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 13 - August 24th
10 AM - 12 PM

*except July 4th

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 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 11 - August 20
2 PM - 4 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 27, July 18, August 1, 15
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 19 - August 14

Members: $60
Non-members: $75

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

Family Workshops

Family Sailors’ Valentines Call to Register

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. Reservations necessary. Call to register – 508.228.2896.

Reservations necessary, limited to 8 total participants. Cost is based on an adult/child pair. Children must be aged 5 years or older.

Pre-registration required by calling 508.228.2896

Monday, June 25, 10-11:30AM
Monday, July 23, 10-11:30AM

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

Meet at Science Library Courtyard, 2 Vestal Street, behind Hinchman House Natural Science Museum.

Build Your Own Insect Collection

Learn about insects, “bugs”, and other creepy-crawlies through making your own curated and preserved collection to take home. Insects are the most abundant group of animals on the planet and provide unique opportunities to study the world around you! In this program visiting scientist Brandon Quinby will teach you all the tools necessary to start creating your own collections at home, while giving you hands on experience with these beautiful but often misunderstood animals.

Ages 8+. Please register the child only. At least one adult must accompany a child. Unsupervised children will not be allowed to participate.

Pre-registration required call 508-228-9198 to sign up.

Thursday June 14th & Tuesday June 19th

Members: $20
Non-members: $35

Limited to 10 children

Create Upcycled Whale Sculptures with Cindy Pease Roe Register

Create visually stimulating whale sculptures with artist Cindy Pease Roe. Cindy has combined her passion for art with her passion for protecting marine life, by creating beautiful whale sculptures. Cindy garners the interest of school-aged children, art lovers, and activists alike by collecting plastic flotsam that she finds along the shoreline and transforming it into beautiful whales that you will love to display in your home. No experience necessary, just a willingness to experiment, design, and have a great time.

If you are a member of the Artist Association of Nantucket please enter the following discount code to receive the member price. AANMember2018

Wednesday, August 15
9:30 AM-11:30 AM
33 Washington Street

Members: Adult $85, Child $75

Non-Members: Adult $100, Child $90

For ages 6 and up, and children must be accompanied by an adult

"A Passion for Birds" with Henry Lappen Register

“A Passion for Birds” is a performance that encourages audience participation as performance artist and naturalist Henry Lappen uses masks and comedy to explore how and why birds have adapted to their environment, and why they look and act the way they do. Participants don masks and soar as Eagles, stalk as Herons, and swim as Puffins. Henry Lappen has been preforming comedy for over thirty years. He has been an avid student of nature since childhood. In this show, he combines his love and knowledge of birds, with his comic timing, and artistry in mask making and preforming.

Tuesday, July 10
2pm - 3pm
Nantucket Boys and Girls Club

Thursday, July 12
5pm - 6pm
First Congregational Church
62 N. Centre Street

Members: $10
Non-members: $15

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 11th - August 29th
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 12* - August 9

Members: $15
Non-members: $30

July 12 - FREE Members Only event

Mitchell House at Night Call to Register

Ever wonder what it’s like to be in the Mitchell House at night as the shadows grow longer and the house becomes darker and darker and darker? Come for a little behind-the-scenes-tour where we will tell you spooky ghost stories and if it’s clear, take a look through some telescopes!

Price based on an adult/child pair. Pre-registration required by calling 508.228.2896

Wednesday, August 8
8PM - 9PM

$25 Member Pair
$35 Non-Member pair
Additional child $10/child

Limited to 10 participants.

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 Danielle O’Dell, NCF’s Ecologist/Field Supervisor. Experience first-hand how Danielle 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 22
7 pm - 8:30 pm
or stay later with NCF if you wish!

Members: $25
Non-members: $40

Check the calendar for upcoming programming.