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“Well Worth It”
Review of Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Acton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550 sf treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together.
Reviewed January 18, 2012

We took our 4.5 and 2 year old during Christmas break. Based on looking at their website, I was concerned that the buildings would be too small and crowded. We arrived shortly after they open which was great as there was no line for the Children's building. There was plenty to do for both kids, but we did notice that after 45 minutes or so it was getting packed. Then when we left, they were holding people from coming in and controlling the total number of visitors. I believe when we left people were being told that they had to wait 30 minutes to get in.

We then went up to the Discovery building. This part is tagged for children 6 and above, but both my kids still enjoyed the muliple floors and things to do and see. This was not as crowded.

We used a library pass, which gave us 3 tickets at half price which made the total cost more manageable. We spent a total of about 2 hours between both buildings and could have spent more time, but there are no food concessions. In the summer you can bring your own food, but that won't work out in the winter.

Overall, I recommend this attraction to spend a few hours with your kids.

Thank 8robertson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"older children"
in 5 reviews
"all ages"
in 10 reviews
"water room"
in 3 reviews
"science center"
in 3 reviews
"conservation area"
in 2 reviews
"second building"
in 2 reviews
"outdoor play area"
in 3 reviews
"rainy day"
in 5 reviews
"year olds"
in 3 reviews
"lots of fun"
in 3 reviews
"two hours"
in 2 reviews
in 9 reviews
in 2 reviews
in 13 reviews
in 4 reviews
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83 - 87 of 87 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2012

The museum is actually two separate buildings, the old house which has activities for age 1-6, and the newer building which will entertain ages 4-12 and their parents. The latter is our favorite with son (9) and daughter (6) frequently requesting a trip here. The theme is science and play with water, light, electricity, magnetism, balance, gravity, prisms, etc. My kids also love the woodshop which has real tools.

1  Thank N Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2011

I took my 5 year old to the Discovery Museums and we definitely got a lot of bang for our buck (more so as I had a buy one get one free coupon). I'd suggest getting there early and if it's a nice day, then bring a lunch and eat on one of the picnic tables. The Children's Museum part would have been great for my 3 year old, but my 5 year old still had fun. She liked the Science Museum part more. It is far more manageable than Boston's and much better for someone in her age group. There's a crafts room as well as lots of kid friendly exhibits--but in a space which does not overwhelm. We spent 4 hours between the 2 museums which is a great return for $10.50 admission, free parking, and (for us) a 25 minute ride. Boston's MOS is good, but a trip to the MOS was far more expensive, longer, and a bigger hassle. And my 5 year old said she preferred the Acton museums...

1  Thank cabdella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2011

We visited just the Science Discovery Museum today which is recommended for ages 6 +. Even though it is smaller than the museums in Boston, this place kept my grade school aged kids entertained for 4.5 hours - full of interactive things, fun arts and crafts to do etc. The staff is very nice and eager to help. My girls seemed to enjoy the creative activities the most - the woodworking center and today's craft was making their own kalidescope.

The place is pretty clean bc they do no allow any food or drink into the museum but they do provide enough outdoor seating/picnic tables to eat at. You can also eat your stuff in the cozy lobby as well. They have a note on the door explaining that it is to decrease the risk of food allergies (very thoughtful) and to help decrease the mess inside (agree). I find this totally understandable but I can see how some parents might not (to each their own which is fine). You have to bring your own food bc there is no place on site to buy it there but you are able to leave and come back - admission is good all day long and there are plenty of eateries on the street so you don't need to travel far either.

I think the only floor that was somewhat in need of improvement was the top floor which was the nature one but again, the rest of the museum had enough that my kids were totally happy.

You can also visit the Children's Museum next door for ages toddler to 6 years old. This time we did not go bc saldy my kids are getting too old for that. However, as a side note, when my oldest daughter was a toddler, I used to take her there all the time and she loved it. So I still recommend this place for the young ones but it is small and it does get crowded bc it is one of those Victorian type houses with narrow rooms/stairs. There are no elevators just stairs which is why they can not allow strollers in that one (strollers are ok for the Science Museum bc it has elevators). The Children's Museum also has steep stairs so just keep that in mind with little ones but again, as long as you are aware of these things, your kids will have a blast.

Also if you already have a membership to an ACM museum, this is part of that so you can get in using that. That was a bonus for us since we have a membership to the Boston Children's Museum.

Definitely check these places out if you want to avoid dealing with Boston and as long as you are prepared and aware of the side notes, your kids will have a fun day there.

1  Thank kmcmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 30, 2010

Actually two small museums--"Children's" for 0-6, and "Science" for kids 6 and over. It's cozy, manageable, and welcoming. Unlike the big Children's Museum in Boston, this place isn't overwhelmingly noisy and chaotic, you won't live in fear of losing sight of your kids, you can actually get to the interactive exhibits without waiting in long lines, and the exhibits actually work. The Children's building is an old Victorian home, and a fun play space for toddlers on up. Love the "diner" where you can sit down in a booth and your kid can serve you all sorts of (play) food. And even kids who don't understand the science can find lots of things to do in the science building--like creating a tornado in a bottle, or rearranging stones in a "river" to learn how water moves.

We bought a pass when the kids were young and practically lived in this place during the winter. Admission can be seen as pricy -- but you get into both buildings and it's less than a 3-D movie ticket.

2  Thank lmp51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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