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Old State House Museum

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This post provides information about visiting the Old State House Museum in Boston. We include details about tickets, prices, discounts and things you can expect to see while you’re here.

 

 


OVERVIEW

The Old State House Museum (built c. 1713) was the center of Boston civic life, known as the Towne House. 

After the American Revolution, the building became the State House for Massachusetts until 1798 when the new and current State House was completed on Beacon Street.

Located on the Freedom Trail, the Old State House is the oldest surviving public building in Boston and now houses the Old State House Museum.  

 


This photo of Freedom Trail is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

The Council Chamber where the Royal Governor of Massachusetts met with members of his Council, has recently been restored to mirror its 1760s look.

Just outside the Old State House is where five Bostonians lost their lives in the Boston Massacre. The story and history of this event are included on our Freedom Trail tour.

The Old State House Museum is located at 206 Washington St. on the corner of State St. and Washington St.

The closest MBTA station is actually underneath the building. The State station on the Blue and Orange lines has entrances/exits on the ground level of the Old State House.

 


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TICKETS AND PRICES

Admission to the Old State House Museum is fairly affordable, and it’s actually free for most kids. Even better, it is included in many discount options.

Here are the prices and hours you can expect to visit this famous landmark:

  • $12/Adults | $10/Seniors & Students
  • Children age 6-18 get in for free.
  • Oct-Apr Hours: Daily from 9 am - 5 pm
  • May-Sept Hours: Daily from 9 am - 6 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

For the most part, this museum is open 7 days a week throughout the year. That said, there are some holidays where they are either closed or hours are limited/extended.

  • Closes at 3 pm on Christmas Eve.
  • Closes at 6 pm on Memorial Day & Labor Day.
  • Closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving.
  • Closed the first full week of February.

The Old State House Museum is included at a discount on many Boston tourist passes, and there are additional opportunities to save money on tickets for this attraction.

Please read our discount section for more details.

 


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DISCOUNTS

In this section, we will provide information about some of the best deals you can get on tickets to the Old State House Museum, including tourist passes, combo deals, and more. 


Tourist Passes

Admission to the Old State House is included with most Boston tourist passes, which means that there are several different ways to get a good deal on tickets for this attraction.

The easiest option is to build-your-own-pass, which allows you to save 20% off 2 or more attractions. 

This is an especially good option for activities that are already pretty affordable because you don’t have to do as much to get the discount and there are over 40 different attractions to choose from.

At the very least, if you want to visit two of the included attractions, the build-your-own-pass option is a no-brainer. Why pay full price for those activities when you can get tickets for 20% off?

 

 

Alternatively, an all-inclusive pass offers access to dozens of different locations for a specific amount of time (1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days). 

You can save 55% or more with this option when you visit as many places as possible in the time you have with the pass. The more you use it for, the more money you’ll save!

There is also a flex pass that can be used to pay one flat price for a set number (3, 4, or 5) of attractions. The best way to save money with this option is to use it for the most expensive activities included – and the Old State House Museum definitely does not fit that description.

No matter which type of pass you choose, you should be able to save at least 20% - 50% off general admission prices for this attraction and other notable locations such as these:

  • Paul Revere House
  • Museum of Science
  • Otis House Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Peabody Essex Museum
  • Old South Meeting House
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History
  • Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
  • And more!

Each of these passes also offers skip-the-line access at some of the most popular destinations in Boston, making it easier to save time as well as money.

For more details, please take a look at our post covering Boston tourist passes.


Combo Packages

There is currently only one combo package which includes admission to the Old State House Museum. If you’re planning to use a hop-on-hop-off trolley service to get around Boston, this could be an excellent opportunity to save some money.

Boston Old Town Trolley Tour

  • 1-2 day hop-on-hop-off trolley tour.
  • Admission to Dreamland Wax Museum.
  • Admission to Old State House Museum.
  • 50% off Admission to Old North Church.
  • 50% off Admission to Boston Harbor Cruise.
  • $7.50 off Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.
  • Combo Package Prices: $46.15/Adults | $25.15/Children
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Considering that admission to the Old State House Museum is $12 and tickets for Dreamland Wax Museum are about $25, when you factor in all the additional discounts, it’s almost like you’re getting the hop-on-hop-off trolley tour for free!


Blue Star Family Admission

The Old State House is a Blue Star Museum, which means that families of U.S. Military and Veterans can get in for free during the summer.

This program will be available from May 16th, 2020 - September 7th, 2020.


Free Admission for Young Visitors

Although we’ve already mentioned this, it should be noted that anyone from age 6 - 18 is granted free admission to the Old State House Museum.

In other words, if you’re thinking about taking the kids to this historic location, you’ll only have to worry about your own ticket.


Other Free Admission 

If you’re a teacher in Massachusetts, you can receive free admission to the Old State House Museum. There is also no charge for anyone who holds an EBT card in this state.


Discount Sites

If all else fails, you can also usually find tickets to the Old State House Museum at a discount on sites such as Groupon and Living Social.

These services usually offer coupon codes for 10% - 20% off local activities and attractions such as this museum.

Before you make any purchases, make sure to check both the top and bottom of each page for banners which may include extra coupons!

 


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EXHIBITS AT THE OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM

In this section, we will provide a few details about some of the things you can expect to see when you visit this historic location. 

 

 

Entrance to all of these exhibits is included with admission to the museum.


From Colony to Commonwealth

This exhibit will take you through time from the earliest colonial days of Boston to its role in shaping what the United States would become many years later. 

Discover history through interactive maps and historic artifacts from centuries past.


Council Chamber

Stepping into this room is like walking back 250 years, as it has been painstakingly restored to reflect its history as the location where the Royal Governor once sat when our country was still under British control.

Today, visitors can sit in the same chair and see some of the documents that were used at the time hundreds of years ago.


Boston Massacre Presentation

The Old State House was actually the site of this event, and they provide a multimedia presentation on the Boston Massacre. 

During this 6-minute audio/video experience, you’ll learn all about what happened and how it became one of the most important moments in the history of this city.


Revolutionary Character Cards

This fun game will give everyone something to look out for while walking around the museum, as each character card will include a variety of details about various historical figures who lived in Boston at the time of the Revolution.


Old State House Tour

Get a good look at some of the most significant exhibits and artifacts in this museum with the help of a professional guide who will provide additional historical details about the Old State House.

 


This photo of Boston is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

This tour is run 7 days a week at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, and 5 pm. The tour lasts for approximately 25 minutes.


Hands-On History

Throughout the museum, you will find several interactive exhibits and activities which will help history come alive for both young and old.

Guests can test their abilities with building bricks, find hidden doors, practice stitching a historic coat and even get an idea of what it must have smelled like during the Great Molasses Flood of 1919.

 


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About The Author

Brian Burgess

Brian was born in Cambridge and has been living in the Boston area all his life. He is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. He has been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on his tours, but with everyone he meets.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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