Museums in Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester and the Worcester area have a wonderful offering of Museums, some of which are very unique. From art, to natural history, to science and more, you can spend a lot of time exploring the regions many museums:

Arboretums / Botanical Gardens

Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Located less than 20 minutes northeast of Worcester in the Town of Boylston, MA, the Tower Hill Botanic Garden is a 132 acre botanical garden, making it one of the largest in the country. The garden has spectacular views of Mount Wachusett and the Wachusett Reservoir.

Tower Hill was founded in 1986 by the Worcester County Horticultural Society and will be fully complete in 2040. Tower Hill Botanic Garden features:

  • Many different themed indoor and outdoor gardens, such as: the winter garden, the lawn garden, the secret garden, the cottage garden, the vegetable garden, and the systematic garden
  • A collection of heirloom apple trees
  • Ground covers
  • The Orangerie, a 4,000 square foot greenhouse in the 18th century style featuring hundreds of sub-tropical plants and blooming bulbs
  • Collection of annuals, perennials and woody plants
  • 350 species and varieties of ornamental trees and shrubs
  • A half acre Wildlife Refuge Pond, along with 3 miles of woodland trails
  • A visitors center and cafe
  • … and much more …

Tower Hill Botanic Garden
11 French Drive
Boylston, MA 01505-1008
Phone: 508-869-6111

Art Museums

Arts Worcester

Arts Worcester was founded in 1979 as a a non profit organization. It sponsors art exhibits and presentations for its members consisting of visual, literary and performing artists.

Exhibits are presented at their Aurora Gallery, the GArtH Gallery located in the historic Hadley Building at 657 Main Street in Worcester, and the Arts Worcester Gallery at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in the Franklin Square Society Salon at 2 Southbridge Street in Worcester.

Arts Worcester
660 Main Street at the Aurora
Worcester, MA 01610
Phone: 508-755-5142


Fruitlands Museum

Located in Harvard, MA only a half an hour from Worcester, the Fruitlands Museum was founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, a wealthy Bostonian. She envisioned the museum as a place for education and experimentation. The museum provides a unique collection of galleries and attractions, including: the Fruitlands Farmhouse Gallery, the Fruitlands Native American Gallery, the Fruitlands Shaker Gallery, and the Fruitlands Picture Gallery.

The museum also has the Fruitlands Labyrinth – A walking path that follows a 19th century Pima basket design from the museum’s Native American collection. There are also 3 miles of woodland trails on the property for hiking.

The museum buildings are open from mid-April to Mid-November:

Fruitlands Museum
102 Prospect Hill Toad
Harvard, MA 01451
Phone: 978-456-3924


Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery is located at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The Gallery was established in 1983 to “present exhibits of art that enhance the cultural, academic and spiritual life of Holy Cross students, faculty and staff.”

Five to six original and loan exhibitions that are a blend of multi-disciplinary contemporary and historically significant themes are shown each year. The gallery brings together students, faculty and community members in social interaction through receptions, guest lectures, readings and student presentations.

Admission to the Gallery is free.

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery
College of the Holy Cross
1 College Street
Worcester, MA 01610
Phone: 508-793-3356


Worcester Art Museum

Interior Picture of the Worcester Art Museum with Antioch Mosaics

Worcester Art Museum Interior with Antioch Mosaics

Founded in 1898, the Worcester Art Museum is the second largest art museum in New England. As one of the most renowned art museums in New England, the Worcester Art Museum has a 35,000 piece collection of paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photography, prints, drawings, and new media, spanning 5,000 years of art and culture. The collection includes: early American paintings, American art, ancient art, Chinese art, European art, Indian art, Islamic art, Japanese art, Korean art, and Pre-Columbian art.

The Museum is open year-round.

Worcester Art Museum
55 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: 508-799-4406

History Museums

Higgins Armory Museum

Founded in 1931, the Higgins Armory Museum is credited with having the largest collection of arms and armor in the western hemisphere. The collection of over 4,000 pieces includes major examples of arms and armor from around the world including Europe, Greece and Rome, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Japan.

Sadly the museum is slated to close at the end of 2013 with its collection transferring to the Worcester Art Museum.

Higgins Armory Museum
100 Barber Avenue
Worcester, MA 01606-2444
Phone: 508-793-3356


The Museum of Russian Icons

The Museum of Russian Icons is located approximately a half hour northeast of Worcester in the Town of Clinton. The museum was founded in 2006 and houses over 500 Russian icons and artifacts spanning 600 years of Russian history. The 16,000 square feet museum in a former mill building includes gallery spaces, a research library, performance facilities, and more.

The museum is open year-round.

The Museum of Russian Icons
203 Union Street
Clinton, MA 01510
Phone 978-598-5000


Worcester Historical Museum

Founded in 1875, the Worcester Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Worcester from colonial times to the present. The research library has over 7,000 titles, with thousands of documents, and a collection of artifacts, all for the study of local history.

The museum also operates Salisbury Mansion, the only historic house museum in Worcester. The mansion was built in 1772, and has been restored to its 1830s appearance. The Salisbury Mansion is one of the best documented historic houses in New England.

The museum and house are open year-round.

Worcester Historical Museum
30 Elm Street
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: 508-753-8278

Natural History / Science Museums

The Butterfly Place

Located about 35 minutes northeast of Worcester in Westford, MA, the Butterfly Place is an indoor garden filled with hundreds of live butterflies including local butterflies as well as exotic species from all over the world.

The Butterfly Place
120 Tyngsboro Road
Westford, MA 01886
Phone: 978-392-0955


EcoTarium

Founded in 1825 as the Worcester Lyceum of Natural History, EcoTarium is a museum rooted in the natural sciences focusing on hands-on exploration and discovery. The museum features:

  • Science and nature exhibits
  • A digital planetarium that uses images from NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope to create a three-dimensional solar system to teach about the world of astronomy
  • Outdoor explorations including an explorer express train, nature trails, a tree canopy walkway, and tree climbing expeditions
  • Native animals

EcoTarium is open year-round.

EcoTarium
222 Harrington Way
Worcester, MA 01604
Phone: 508-929-2700

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