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Use Your ID Wisely

SpendTime Exploring MFA, MoS

By Kathy Lin
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Put on your tourist hats and hit the famous spots this weekend, before you get buried under piles of homework. As a plus, the two major Boston museums are free with an MIT ID card. Here are a few of my favorites:

Museum of Science

Science Park

Boston, MA 02114

617-723-2500

http://www.mos.org/

Unleash the nerdy side of your inner child at the Museum of Science which, though child-oriented, offers plenty of MIT-style fun. Admission is free for MIT students; just show your ID to the ticket collector at the front.

Museum of Fine Arts

Avenue of the Arts

465 Huntington Avenue

Boston, Massachusetts 02115

617-267-9300

http://www.mfa.org/

Boston was the cradle of the American Revolution, and the MFA houses a fantastic collection of American art, including the famed Copley portrait of Paul Revere. You can also see traditional favorites like Monets and van Goghs, as well as visit the outstanding collection of Egyptian Art.

Admission to the MFA is also free for MIT students; just show your ID at the ticket counter. In addition, students can buy tickets to special exhibits for $7 on weekday afternoons.

New England Aquarium

Central Wharf

Boston, MA 02110

617-973-5200

http://www.neaq.org/

Penguins, sharks, and giant turtles — what more can you ask for? The New England Aquarium is home to many penguins (though unfortunately no emperors) and an enormous tank; the French like people watching, but sea-creature watching is far better. With advanced planning, you can buy tickets through the MIT Activities Committee for just $6 (http://web.mit.edu/mitac/).

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

280 The Fenway

Boston, MA 02115

617-566-1401

http://www.gardnermuseum.org/

The Gardner Museum, founded by art enthusiast Isabella Stewart Gardner is a significant departure from a traditional art museum. Many of the paintings show no identification, forcing the viewer to think about the art rather than the artist. The interior courtyard also boasts a beautiful garden. Admission for college students is $5 with ID.

Fogg Art Museum

32 Quincy Street

Cambridge, MA 02138

617-495-9400

http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/fogg/

A couple of miles down Mass. Ave., Harvard University boasts three fantastic art museums. The Fogg houses an impressive collection of European art, as well my favorite contemporary art collection in Boston. The museum is just the right size; while it’s impossible to see the entire MFA in one day, you cover the Fogg in a few hours.

Also check out Harvard’s other two art museums: the Busch-Resinger, connected to the Fogg; and the Sackler, about a block away. Or, if you’re looking for a break from art, drop in to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which features similar exhibits to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, but is a lot closer to campus.

Admission to the Fogg is $7.50, or $6.00 for students (though it’s free for Harvard students).

Four Seasons Bathroom

200 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02116

617-338-4400

http://www.fourseasons.com/boston/

So it’s not really a tourist-y place, but I think everyone should check it out anyway. My friend, upon exploring the cavernous bathroom at Boston’s first five-star hotel, exclaimed, “this place is bigger than the apartment I used to live in!” We chilled on the couch for a while, and so should you; the “sitting room” part of the bathroom was far nicer than my living room.

The nicest bathroom I’ve been able to find is on the second floor. Just walk in like you’re rich, despite your college-student clothes, take a left, and proceed confidently up the stairs. Besides, you’ll need somewhere to pee between all the other fun you’ll be having.