Family Programs

Adventures in Nature

Marine Ecology Field Trips Register

What sea creatures live in Nantucket Harbor?  Find out as you help collect, identify and release fish, crabs, shrimp, and other marine life!  The Harbor is filled with interesting animals that will amaze you in their shapes, colors, and habits. At least one adult must sign up with children.  This program is designed to be interesting for all ages!

Perfect for budding scientists and marine biologist!  See a summary of the data.

Participants must have their own vehicle for this program. 

This program takes place at local beaches.  We meet in the Chicken Box parking lot at 16 Dave Street

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays
June 12 - August 28th
10 AM - 12 PM

*except July 4th and August 1st

Members: $15
Non-members: $30

Beach Discovery Field Trips Register

Go from interested beach visitor to expert beach comber!  Join us to learn how to identify the crabs, shells, sponges, and seaweeds commonly found along the beach.  Learn about the lives of these animals and their challenging environment as we walk along one of Nantucket’s beautiful beaches. At least one adult must sign up with children.  This program is designed to be interesting for all ages!

This program meets in front of the ‘Sconset Market. Program Information Page – directions, what to bring, what to expect. Participants must have their own vehicle for this program. 

June 17, 2019 - August 19
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Members: $15
Non-members: $30

Night Marine Ecology Field Trip Register

Nantucket Harbor teems with marine life at night that is not visible in the day. Join our Aquarium staff to learn about the fish, squid, crabs, and more that come out to feed at night in the shallow water. Meet at the MMA Aquarium, 28 Washington Street. At least one adult must sign up with children.  This program is designed to be interesting for all ages!

Program Information Page – Directions, what to bring, what to expect

June 19, July 3, 17, August 21
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Members: $15
Non-members: $30

Family Snorkeling Register

Come join us at Jetties Beach as we experience the beautiful marine life of Nantucket Island! Our guides will teach you proper snorkeling techniques and will point out any local marine life you come across including horseshoe crabs, pipe fish, puffer fish, moon snails, American eels, flounder and more! Swimming experience is recommended. All equipment is included.

All children must at least 10 years old and accompanied by an adult.

2:30 - 4 PM
June 25 - August 13

Members: $65
Non-members: $80

Younger children may be allowed based on swimming skill. Please call 508-228-9198 or email

Family Workshops

SubZero Science Register

Science is -321 degrees COOL! SubZero Nitrogen Ice Cream from Nashua, NH will demonstrate the science of liquid nitrogen and how it creates the freshest, smoothest, creamiest ice cream on the planet.  Experience this delicious science for yourself!  this presentation will be held at 33 Washington Street.  There is no parking onsite but, it is located adjacent to the Town parking lot.

Monday, July 15
12pm - 1pm

Members: $ 20
Non-members: $25

Family Sailors’ Valentines

A great time for you and your child to learn and create together!  Join the curator of the Mitchell House and create your own version of a sailors’ valentine by decorating a small Shaker-style box or picture frame – something to be enjoyed for years to come.  We provide all of the supplies – you bring your imagination and creativity!  Adult must remain with child for entire program.  Pre-registration necessary.  Limited to 8 total participants

Pre-registration required by calling 508.228.2896

Monday, June 24, 10-11:30AM
Monday, July 22, 10-11:30AM

Member $40 adult/child pair;
Non-Member $55 adult/child pair;
$10 for each additional child.

Storytime with the Mitchells

Join the curator of the Mitchell House as we read a story about Maria or the time in which she lived, take a brief look back in time at the Mitchell House, and then create a craft related to Maria Mitchell.  A great introduction to museums and history for your young one.

For Ages 3-5

Must be accompanied for entire program by an adult caregiver

July 2 and 16 and August 13 and 20

Parent/grandparent/caregiver and child
$10 Member /$15 Non-Member
Pre-registration necessary. Register by calling 508.228.2896
1 Vestal Street

Microscope Mayhem Register

Learn about microscopes in the Research Center! Learn to focus, create slides, and explore the tiny world around you! If you’re curious about the hidden microscopic world, this is a great introduction! You are welcome to bring something to examine under the microscope! Pre-registration required. Limited to 12. At least one adult must sign up with children.  This program is designed to be interesting for all ages!

June 27 -August 22
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
except July 4 and August 1

Members: $10
Non-members: $15

Biological Collections Open Hours Free

The MMA Biological Collections and the Edith F. Andrews Ornithology Collection are an important resource for scientists and visitors alike. Come to this free drop-in program at the new Research Center at 2 Vestal Street. During your time at the Open Hours you will learn about the collections, why collections are so important to science, and examine different specimens during each session. From specimens of birds to mammals, from insects to plants, you never know what will be on display! Learn and ask questions from knowledgeable MMA staff. Donation suggested.

1 PM - 5 PM

Members: Free
Non-members: Free

Evening Programs

Open Nights at Loines Observatory No Registration

Join our professional astronomers for an impressive tour of Nantucket’s night sky. Our staff will assist and answer questions while you view the universe through up to three different telescopes. Get a chance to view the planets, bright stars, nebulae, and even objects outside of our own galaxy! And don’t forget to join us for a constellation tour outside! Programs take place at 59 Milk Street Extension and are weather permitting.

Mondays and Wednesdays
June 10th - August 28th
9:00pm - 10:30 pm

Non-members $10
Members Free

If in doubt about the weather, please call 508-257-1117

No registration required.

Stars & Senses Night Hike Register

Join Kim Botelho, Director of Education, for an evening hike under the stars.  During the walk you will participate in a color vision activity, learn how our eyes adjust to the dark, listen for nocturnal animals, take a solo journey if you dare, and enjoy a minty snack while learning about bioluminescence.  At the end of the walk, sit back and relax while you hear stories of summer constellations.  Pre-registration required.

Appropriate for ages 8 and up.

Location: State Forest, meet at state forest parking lot on Lover’s Lane

9-10 PM
July 18 - August 22

Members: $15
Non-members: $30

All About Bats Register

The MMA and the Nantucket Conservation Foundation (NCF) join forces for an evening of education, outdoor adventure, and environmental conservation in action.  Join Kim Botelho, Director of Education, for an indoor presentation about bats, and especially those found on Nantucket at our Natural Science Museum.  Afterwards, we will head out to the field to meet Libby Buck, NCF’s Ecological Steward
& Research Technician.  Experience first-hand how NCF studies bats using mist nets and learn about her fascinating research, issues plaguing bat populations, and how you can assist with citizen science efforts.  Just by participating, you will be helping.  Half of your registration fee will go to NCF to support bat research.  Although, we can’t promise bats will be in the mist nets, we can promise an experience you will not soon forget. The MMA van will be available if anyone wants transportation to the field site. 

Appropriate for ages 8 and up

We will plan a rain date for Sunday, September 23, and if both evenings have inclement weather, we will proceed with an all indoor program on the 23rd at the museum.

September 21
7 pm - 8:30 pm
or stay later with NCF if you wish!

Members: $25
Non-members: $40

Nantucket’s Fungal Foray with mycologist Lawrence Millman

This spring foray will take place in Nantucket’s fungal hot spot, Squam Swamp, from 1 to 3:30 pm on Sunday, April 28.  We’ll find very few mushroom-shaped mushrooms.  After all, they tend to fruit later in the year.  But we will find lots of fungi, many on logs, many under logs, and a few in moss.   Some might even be new to Nantucket or at least undocumented by foray leader mycologist Lawrence Millman during his numerous visits to the island.

Meet at 2 Vestal Street at 12:45 PM. Advance registration is not required.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

$10 suggested donation

Transportation not provided. Carpooling may be an option.

Call ahead if you need a ride and ask for Shelley Dresser. 508-228-9198.

Carve and Race a Small Pond Boat With Mark Sutherland Register

Ready set get go!  Learn how to build your very own small pond sailboat. Carve, and assemble your boat and then paint it with your favorite colors and designs.  The last day we will have a regatta and race your boat!  How do you design a winning boat?  Learn the science behind boat design. This program is Co-sponsored by the Maria Mitchell Association and Nantucket Historical Association. This class is also made possible by Ned And Merrilou Symns.

Mark Sutherland began building ship models at age eleven and began his professional career on Nantucket with commissions for models in bone and repair work. His work can be found in several shops on Nantucket and his ship model the “Charles Morgan” hangs outside Zero Main Street, Nantucket.


Monday, August 12th – Thursday, August 15st 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Members: $ $225 Materials $50

Non-members: $250 Materials $50

Ages 10 & up

Maximum class size: 6

Check the calendar for upcoming programming.