From Williamstown to Mashpee, your EBT card can get you into some truly wonderful places! Keep reading to find out how you can get free/reduced admission to the zoo, science museum and so much more!
The Discovery Museums – $1 per person, up to 6 people
With the new Discovery Woods feature opening next month, you’re not going to want to miss this! Pay just $1 per person for up to 6 people. The Discover Museums include The Children’s Discovery Museum and The Science Discovery Museum. For more information, please click here.
Beverly Historical Society – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Since 1891, the Beverly Historical Society has been collecting objects, documents and more to preserve the history of Massachusetts’ North Shore. With nearly a million objects and three historic properties, the Society invites everyone to explore and experience Beverly’s rich history.
Boston Children’s Museum – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Thanks to a generous sponsorship by Highland Street Foundation, Boston Children’s Museum invites EBT cardholders to pay just $2 per person for admission! You will also need to provide a photo ID.
If $2 per person is still more than you can afford, you can get $1 admission on Fridays between 5pm and 9pm. New England K-8 teachers and military personnel are always free.
Participating libraries may also have discount coupons available.
Franklin Park Zoo – $2 per person, up to 5 people
Present your Massachusetts EBT card to receive the discounted rate. This excellent offer is only valid for MA residents!
Institute of Contemporary Art – FREE for 1 person
The ICA hosts a variety of modern art exhibitions, including music, dance, film, tours and teen programming.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – $2 per person, up to 4 people (visitors under 18 are always free)
A rich, historic art collection awaits inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The collection includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, drawings, manuscripts, rare books, letters and photographs. Items from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, the Islamic world and so much more are viewable here.
This location is also a Blue Star Museum… and if your name is Isabella, you can register for free lifetime admission!
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum – $4 per person, up to 4 people (12 and under free)
Explore the exhibits, materials, free educational programs, performing arts series and more at the JFK Presidential Library. For more information, please click here.
Museum of Fine Arts – $3 per person, up to 4 adults (visitors under 18 are always free!)
This location is also a Blue Star Museum.
Museum of Science – Free for up to 4 people
Explore the world of science and technology absolutely free at Boston’s Museum of Science. With constantly evolving exhibits and programs, the museum features a butterfly garden, summer courses, live presentations and so much more.
USS Constitution Museum – FREE
The USS Constitution Museum is operated separately than the actual USS Constitution ship. In the museum, you can engage with hands-on exhibits to discover what it’s like to be a sailor. Donations are encouraged but not required.
Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River – up to $3 per person
Children love the fun, hands-on exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River! Exhibits include World of Water, LEGO Room, Education Station, Violet’s Music Room, Dino Dig, Circle Room, All About Colors, Transportation Room and more!
As a Museums for All partner, the museum may charge up to $3 per person. I have sent an email requestnig the exact price and I will update this post when I receive a reply.
Children’s Museum of Holyoke – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Climb, play and explore at the Children’s Museum of Holyoke. Parents and children are encouraged to play together as they explore the Curvy Climber, Curvy Crawler, Water Table, Vet Clinic, Frozen Shadow Room, Imagination Playground and so much more.
Cape Cod Children’s Museum – $2 per person, up to 4 people
The Cape Cod Children’s Museum welcomes EBT cardholders to explore their castle, diner, post office, tree house, pirate ship, gravity wall, and so much more for just $2 per person.
Visitors with Military IDs are always free.
Children’s Museum of Easton – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Children up to age 8 will love the Children’s Museum of Easton! Located in the Old Fire Station, the museum provides three floors of engaging ahnds-on experiences and interactive exhibits for kids.
Berkshire Museum – FREE for 2 adults and 2 children
Two adults and two children can receive free admission with an EBT card and photo ID. This discount only applies during regular hours and cannot be used for special events. The TD Charitable Foundation sponsors this program.
You can also get a free pass for two adults and two children from the local library!
Peabody Essex Museum – FREE for 2 adults (kids always free)
Save up to $40 on your trip to Peabody Essex Museum! Admission is typically $20 each, but two adults can be admitted free with an EBT card. You can see the museum’s current offerings online here.
This is also a Blue Star Museum.
Heritage Museums & Gardens – FREE (up to four people)
Explore 100 acres of family fun at the Heritage Museums & Gardens! Three galleries and expansive gardens are available for your viewing pleasure. You’ll find a vintage carousel that still runs, a collection of American Folk Art, classic automobiles and many travelling exhibits.
Norman Rockwell Museum – FREE
In 1973, artist Norman Rockwell gave his entire personal collection to the museum so that it could be preserved. The 367 pieces of art include large-scale oil paintings such as Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas, the Marriage License and more.
Current exhibitions (as of January 2017) include Saturday Evening Post covers, Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays and Hanna Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning.
Up to four people may receive free admission with an EBT card.
Stone Zoo – $2 per person, up to 5 people
This smaller zoo is only 26 acres but it’s packed with fun! For just $3 extra per person, you can also take a ride on the Children’s Train!
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute – FREE!
The Clark has a generous FREE admission policy for EBT cardholders. Kids (under 18 years) and students with ID are always free.
EcoTarium – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Explore the animals and the exciting EcoTarium exhibits for just $2 per person! Admission must be paid in cash, as checks and credit cards are not allowed under this program.
If you hurry, the EcoTarium is offering free Explorer Express Train rides (usually $3 per person for the scenic 1.5 mile loop) until the end of June 2016!
Museum of Russian Icons – $2 per person, up to 4 people
More than 1,000 Russian icons and artifacts are on display here, making this the largest collection of its kind on our continent. View 600 years of history, including important paintings and more.
A complimentary audio tour is included in admission, if you would like to use it. Visitors who are under age 3 are always free.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden – $2 per person, up to 4 people
Wander 16 gardens over 130 acres at the headquarters of the Worcester County Horticultural Society (WCHS). It is the third oldest horticultural society in the United States.
Children under age 6 are always free.
Worcester Art Museum – $2 per person, up to 4 people
The art museum features an extensive collection, classes for all ages and special exhibitions. Children under 3 are free.
Please note that the EBT rate must be paid in cash.
Worcester Historical Museum – $2 per person, up to 4 people (kids under age 18 are always free)
The historical museum features a gallery, artifacts and a rotating display of special exhibits, such as “Take a Bite Out of History.” View their current offerings by clicking here. Nearby Salisbury Mansion is also a part of the museum and is Worcester’s only historic house museum.
There is limited free parking available near the Salisbury Mansion and on Chestnut Street (behind the museum).
NEW: Healthy Incentives Program
Until March 31, 2020, Massachusetts EBT shoppers can earn additional benefits by purchasing food from local Farmer’s Markets and CSA programs!!! The earnings are capped by household size, so a family of 1-2 can earn $40, a family of 3-5 can earn $60 and a family of 6+ can earn $80!
During this time, food stamps recipients will receive a dollar-for-dollar match credited to their EBT card for eligible purchases from Farmers Markets, farm stands, mobile markets and community supported agriculture programs. The funds can only be earned with purchases from participating locations and using special terminals that have been programmed to process this benefit. Search for participating locations by clicking here!
Basically, it works like this:
But that’s not all!!!
Several of our visitors have pointed out that EBT cards have even more uses, too! Check out these interesting statewide benefits.
- Starbucks! EBT can be used at Starbucks locations that are located inside a grocery store (such as Target or Safeway).
- Organic delivery services run by community-supported agriculture programs may also accept EBT. I know that Red Fire Farms accepts EBT. There is also more information in this news release.
- Costco also accepts EBT benefits.
You can also use your EBT benefits to buy these items:
- Seeds! EBT cards can buy fruit trees and vegetable seeds for gardening.
- Hot deli food that has been packaged and placed in the refrigerated section for easy reheating..
- Energy Drinks! If the drink has a nutrition facts label, it’s considered a food item. Drinks with a “supplement facts” label are not eligible because the FDA considers them supplements, not food.
- Live lobsters and other shellfish that you will eat.
- Pumpkins that are edible and not just ornamental.
- Birthday and other specially decorated cakes as long as the non-edible decorations do not exceed 50% of the purchase price of the cake.
- Gift baskets! Your EBT benefits can even help you purchase gifts for holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas (including pre-filled holiday stockings and tins) as long as the food value exceeds the non-food value. For example, the federal SNAP website indicates that a stuffed holiday bear holding a small box of chocolate would NOT be eligible because the value of the bear exceeds the value of the food. However, a gift basket with snack foods or candy and a small toy would be eligible because the food clearly accounts for more than 50% of the purchase price.
You can also use these two sites to find stores that accept EBT benefits: