Boston's museums after dark

Night at the museums - After dark, extended hours gives area institutions a touch of magic

Related to Harvard's suggestion for art and cultural buildings in Allston, this story is about what other museums in Boston do in the evenings to help make Boston a fun and interesting city.

The MFA is open late on Wednesdays, for free, and on Thursdays and Fridays at regular price. The museum's most popular night is the first Friday of each month, when it holds parties for young professional types. The new Institute of Contemporary Art also has a free night, on Thursdays, and the Museum of Science offers special programs and gourmet dishes on Friday nights. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum keeps its doors open late for special concerts, like the Feb. 16 "Composer Portraits" program featuring pieces by Conlon Nancarrow.

(The Museum of Fine Arts is open until 9:45 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (free after 4 on Wednesdays). The Museum of Science, including its observatory (weather permitting) is open Fridays until 10 p.m.; its Science Street Cafe is open from 6 to 10 p.m.. The ICA is open Thursdays until 9 p.m. for free.)

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