Blue Hills Observatory & Science Center
Other Ideas: Harvard Museum of Natural History; Charles Hayden Planetarium; MIT Museum; South Shore Natural Science Center; Russell Museum of Medical History & Innovation at MGH
The Observatory was founded in 1885 by Abbott Lawrence Rotch as a private scientific center for the study and measurement of the atmosphere, and it was the site of many pioneering weather experiments and discoveries.
The earliest kite soundings of the atmosphere in North America in the 1890s and the development of the radiosonde in the 1930s occurred at this historic site. Today, the Observatory is a National Historic Landmark and remains committed to continuing its extensive, uninterrupted climate record with traditional methods and instruments.
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The recently established Science Center expands this mission by enhancing public understanding of atmospheric science.
SAT: Year-Round, 10AM-4PM
SUN: February-December, 10AM-4PM; January, by Appointment
Federal Holidays and Patriotís Day: 10AM-4PM
Guided tours $4 for adults and $2 for school-age children (5 to 17).
1904 Canton Avenue; Summit of Great Blue, Milton, MA, 02186 map
The Blue Hill Observatory is located appx 10 miles south of Metro Boston. If you are coming from the North, you may take either I-95 south, circling Boston, or 1-93 south through the city, arriving at Route 138. They are about 1.5 miles north of the exit on 138 (Washington St.).
Look for the Ski area, signs for the 'Trailside Museum', or any of the hiking trails to the summit of the Great Blue Hill. An access road going to the summit (not open to traffic) is located just north of the Trailside Museum parking lot.
The summit of Great Blue Hill can be reached by hiking or biking from the Trailside Museum and Blue Hill Ski Area parking lots on Route 138.
- Come learn about meteorology, weather instruments, the history of the Observatory, or just to enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the tower!
- There is limited driving access to the Service Road for handicapped, elderly and others who need it. Strollers can easily be pushed all the way from the base near the North parking lot on this paved road. Bicycles are allowed but be cautious of the decent. Please call or E-mail to get details and permission to drive on the road.
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