Open Door Connections

It is an essential part of our mission to never turn away an individual or group for any reason, and to partner with community organizations to seek out underserved audiences and find ways to help them access the Museums and our programs.

Fun for everyone

The Discovery Museums' Open Door Connections (ODC) supports innovative hands-on learning and meaningful play experiences for all.  We strive to provide opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers---financial, developmental, or cultural---to experience the Museums.

Partnering to Grow Access Opportunities

Through Open Door Connections, we work to broaden the depth and reach of museum offerings by working directly with partner organizations so we can better identify families and schools with need and engage them in all that the Museums have to offer. The Discovery Museums are working with organizations such as SMOC Head Start Hudson, SMOC Head Start Marlborough, The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), Parent Child Home Program, Horizons for Homeless Children and Minute Man Arc Social Services, Inc., of Concord---so all members of the community can feel a part of the Museums.

How are we doing?

It is important to us at the Museums to try to engage parents, caregivers, students and educators who might otherwise not have access to our museums, school programs, and trainings. Each year we set a goal for the number of individuals the Museums will serve at free or deeply reduced cost with programs, events or special discounts aimed at reducing roadblocks to visiting. And, each year we we have exceeded our goal! Here are our most recent numbers:

  • 2016 goal:  45,500
  • 2015 goal:  43,500; number served: 44,308
  • 2014 goal:  41,500; number served: 42,867
  • 2013 goal:  39,000; number served:  40,431
  • 2012 goal:  37,500; number served:  38,671
  • 2011 goal:  30,000; number served:  35,204


ODC events include the Especially for Me program series, which offers free evenings for families with children on the autism spectrum in conjunction with the Autism Alliance of MetroWest, and free mornings for families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers, offered in conjunction with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program of the Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham. ODC is also affiliated with Acre Family Child Care in Lowell, MA, offering free educational activities for the family child care children, professional development workshops for the family child care providers, and an annual family night at The Discovery Museums.



We also work closely with schools to ensure that financial constraints are not a barrier for learning hands-on math and science. Every year we provide free and discounted programs to schools in need. We welcome classes to the Museums for field trips and we go into classrooms with our Traveling Science Workshops. In 2010, 2,902 children and teachers from 21 cities and towns benefited from our free or discounted programs.

You can help us bring more kids to the Museums---and sometimes the Museums to the kids.  Your generous support makes a difference.

Seeking Partners

If you are an organization and would like to work with The Discovery Museums, please call Alli Leake at 978.264.4200 ext. 28, or email  We would love to hear from you.  

A big Thank You!

Open Door Connections is generously funded by:


Pizza and gluten-free food options for guests at our evening events are generously provided by: