Boston, MA, is a thriving city that celebrates its storied history while embracing the latest technologies and trends of the new century. The city offers a melting pot of culture, an array of restaurants and, seemingly, something new and something historic around every corner.
Whether you live in Boston or are planning a visit, there is always something new here. Many travel sites will recommend seeing the traditional Boston attractions, like walking through Boston Common, the nation's oldest park, or touring Paul Revere's house. While those are great ways to learn about Boston's history, we've identified places that might be more off the beaten path. Check out our list below for the Best New Things to Do in Boston.
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
This museum opened in spring 2015 and was the brainchild of the late Massachusetts senator. Featuring a full-scale re-creation of the U.S. Senate Chamber, the EMK Institute is designed to teach the history of the U.S. Senate with interactive exhibits of the nearly 2,000 men and women who have served in the Senate. The museum allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of our democracy by stepping into the role of a U.S. senator for the day, reenacting historic debates, and learning about compromise and how laws are passed.
Dreams of Freedom Museum: Boston’s Immigrant Experience
This museum opened in 2015 in the Skywalk Observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower. Serving as a virtual passport through time, interactive multimedia exhibits bring to life the unified experience of the thousands of immigrants who have made Boston their home for more than 400 years. First-hand reports teach guests about the experiences of leaving behind family and possessions and establishing lives in a new land. One of the only museums of its kind, Dreams of Freedom includes a display of heirlooms brought here by immigrants, as well as an interactive game show and a film.
New England Aquarium
Commander, a northern fur seal, has commanded attention at the popular downtown attraction since he arrived via Federal Express in early 2015. “Penguinology” is a new exhibit that teaches about the secret world of penguins, and allows visitors to peek into hidden burrows where penguins care for their young and learn about the more than 80 penguins that live at the New England Aquarium. New lecture series, learning labs, and other programs teach about sea squirts and where leatherback turtles spend their summer vacations. The IMAX theater is showing 3-D movies about great white sharks and humpback whales.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This expansive museum houses one of the largest collections of works by Monet, and in 2015, began showing the first exhibit of the photographic response to the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima disasters in Japan. An exhibit titled Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty includes master drawings by Leonardo and Michelangelo, and includes the rarely displayed Codex on Flight by Leonardo. Also new at the MFA is a collection of works by Katsushika Hokusai, the first Japanese artist to be internationally recognized.
Museum of Science, Boston
An exhibit, The Science Behind Pixar explores the science and technology behind these popular animated films through hands-on activities and accounts from the production teams. A summer workshop brings high school students from across the country to compete on teams to design, build and test wind-powered devices. And a fundraising campaign is underway to help the Museum of Science permanently keep the exhibit, Triceratops Cliff.
Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum
This museum of international art was founded by collector Isabella Stewart Gardner and opened in 1903. Today, Ken Smith’s large inflatable, temporary installation Fenway Deity hangs from the historic façade of the museum. An exhibit of sculpture, drawings and photography by Jean-Michel Othoniel showcases the artist’s “obsessive” search for the hidden meanings of flowers.