Museum Pass Program Status, October 2011 update

The Friends of the Norwell Public Library are pleased to provide the current list of Museum Passes available through the Library.  All passes are for museums within a reasonable drive of Norwell.  Passes can be reserved by phone or on the Library’s website.  Each pass is different, and they all provide for discounted admission.  During school vacations, preference is given to Norwell residents, although at other times passes may be borrowed by non-residents as available.

The Museum Pass program is a remarkable resource for families seeking educational and recreational opportunities at reasonable prices. The Friends estimate that Norwell families saved between $20,000 and $30,000 using the passes in 2009. We hope to see that increase as more families become aware of the Museum Pass Program.

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is located in Salem, MA and is a new museum pass offering this year. The roots of the Peabody Essex Museum date to 1799 and the East India Marine Society, an organization of Salem captains who sailed beyond either the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn. The society’s charter established a “cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities,” which is what we today would call a museum. Society members brought to Salem a diverse collection of objects from around the world — more than 840,000 works of art and culture featuring maritime art and history; American art; Asian, Oceanic, and African art; Asian export art; and much more. Today’s collection has grown to include approximately 1 million works and Yin Yu Tang, the only complete Qing (Manchu) Dynasty 18th Century house outside of China.  The PEM was recently enlarged and is notable for its many special exhibits you are likely to see advertised on cable TV.  For details, see

Boston by Foot   These are guided walking tours of Boston from May 1 through October 31 which showcase Boston’s rich architectural and historical heritage.  Different tours depart from different locations.  The pass admits up to four people for free on any scheduled tour.  For details, see

Fuller Craft Museum, easily accessed in Brockton, MA, is a beautiful 22-acre campus and sculpture garden beside a lake. A terrific building with rotating collections of contemporary craftworks and craft classes is fun to visit.  Pass is valid for admission of two adults. Children under 16 are admitted free of charge. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday and late on Wednesday.  One of a kind!  For details, see

Adams National Historical Park, located in three main sites with 11 buildings on 13 acres in the City of Quincy, MA, the park is serviced by a convenient trolley between sites.  Adams National Historical Park tells the story of four generations of the Adams family (from 1720 to 1927). The three park sites are: (1) The Visitor Center, (2) the Birthplacesof 2nd U.S. President John Adams and 6th U.S. President John Quincy Adams, and (3) Peacefield which includes the “Old House,” home to four generations of the Adams family and the Stone Library which contains more than 12,000 historic volumes.

Institute of Contemporary Art, gorgeous new waterfront location in Boston, MA:  The ICA presents outstanding contemporary art in all media, including visual art exhibitions, music, film, video, and performances.  Pass is valid for two people with a $5 copay per person.  The ICA is free to children 17 and under.  General admission tickets allow visitors to see all of the gallery exhibitions.  The ICA is free to the public on Thursday nights from 5 pm to 9 pm, courtesy of Target stores.  For details, see

Children’s Museum of Boston, on Congress Street in Boston, MA:   For over 90 years the Children’s Museum has been a private, non-profit, educational institution recognized internationally as a research and development center and pacesetter for children’s exhibitions, educational programs and curriculum development.  Pass is valid for up to four people with a $2 per person copay (becomes $3 per person copay after October 31, 2010).  For details, see

Museum of Science, on the dam over the Charles River in Boston, MA:  The Museum of Science is ranked #3 by Parents Magazine in its list of the country’s “Ten Best Science Centers.” Pass is valid for up to four people with a $5 per person copay.  Pass by itself is NOT good towards purchase of Mugar Omni Theater, Hayden Planetarium/Laser, Butterfly Garden, 3-D digital cinemas, combination tickets, or special exhibits.  For details, see

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, on The Fenway in Boston, MA:   Opened in 1903, this museum is one of the nation’s finest collections of art.  Three floors of galleries surround a garden courtyard blooming with life in all seasons.  The galleries are filled with paintings, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts from cultures spanning thirty centuries.  Pass is valid for up to four people with a $5.00 per person copay.   All named “Isabella” are admitted free. For details, see

Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA:  The museum offers powerful personal encounters with history built on research about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s.   Pass is valid for two adults and two children for reduced admission at $10 per adult and $6 per child.  This pass is good at the 1627 English Village, Wampanoag Homesite, and Mayflower.  For details, see

Roger Williams Park Zoo, conveniently located off I95 in Providence, RI:   The Zoo is forty acres.  The average length of stay is three hours.  The path through the Zoo is a bit over one mile long. The Zoo features over 160 different species of amazing animals!  This pass entitles the bearer to a $3 discount on each admission for up to four people.  It is not valid for fundraising exhibits or special events.  For details, see

South Shore Natural Science Center, next to Jacobs Pond in Norwell, MA: The South Shore Natural Science Center is located on 30 acres surrounded by 200 acres of town conservation and recreation land consisting of meadows, woodland, and a pond. The Center is dedicated to educating the public about the natural and cultural environments of the South Shore.  Pass allows free admission for a family of four to the Science Center and all programs that are free with admission. Paid programs, fundraising events, Preschool and Camp programs are not part of the free admission pass.  For details, see

New England Aquarium, on the waterfront in Boston, MA:  Pass is donated by the Norwell Women’s Club: This pass is not available during the summer but becomes available again on September 1.  Last year the pass admitted up to four people with an $8 per person copay.  Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. The Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year, and a major public education resource.  For details, see

Museum of Fine Arts, on the Fenway in Boston, MA, donated by an anonymous Friend through the Friends of the NPL:   The Museum of Fine Arts houses and preserves preeminent collections.  It celebrates diverse cultures with roughly one million visitors per year to its permanent and visiting exhibits.  Pass is valid for two people with a $5 copay per person for general admission.  Pass entitles each visitor to upgrade to a special exhibition ticket for an additional $8 (plus the $5 copay), same day only, subject to availability.   For details, see

USS Constitution Museum.  The USS Constitution is our country’s oldest commissioned ship, and it is still part of the US Navy.  The pier which holds the USS Constitution and the USS Constitution Museum is a national park.  The museum itself is a not-for-profit, non-government organization which serves as the memory and educational voice of the ship.  The Library has been given two passes that each admits a group of up to 9 people for free to the USS Constitution Museum.  Admission to the ship USS Constitution is always free.  The ship and the museum are appropriate for all ages.  Summer Hours are April 1 to Oct. 31 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Pawtucket Red Sox, The Paw Sox are the minor league baseball Triple-A affiliates of the Boston Red Sox and belong to the International League. They play their home games at McCoy Stadium in the heart of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, just off Route 95.  McCoy Stadium is about 50 miles from Norwell and about a one hour drive.  The Paw Sox pass enables up to six (6) people to have General Admission entry to select home games for only $18.  That’s $18 for the group.

For further information about Museum Passes, visit the Norwell Public Library website at or phone the Norwell Library at 781-659-2015.  The Museum Pass page of the website is directly accessible here.

Previous museum pass offerings have been rotated out of the collection in order to try new things.  Based on popular demand, we will consider reinstating previous passes to places like

(1) National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA

(2) Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

(3) Boston Sports Museum, Boston, MA

(4) JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA


The Friends of the Norwell Public Library is a non-profit group of volunteers who work together to raise funds for and give financial assistance to the Norwell Public Library so that it may improve its services, resources, and role in the community.

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Posted in Museum Passes
3 comments on “Museum Pass Program Status, October 2011 update
  1. Mary Cole says:

    This is terrific. I particularly encourage folks to check out the Craft Museum in Brockton. Well worth the drive!

  2. Penny Wlson says:

    Obviously found the “leave a comment” You’re right this is a terrific list of museum passes.

  3. Rebecca Freer says:

    It’s great having a WATD connection to our events!

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