Located on Fan Pier in the Seaport District, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is one of the top destinations for families in Boston. Inside, kids will find amazing displays of modern art. The works at the ICA span different media, with painting, sculpture, and so much more. Kids and parents will be floored at the ways these artists express themselves. The museum’s striking main building is situated in one of Boston’s most vibrant neighborhoods: the Seaport. Make visiting the ICA part of a day out in Boston, or spend the whole day at the museum!
Why the ICA is an Awesome Family Destination
The ICA has fabulous exhibitions from around the world. Kids and parents will be dazzled by the vibrant colors and spectacular compositions. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art has been displaying modern masterpieces since 1936. It has changed locations several times over the years. The museum had several locationss in the Back Bay before settling into the Seaport in 2006.
The museum has a number of family-oriented programs. It offers “Play Dates” on select Saturdays each month. Play Dates provide activities for kids and families, along with free admission.
The museum also hosts live performances, including music and dance, at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater. Check the museum’s calendar for upcoming performances.
Must See Things at the ICA in Boston
Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art has so much for all ages to enjoy. Its ever-changing rotation of exhibits gives visitors reason to return.
The ICA established its permanent collection in 2006. This amazing collection features a variety of work in every media. From massive murals to delicate sculptures, the art is simply breathtaking.
The galleries at the museum host several rotating exhibitions at once. Most are on display for months, allowing time to plan a visit. Check the museum’s website for current and upcoming presentations.
The ICA’s Art Lab provides a space for families to have fun while making their own masterpieces!
The Art Lab
This studio space lets visitors explore their creativity. The museum’s art lab is open for all ages on Thursdays from 5 pm to 7, and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 pm.
Located across the harbor from the main building, this converted industrial space hosts an exhibition every summer. The Watershed’s 35,000 square feet of exhibition space allows the museum to put some massive works on display!
Know Before You Go
The ICA in Boston is fully accessible. Coat and bag check is available (self-service). Though not required, the ICA reccomends advanced ticket purchases.
The museum does have a look-but-don’t-touch policy- smaller children might find the vibrant colors irresistable!
As with other Boston attractions, parking can be a challenge. The Courthouse station on the Silver Line is a short walk from the ICA.
Eating or Restaurants at Boston’s ICA
Currently under rennovation the onsite Common Room Cafe will reopen in June 2023. Families are welcome to enjoy a picnic in the museum’s outdoor space. The Seaport has an extensive range of options for dining.
Visiting the ICA in Boston
The ICA is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday). Admission is free for kids 18 and under. General admission is $20, with discounts for students and seniors. The museum reccomends advanced ticket purchases. The ICA offers free admission on Thursday nights from 5pm to 9pm. Free Thursday evening admission can be secured online on the morning of the intended visit. Admission is also free for families on designated Saturdays. (include hours, fees, basic info, note this is at time of writing and link to check online)
All photos are courtesy of the Museum’s Facebook page.
Leave a Reply