Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest, and one of the most influential children’s museums in the world. For over 100 years it has been engaging children in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. The Museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement and learning through experience, employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children. Designed for children and families, Museum exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts. In addition to extensive child-centered exhibits, Museum educators develop numerous programs and activities that address literacy, performing arts, science and math, visual arts, cultures, and health and wellness. The Museum is also one of the few children’s museums in the world to maintain a collection. The Museum’s collections of Americana, Natural History, Global Culture, Native American, Dolls and Dollhouses, and Japanese artifacts encompass more than 50,000 items.
Heiress and philanthropist Isabella Stewart Gardner collected and carefully displayed a collection comprised of more than 2,500 objects—paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, drawings, silver, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, photographs and letters—from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America.