The Discovery Museums 30th Anniversary: A Year of Special Events and Programs

The Discovery Museums have hosted more than 4 million visitors since we opened our doors in 1982. This year we'll celebrate our 30th anniversary of play and discovery with a series of events and programs to celebrate the families who support us.

30th Anniversary Kickoff Weekend – Bessie’s Birthday Bash

June 23 & 24

Bessie, the big, green dinosaur that has graced the front lawn of The Discovery Museums since opening in 1982 is turning 30—and we’re celebrating with a bash!  Guests will enjoy fun activities all weekend, including FETCH!™ Lab science challenges, a magic show, dinosaur egg hunt, dinosaur crafts, face painting, outdoor dinosaur dig, fossil excavation, birthday necklace making, and a bouncy house! And of course, birthday cupcakes to celebrate our girl's special day.

Thank you to Middlesex Savings Bank, Donelan's, Lakeshore Learning and TeamWorks Acton for supporting Bessie's Birthday Bash.

30th Anniversary Gala

Saturday, November 10, 6:30pm

Join us on Saturday November 10 at The Discovery Museums for our biggest party of the year! Enjoy open bar, live music, dinner, and dancing and meet Celebrity Host Robin Young. Robin is the host of WBUR's "Here & Now" and an Emmy, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow award winner. Please click here for more information. All funds raised will support our mission of inspiring enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry and scientific investigation. 

FETCH!Lab at the Discovery Museums

6-8 times per month

The Discovery Museums offer science, math and engineering challenges to visitors in our FETCH! Lab, based on the PBS Kids Go! series, FETCH! with Ruff RuffmanTM. Join us for Thrill Ride, Float Your Boat, Kitchen Chemistry, What's the Buzz?, Potion Commotion, Tempest in a Teacup and more fun challenges - Ruff Ruffman style!  


Pay and Play Like It's 1982: A Week of $2 Admission!

September 22 - 28

To say Thank You for 30 years of support from our community, we’re offering a week of admission prices as they were in 1982! Come visit us for terrific programs and activities such as Music & Movement, FETCH! Lab, PEEP Science Adventures, Mixing in Math, LEGO Zone and more, and pay only $2 admission.

30th of the Month Free Membership Drawing

July 2012 - May 2012

All visitors on the 30th of each monthwill be eligible for a drawing to win a free family membership to the Museums!  And, on the 30th we will offer one of our most popular programs, such as SMART Gals, Music & Movement with Ms. Carolyn, FETCH! Lab, Meet Bessie!, Meet An Owl, Mrs. Junkbox, Reaction Station, Rube Goldberg Day, Sock Walk, Magic Show with Rupayan Neogy. 

Bid for Kids Online Auction

October 22 - November 2

Support the museums toward our next wonderful 30 years, and win great items that you need or want!  Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins tickets, golf outings, BSO tickets, spa packages, getaways, restaurant gift certificates, "Night at the Museums" sleepover party and much more! The auction will run October 22 through November 2 at

Free Friday Night Fun!

Every Friday Night, June 22 - August 31

Join us for Free Friday Night Fun all summer, through August 31! Both museums will be open with free admission beginning at 4:30p.m. Explore the museums at night and picnic under the stars. Bring picnic dinner or purchase food from the Chef on Wheels grill. Donations for the Acton Food Pantry will be gratefully accepted.

Free Friday Night Fun is sponsored by MathWorks and Middlesex Savings Bank, with additional support from Emerson Hospital. 

First Friday Nights Free!

The first Friday of each month, October 2012 through May 2012

On the first Friday night of each month, October through May, join us with free admission from 4:30pm to 8:30pm. Both museums will be open for exploration, and some months we will offer a special program such as Nano Days @ Night, Live from the Mt. Washington Observatory, or SMART Gals. Keep an eye on our program listings for information about special programs all year long. 

First Friday Nights Free is sponsored in part by Emerson Hospital.

PEEP Science Adventures for Preschoolers

Twice per month, see schedule for details

Join us for our regular program series of hands-on science activities for toddlers and preschoolers, based on the WGBH animated series, PEEP and the Big Wide WorldTM. Two programs are offered each month, with activities such as "Making Things Bigger," "Observing Sticky Things," "Making Homes for Creatures," "Playing with Wet Mud," and more. 

Sponsored by MEFA's U.Fund and Fidelity Investments, with additional support from Emerson Hospital.

Science Adventures

All year long

In our Science Discovery Museum, we offer more than 200 hands-on science programs and events throughout the year. These programs are fun and dynamic, covering a wide range of science topics. Programs such as Geodesic Domes, The Science of Bees, Reaction Station, Green Chemistry, LEGO Zone, Making the Wheels Turn, Cold As Ice, Fossils and Dinosaurs, Telephone Take Aparts, and more.

Early Childhood Education Programs

All year long

In the Children's Discovery Museum we offer close to 300 hands-on math, art, science and music education programs each year for toddlers and preschoolers. Past program topics have included Meet an Owl, Sock Walk, Messy Masterpiece, Thursday's Tales, Music and Movement with Ms. Carolyn, Dress Your Stuffed Pet, Instrument Petting Zoo, Meet a Ballerina, Build It with DUPLOS! and much more. 

All early childhood education programs are sponsored by MEFA's U.Fund and Fidelity Investments.

Traveling Science Workshops

School year

Our Traveling Science Workshops bring hands-on science into classrooms throughout New England, serving more than 24,000 students and their teachers each year. Our experienced teachers offer a set of 18 workshop topics that support MA state curriculum standards and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives. 


Topics include Light & Lasers, Green Energy, Weather, Simple Machines, Sound, Static Electricity, Magnets, Flight and the very popular Physical Changes of Matter. Our dynamic science educators excite students' curiousity with fun, hands-on discovery that strengthens problem solving skills, reinforces the scientific method and can spark a life-long passion for science inquiry. Classroom teachers and parents receive follow-up activities to reinforce learned concepts.  Click here to see a slideshow of a workshop on

Open Door Connections


Through our Open Door Connections (ODC) program we provide opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers--financial, developmental, or cultural--to experience the Museums. We partner with organizations such as SMOC Head Start, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), Parent Child Home Program, and Minute Man Arc Social Services to reach underserved communities.

Our 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 young children with hearing loss, offered in conjuction with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program of the Children's Hospital Boston at Waltham.

We also work with Acre Family Child Care in Lowell, MA offering free educational activities for children in family child care, professional development workshops for the family child care providers, and an annual family night at the Museums. We also work closely with schools to ensure that financial constraints are not a barrier for learning hands-on math and science through our Traveling Science Workshops.

Open Door Connections is generously supported by MathWorks.

Thank you to our 30th Anniversary Sponsors! 



To learn more about the Plan, including investment objectives, risks, and chargesand expenses, please contact Fidelity for a Fact Kit. Read it carefully. Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917, Member NYSE, SIPC. 578260.1.0