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Free Fun Friday

Friday, August 23, 2019 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Free and open to the public

Free Fun Friday

Sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation

We are pleased to once again open the Athenæum's first floor for Free Fun Friday. The day's free activities for children and adults will include quiet reading spaces, programs that highlight the Athenæum's history and collections, and stories and crafts for our youngest visitors.

Note: All visitors must check bags and backpacks upon arrival. Free self-service lockers are available in the vestibule.


Ongoing Activities

Curl Up with a Book - Anywhere on the first floor

Make Your Own Miniature Book - Gordon Newspaper Reading Room

Write Spine Poetry - Gordon Newspaper Reading Room

Sketching - Bow Room

Color the Collections - Children's Library


Scheduled Activities


Reading Recommendations (Bornheimer Room)

Chat with Athenæum staff and volunteers for book recommendations for summer reading

9 to 10 am      Boston Athenæum Docent and Reading Group Moderator Clive Martin

10 to 11 am     Grants and Annual Fund Associate Rachel Wentworth


Collections Conversations (Throughout the first floor)

Join Boston Athenæum staff and docents for 10 to 15-minute discussions of items in the Athenæum’s special collections.

10 am    Rare Materials Catalog Librarian Kaelin Rasmussen - Long Room

11 am     Rare Materials Catalog Librarian Graham Skinner - Sitting Room

12 pm    Boston Athenæum Docent Clive Martin - Vestibule

1 pm      Rare Materials Catalog Librarian Dan Axmacher - Long Room

2 pm      Manager of Events Elsa Fogg Vernon - Long Room

3 pm      Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture Theo Tyson - Long Room

4 pm      Curator of Rare Books and Head of Special Collections John Buchtel - Sitting Room


Story Time (Long Room) - 10:30 am | 11:30 am | 2:30 pm |3:30 pm

Children and Young Adult Services Librarian Dani Crickman and Security Officer Sostheng Kituyi lead a rousing telling of Pete the Cat and The Enormous Turnip accompanied by Member and Visitor  Services Coordinator Libby Miserendino on the piano.


Record Your Story (Children’s Library) - 1 to 3 pm

Visit the Children's Library to share and record your own stories with a Story Ambassador from Everyday Boston.

Everyday Boston is a grassroots, community-building organization that is working to break down the stereotypes that keep Bostonians separate, primarily through the sharing of stories.


Poems to Order (Bow Room) - 2 to 4 pm

Traveling Poetry Emporium Poet GennaRose Nethercott will compose an original poem for you on a topic of your choosing on her manual 1952 Hermes typewriter. She'll read your poem aloud to you and then give you the typed poem to keep.


Assistive Listening Devices image

The BA's virtual events are not routinely captioned. To request real-time captions for this event, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 no fewer than four business days prior to the event.