deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA
Hours:Sculpture park: dawn to dusk daily; museum: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
Fee: When the museum is closed: free; when the museum is open: adults, $12; children ages 6–12, $8; children under age 5, free.
Contact:; 781-259-8355

Bathrooms: At the museum store (by the parking lot) and at the museum
Water/Snacks: Water fountain in the museum; vending machine in the museum shop

USGS Concord

At deCordova’s outdoor sculpture park, kids will love to explore the modern artworks, some of which they can touch or even climb on.

Kids can interact with the art at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is a fantastic place to start your kids on the road to appreciating art, in a setting that allows outside voices and (for the most part) hands-on exploration.

Set amid 35 acres of woodlands and lawns, it is the largest park of its kind in New England. Large-scale artworks include modern and contemporary sculpture and site-specific installations, some permanent and some that rotate through. Children can roam around to discover artworks hidden beneath tree branches or use sticks to make sounds on the Musical Fence. Picnicking on the grounds is a lot of fun if you settle close to some artwork that can spark conversation. If you feel like taking a longer walk or want a more secluded picnic spot, you can gain access to trails from the museum to neighboring Sandy Pond, which is Lincoln Conservation Land. The pond is a drinkingwater reservoir.

Throughout the year, the museum offers several outdoor programs, including snowshoe tours, yoga sessions, birding tours, curator and artist conversations, and screenings. If you don’t want to spend all your time outside, head indoors for the rotating exhibits of contemporary art. Truly a museum that thinks about future artists, deCordova is the only contemporary art museum in the United States that hosts a preschool.

Remember: Make sure you read signs located near the artworks before your kids get to them; some should not be touched. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after it.

Plan B:

Nearby Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary (Trip 36) is a picture-perfect farm, with animals galore and several trails to hike.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A café is in the museum, or you can head into Lincoln (go back to Sandy Pond Road and turn right on Lincoln Road) to find pizza places and bistros.



By: Libby Stockwell Deegear
Posted: 03/24/2014 18:11
Report this »

By: mommypth
Posted: 05/31/2012 12:30

This is a gerat place for kids young and old- any time of year. The outdoor gardens are very engaging- kids can run around- investigate and enjoy the sculptures. We went with 4 families- 8 toddlers and everyone had a great time. The museum itsself has many interactive exhibits and there are educational packets if you want to take advantage of it. We had a picnic inside the cafateria. THey were fine with us brining our own food and of course we tried the wonderful desserts.

Report this »

By: FossT
Posted: 05/15/2012 13:27

This is a fun place for kids and adults. We visit at least once a year. I think its particularly nice in the fall. Its free if you get there before the Museum opens (10 AM).  The museum also offers excellent art classes for kids and adults.

Report this »

Get outdoor tips & trips
Yes, I want to receive expert advice on getting my family outside!



Blackstone River Bikeway »
rail trail, river views, historic sites
Blackstone River State Park. RI

Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge: A Winter Hike with the Kids »
one-mile loop, ocean views
321 Port Road Wells, Maine,

Splash and Explore Beaver Brook Reservation »
Tons of outdoor exploration opportunities!
Mill Street, Belmont and Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham

Castle Island and Pleasure Bay »
Fort Independence, beaches, views
William J. Day Boulevard, South Boston, MA


Nut Island »
Great views of the bay, other islands, and downtown Boston
Island Ave, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, Quincy, MA 02169

Lyman Estate and Gardens »
Historic house, gardens, flowers
185 Lyman Street Waltham, Mass. 02452

Callahan State Park »
Eagle Pond, Gibbs Mountain
Milwood Street, Framingham MA

© 2017 Appalachian Mountain Club | 5 Joy Street, Boston, MA, 02108
About | Privacy Policy | Contact Us