Thanks to a generous grant from the Free Fun Friday Initiative, all of The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association’s (MMA) facilities will be open to the public for free this Friday, July 20
At the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium at 28 Washington Street, visitors can observe and learn about local fish, crabs, and the rare blue and orange lobsters. The Natural Science Museum at 7 Milk Street is home to live animals such as turtles, snakes, and a tortoise and provides insight into the natural history and unique ecosystems of Nantucket Island. The Mitchell House, 1 Vestal Street, where Maria Mitchell was born and raised as a member of a Quaker family in the 19th century, provides visitors with an understanding of how Maria Mitchell’s family lived and how Mitchell became the fiercely independent and educated woman that she was at a time when that was unusual in most of America. The Vestal Street Observatory at 3 Vestal will offer its 2pm-only tour free on this Free Fun Friday. And if it is a clear night on Friday, people can look through the research-grade telescopes to observe the night sky at the Loines Observatory at 59 Milk Street Extension.
Maria Mitchell properties are always free for members but are $10 for a property pass and $10 for Open Nights at Loines Observatory. David Gagnon, the Executive Director of the Maria Mitchell Association said that “On July 20, you can experience, learn, discover, and ignite a passion for science and history as you visit the Maria Mitchell Association’s facilities for free. Free Fun Fridays provides an awesome way to experience the science, education, and fun that the MMA has to offer.”
The Free Fun Friday Program was created by the Highland Street Foundation to increase access and enrichment programs to children in Massachusetts. All of the venues offer free admission to everyone. The program started in 2009 and since then, more than 900,000 visitors have visited the participating venues as part of the Free Fun Friday initiative.