kindergarten. 

Commuter Rail

The Museum is .4 mile from the South Acton commuter rail station. From the station, head East on Railroad Street to Route 27. Make a left onto Route 27 and walk 7-8 minutes. The Museum will be on your right. Click here for a map of the walking route.


For a transportation service within the town of Acton, try MinuteVan: email or phone 978-844-6809.

Cross Acton Transit Bus

The CAT rides right past the Museum entrance! We are not an official stop on the route, but the drivers will happily stop here if you let them know. Learn more at

Holiday Hours

Please note that if you do not see a specific holiday listed here, it is because we are open regular hours that day. The Museum is closed on Mondays during the school year, except for school vacation weeks and some holidays. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO VISIT.

January 2022

New Year's Day
Saturday, January 1
OPEN 12:00pm - 4:30pm (late open)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 17
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

February 2022

Presidents' Day & School Vacation Week
Monday, February 21 - Friday, February 25
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

March 2022

No holiday hours

April 2022

Good Friday
Friday, April 15
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Easter Sunday
Sunday, April 17

Patriot's Day & School Vacation Week
Monday, April 18 - Friday, April 22
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

May 2022

Memorial Day
Monday, May 30

June 2022

No holiday hours 

July 2022

Independence Day
Monday, July 4

August 2022

No holiday hours

September 2022

Labor Day
Monday, September 5

Maintenance Week
Tuesday, September 6 - Friday, September 9

October 2022

Yom Kippur
Wednesday, October 5
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Indigenous Peoples' Day
Monday, October 10
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Monday, October 31

November 2022

Veterans Day
Friday, November 11
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday, November 23 & Thursday, November 24

December 2022

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Saturday, December 24 & Sunday, December 25

School Vacation Week
Monday, December 26 - Friday, December 30
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

New Year's Eve
Saturday, December 31
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm