Highland Street Foundation Announces 9th Annual Free Fun Fridays

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(Boston, MA) – The Highland Street Foundation today announced its ninth annual Free Fun Fridays initiative, a summer program that offers visitors no-cost admission to many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. Eighty-five institutions, from art museums to zoos, will join the program, an increase from the 80 venues that took part in 2016. This summer, each week for 10 consecutive Fridays — beginning June 23rd and continuing through August 25th—multiple venues will welcome visitors, free-of-charge.

“Free Fun Fridays provides access to the best exhibits, programs and experiences that the city and the Commonwealth have to offer,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I join the Highland Street Foundation in encouraging residents from across Boston and around the state to take advantage of our rich cultural community by participating in Free Fun Fridays.”

Since its inception in 2009, Free Fun Fridays has drawn more than 1,000,000 visitors to venues throughout the Commonwealth. Last year alone, the program reached more than 160,000 people with many partner institutions, such as The Mount in Lenox, The Old State House in Boston, Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich and the EcoTarium in Worcester, experiencing record-breaking attendance. According to Executive Director, Blake Jordan, the Highland Street Foundation expects that those numbers will increase again this year with the program’s expansion.

“2017 marks the most extensive Free Fun Fridays yet and we are excited to welcome a number of new venues, from the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, to the Berkshire Theatre Group, Maritime Gloucester on the North Shore and the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton,” said Jordan. “Reaching the 1,000,000 visitor milestone last year was a real testament to Free Fun Fridays impact. The Highland Street Foundation remains committed to enriching the lives of people of every age and background by providing easy access to the diverse cultural institutions that call Massachusetts home.”

Each year, Highland Street Foundation partners with venues in every corner of the state to open their doors for free. In the past eight years, the Free Fun Fridays program has represented an investment of more than $4 million in the Commonwealth’s vibrant cultural community. Free Fun Fridays is one of many programs created and supported by the Highland Street Foundation to increase access and opportunities for children and families throughout Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council applauds the Highland Street Foundation in its efforts to showcase the Bay State’s extraordinary cultural venues and promote their wide-ranging missions,” said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “Through this essential initiative, the participating institutions have the opportunity to inspire, engage and educate children and adults— ranging from babies to seniors and everyone in between. Equally important, Free Fun Fridays helps introduce the cultural community to diverse audiences.”

A complete list of all participating venues and dates is below.

To learn more about the “Free Fun Fridays,” and the Highland Street Foundation, visit

www.highlandstreet.org and connect with us on facebook.com/HighlandStreet and Twitter @HighlandStreet.

The following institutions are participating in “Free Fun Fridays” 2017:

June 23

The Discovery Museum (Acton)
Lyric Stage Company of Boston (Back Bay)
Mary Baker Eddy Library (Fenway/Kenmore)
The Sports Museum (West End)
The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home (Lenox)
Peabody Essex Museum (Salem)
Clark Art Institute (Williamstown)
Worcester Art Museum (Worcester)


June 30

Boston Children’s Museum (Fort Point)

MIT Museum (Cambridge)

Maritime Gloucester (Gloucester)

New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford)

Springfield Museums (Springfield)

Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge)

The Garden at Elms Bank (Mass Hort) (Wellesley)

EcoTarium (Worcester)


July 7

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Fenway/Kenmore)

New England Historic Genealogical Society (Back Bay)

Children’s Museum in Easton (Easton)

Falmouth Museums on the Green (Falmouth)

The Hall at Patriot Place (Foxborough)

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (Great Barrington)

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum (Lenox)

Pilgrim Hall Museum (Plymouth)

Amelia Park Children’s Museum (Westfield)


July 14

Edward M. Kennedy Institute (Dorchester)

Larz Anderson Auto Museum (Brookline)

Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (Cambridge)

The Metropolitan Waterworks Museum (Newton)

Museum of Russian Icons (Clinton)

Cape Ann Museum (Gloucester)

Provincetown Art Association and Museum (Provincetown)

Edward Gorey House (Yarmouth Port)


July 21

Boston Athenӕum (Beacon Hill)

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Fenway/Kenmore)

The Museum of the NCAAA (Roxbury)

Fruitlands Museum, The Trustees (Harvard)

Tanglewood (Lenox)

Lynn Museum (Lynn)

Hancock Shaker Village (Pittsfield)

Sandwich Glass Museum (Sandwich)

Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History (Weston)


July 28

The Eric Carle Museum (Amherst)

Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston)

JFK Presidential Library and Museum (Dorchester)

Commonwealth Museum (Dorchester)

Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain)

Historic Deerfield (Deerfield)

Cape Cod Museum of Art (Dennis)

Berkshire Theatre Group (Stockbridge)

Wenham Museum (Wenham)


August 4

The Greenway Carousel (Downtown Boston)

Old State House (Downtown Boston)

Commonwealth Shakespeare (North End)

The Old Manse, The Trustees (Concord)

Fort Devens Museum (Devens)

Children’s Museum at Holyoke (Holyoke)

International Volleyball Hall of Fame (Holyoke)

JFK Hyannis Museum (Hyannis)


August 11

Jacob’s Pillow Dance (Becket)

Franklin Park Zoo (Dorchester)

Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton)

Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg)

Cape Cod Maritime Museum (Hyannis)

Smith College Museum of Art (Northampton)

Naumkeag, The Trustees (Stockbridge)

Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester)

Worcester Historical Museum (Worcester)


August 18

Emily Dickinson Museum (Amherst)

Freedom Trail ® Foundation (Beacon Hill)

The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (Seaport)

Concord Museum (Concord)

Cape Cod Children’s Museum (Mashpee)

Buttonwood Park Zoo (New Bedford)

Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield)

Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge)


August 25th

Museum of African American History (Beacon Hill)

USS Constitution Museum (Charlestown)

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History (Brewster)

The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River (Fall River)

Nantucket Whaling Museum (Nantucket)

Museum of African American History (Nantucket)

Mass MoCA (North Adams)

Heritage Museums and Gardens (Sandwich)

Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park (Fort Andrews)

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth)


About Highland Street Foundation:

Since 1989, the Highland Street Foundation has worked to enrich the lives of children and families in Massachusetts by donating more than $185 million to worthy nonprofit organizations. From its support of the TADpole playground in Boston Common, to providing tickets to local sporting events to local nonprofits, to building capacity and providing technical assistance to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, the foundation is dedicated to expanding opportunities for families in Massachusetts and beyond. This year marks the ninth anniversary of Free Fun Fridays and a record- breaking 85 venues will participate, with multiple venues in Massachusetts open free-of-charge every Friday for 10 weeks this summer. Over the past eight summers more than 1,000,000 visitors have enjoyed the program.