General

  • What is the average visit length?
    The average visit length varies; however, most people spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in the museum.

  • Am I allowed to take pictures inside the museum?
    Yes, you can take photos without using a flash (Flash photography damages our artifacts).

  • Is the Old State House available for event rentals?
    The Old State House is not available for private events.


Hours & Admission

  • Can I send my child in by themselves?
    If a child is under 18 they are free. If they are under 16, they must be accompanied by an individual over 16.

  • Do I get free admission?
    We currently offer free admission to Veterans and their families (please ask to see a military/veteran ID), children under 18 (must be accompanied by an adult) Old Town Trolley Ticket holders (must  present a ticket at the time of entrance), Go Boston card holders, and those individuals who have older copies of the Freedom Trail Combo Ticket. Please be advised, if someone has something that says ‘admission to the Old State House Museum’ please accept it. 

  • What time are you open until?
    We are open 9AM-6PM during our summer hours (Memorial Day-Labor Day) and 9am-5pm during the rest of the year. We are open 7 days a week except the first full week in February, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

  • Please check the Hours & Admission page for more information.


Accessibility

  • Is the Old State House wheelchair accessible?
    No, unfortunately the site is currently not accessible. Although the building is exempt from ADA regulations as a National Historic Landmark, the Bostonian Society has prepared plans to install handicap ramps and lift. In the meantime, please be aware that there are many stairs in the building.

  • How many floors/stairs are there inside?
    The galleries are located on the first and second floor with restrooms and preservation information in the basement rotunda. There are 6 steps to enter the building and approximately 30-40 stairs in the main interior spiral staircase.

  • Do you have an elevator?
    At this time, the only way to access the different levels of the building is the spiral staircase in the rotunda. The first floor galleries are accessible with encountering limited amount of stairs.

  • Is my dog allowed inside?
    Dogs are allowed inside the gift shop, but ONLY service animals are allowed inside the museum. Service animals should be vested.

  • Do you have an audio tour?
    Our galleries are designed to be self-guided, with information on the walls. We do not have audio tours at the moment.

  • Do you have restrooms?
    Restrooms are for museum ticket holders only. Excepting an absolute emergency, someone must have a ticket in order to access the restrooms. They are located down the spiral staircase in the bottom rotunda. Closest public bathroom is at Faneuil Hall. We do not have baby changing tables available.


Tours

  • Do I have to go on a tour?
    The museum is designed to be self-guided, but all of our talks are included with admission and you are welcome to partake of as many or few as you choose. If you walk through on your own, we recommend about 30-40 minutes to see everything.  Tickets are also good for the entire day, so you are welcome to leave the premises and come back to explore some more with your pass.

  • Where do the tours take place? How long are the tours? Are they included with the price of admission?
    All of our talks take place inside the building, except the Massacre talk which goes outside seasonally. They are 20-25 minutes long and yes, they are included with admission to the museum. The time of tours and type of tours also change during the summer, with seasonal programming.

  • What is the difference between the Old State House Tour and the Boston Massacre Tour?
    The Old State House Tour covers the history and preservation of this building, and the changes in both use and architecture that it has gone through. The Boston Massacre Tour covers the event that happened outside this building on March 5th 1770, as a stepping stone to the American Revolution. It includes the lead up to the event, the event itself, and the aftermath.

  • Do you have an audio tour?
    Our galleries are designed to be self-guided, with information on the walls. We do not have audio tours at the moment.


Public Areas

  • Can I go out onto the balcony?
    The balcony is not open to the public.

  • Can I go up to the tower?
    The tower is not open to the public.

  • Do you have restrooms?
    Restrooms are for museum ticket holders only. Excepting an absolute emergency, someone must have a ticket in order to access the restrooms. They are located down the spiral staircase in the bottom rotunda. Closest public bathroom is at Faneuil Hall. We do not have baby changing tables available.


Personal Items

  • Can I bring a stroller into the museum?
    Visitors may bring strollers into the reception area and museum shop, but they may not be taken into the museum galleries. Strollers can be conveniently checked at the front desk and baggage claim area.

  • Can I bring my backpack, luggage, baby carrier, or shopping bags into the museum galleries?
    All large bags, large umbrellas, back baby carriers, hiking packs, and luggage must be checked in the baggage claim area at the front desk.

  • Can I bring food into the museum?
    Food is not permitted in the museum galleries.


Collections Items

  • I heard you have _______ in your collections?
    Our current exhibits deal with the role of Boston during the American Revolution and the preservation of historic buildings and the stories that are remembered. Our exhibits are rotated routinely and we may not have what you are looking for currently on display.

  • Can I drop off an object to donate to the Old State House?
    No, the museum and library cannot accept unsolicited donations in person or through the mail without prior approval by staff and we reserve the right to dispose of unsolicited items. Please contact our staff before sending a donation or with any questions.

  • Why are many of the items on display replicas?
    Many of the items in our collection are photosensitive and can be damaged by continued exposure to light. The originals are kept in secure storage while replicas are on display. The originals may be displayed to the public again in limited capacity in the future.


In the Area

  • Where is the Visitors Center?
    The National Parks Visitors Center has moved to the first floor in Faneuil Hall across the street. There is also a Visitors Center located at the start of the Freedom Trail at the Boston Common.

  • Where is Faneuil Hall?
    Faneuil Hall is the next stop on the Freedom Trail heading towards the north part of the trail. It can be seen outside the windows-the brick building with white trim, circular windows and triangular roof. If they follow the Freedom Trail to the left as they exit the building, the next site will be Faneuil Hall.

  • What is the Freedom Trail?
    The Old State House is centrally located on Boston’s Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile long walking route marked by a red line on the sidewalks and streets that connects Revolutionary-era historic sites throughout the city. The red line begins at the Boston Common. For more information about the Freedom Trail visit thefreedomtrail.org.

  • Where is the Freedom Trail?
    The Freedom Trail is the red brick line on the ground outside of the building. Turning right out of the entrance of the Old State House will take you to the Boston Common starting point. Turning left will take you towards the Bunker Hill Monument starting point.

  • Where is the Massacre site?
    The Boston Massacre site is located on the east side of the building by Congress Street. It is marked by a circle of stones with a star in the center. It is also visible through the windows facing Congress Street in the gift shop.


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