Plan Your Visit

- Today's Hours

All visitors, 9am - 4:30pm
Members only, 4:30pm - 8:00pm
Reservations recommended, walk-ins not guaranteed admission

Hours & Tickets

Summer Hours | June 17 - September 1

Note: reservations RECOMMENDED; WE CANNOT ADMIT WALK-INS IF AT CAPACITY

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

Open late every Friday, June 21 through August 30: 4:30 to 8:00pm (free admission begins 4:30pm)

Summer Friday Nights Free!

Join us with free admission from 4:30 to 8:00pm, every summer Friday night through August 30.  ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED for the 4:30pm, 5:30pm, and 6:30pm timed ticketing reservation blocks in order to check in with free admission; we cannot admit walk-ins  if we are at capacity. 

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

School Year Hours | Begin September 10

Note: reservations RECOMMENDED; WE CANNOT ADMIT WALK-INS IF AT CAPACITY

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 RECOMMENDED for the 4:30pm, 5:30pm, and 6:30pm timed ticketing reservation blocks in order to check in with free admission; we cannot admit walk-ins  if we are at capacity. Once checked in, 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 recommended—including members! We cannot admit walk-ins if at capacity.

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 can 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: $17.00

Senior (60+): $16.00

Child: $17.00

Under 1 year old: Free

Teachers are always free!

Members: FREE 
Learn More

Ways to Save

Tips for Visiting

Reservations Recommended

All visitors—including members—should 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. We cannot admit walk-ins if at capacity. 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. 

Facilities

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.

Risk

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.

Code of Conduct

Our mission is to spark delight in learning by igniting curiosity and creativity. We appreciate your support in helping us uphold this mission by making the shared experience at the Museum a positive one for all. While on our campus, we require all visitors to adhere to our Code of Conduct

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.

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. 

All visitors that walk must wear shoes at all times. 

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.

Smile!

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!

Accessibility

We welcome visitors of all ability and mobility levels and will work with you or your group to accommodate any special needs. Please visit our Accessibility page to learn more about our accessibility features and resources, and our Especially for Me page to learn about our year-round access events.

Visitors may not be accompanied by dogs except for registered service dogs. Service dogs are permitted in the museum building and Discovery Woods.  

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.

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.

Parking

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. 

Carbon Offset Fee Program

A 50 cent opt-out carbon offset fee per visitor group will be added to admissions transactions to mitigate the environmental impact of travel to and from the Museum (free or $1 discount admission is exempt in most cases and will be covered by the Museum). Discovery Museum also covers the carbon offset fees for all staff and volunteers.  

For members, a $1 opt-out carbon offset fee to mitigate the impact of your travel is part of your annual membership payment.  For more information on how this program works and what environmental project we support with the fees, please see this program overview

Discovery Store

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

Group Visits

Please email kwatt [at] discoveryacton.org (Kathie Watt) for more information about Field Trips or other group visits. 

Cleaning

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 building 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. 

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.

MinuteVan

For a transportation service within the town of Acton, try MinuteVan: email coordinator [at] minutevan.net (coordinator[at]minutevan[dot]net) 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 crossactontransit.com

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 2024

New Year's Day
Monday, January 1
CLOSED

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 15
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Early close for private event
Saturday, January 20
OPEN 9:00am - 3:30pm (early close)

 

February 2024

Presidents' Day & School Vacation Week
Monday, February 19 - Friday, February 23
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

 

March 2024

Good Friday
Friday, March 29
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Easter Sunday
Sunday, March 31
CLOSED

 

April 2024

Patriot's Day & School Vacation Week
Monday, April 15 - Friday, April 19
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

 

May 2024

Memorial Day
Monday, May 27
CLOSED

 

June 2024

Juneteenth Independence Day
Wednesday, June 19
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

 

July 2024

Independence Day
Thursday, July 4
CLOSED

August 2024

No holiday hours

 

September 2024

Labor Day  
Monday, September 2  
CLOSED

Maintenance Week  
Tuesday, September 3 - Monday, September 9  
CLOSED

Private Event  
Saturday, September 28  
CLOSED for a private event

 

October 2024

Indigenous Peoples' Day  
Monday, October 14  
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Yom Kippur  
Saturday, October 12  
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

Halloween  
Thursday, October 31  
OPEN 9:00am - 12:30pm (early close)

 

November 2024

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

Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day  
Wednesday, November 27 & Thursday, November 28  
CLOSED

 

December 2024

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day  
Tuesday, December 24 & Wednesday, December 25  
CLOSED

School Vacation Week  
Thursday, December 26 - Tuesday, January 2  
OPEN 9:00am - 4:30pm

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