Lose yourself in these Boston immersive art experiences

From Monet and Frida to King Tut, there are multi-sensory experiences popping up across the city.

by Megan Hennessey
July 14, 2022

Just a few minutes from the Back Bay station, a castle towers over the street. Inside, you’ll find two of the latest immersive art experiences to come to Boston: Immersive Frida Kahlo, as well as  Immersive Monet and the Impressionists. 

If you think immersive experiences are trendy right now, you would be right. The multi-sensory experiences have been popping up more frequently across the city, from the chocolate-themed extravaganza currently on display in Cambridge to an immersive King Tut exhibit coming to the city in July. No matter which exhibit you choose, you’ll get a feast for the eyes. 

Immersive Monet

The Immersive Monet exhibit welcomes you as soon as you step inside with a backdrop of Monet’s lily pads. Several ticket packages exist, from your basic entrance to a VIP one that offers a promotional poster and a seat cushion. Some brief curatorial notes are presented right before you step into the exhibit space and while they provide some contextual information about the Impressionist movement, they’re not the focus. 

The space where the exhibit lives feels massive; there’s plenty of space for attendees to sit. Floor-to-ceiling screens feature pieces of famous works while classical music plays. Given the open layout and how easily sound can travel, conversations seem to fade away. The experience is surprisingly meditative; it’s easy to get lost in the classical music as the vibrant colors draw you in. (And yes, they do look great on Instagram). Attendees who don’t know the specific works of art featured can still enjoy their beauty, while those that do can appreciate the Easter-egg-like feeling of spotting a hidden gem. While attendees are welcome to stay as long as they like, the constant stimulation can be a bit much after about forty minutes. The exhibit offers a welcome reprieve in the afternoon from the heat. Shows run from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. You can find information about the exhibits, including dates and times at https://www.immersivemonet.com/boston/ 

The Boston Museum of Science

The Boston Museum of Science’s Planetarium Music Experiences have been a staple of the museum long before the immersive experience trend hit the city. Tucked in the back of the first floor of the Museum of Science, the Charles Hayden Planetarium offers an interactive music show with contemporary music from artists like Beyonce, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and Fleetwood Mac. While you wait for the doors to open, you can learn about the different planets in our solar system. 

The Fleetwood Mac show starts at 5:30 p.m., just after the museum closes. (Note for those visiting: you’ll need to purchase this ticket separately from your general science museum pass. Why not make an afternoon at the museum?) Despite the fact the planetarium has a large, curved ceiling, the space feels surprisingly cozy. The seats tilt back to let you look up at the ceiling comfortably. When the show starts, bold colors splash onto the screen as well as some science-y themed images. For music lovers who have a hard time with heavy bass, try sitting toward the edges of the planetarium to avoid sensory overload. Classics like “Rhiannon” and “You Make Loving Fun” play as the screen fills your vision. Similar to the Monet Experience, it calms you. The show lasts about 40 minutes. For show times and dates, you can head to the Boston Museum of Science page

Dino Safari & The Dunster Club

Music not your thing? There are a handful of immersive experiences to choose from. Check out Dino Safari in Faneuil Hall, an interactive experience featuring Jurassic-Park size dinosaurs. Reviews on the company’s Facebook page note that this is the perfect exhibit for young children and that it takes about an hour to peruse. And once you’re done, you have plenty of things you can do with the rest of your day! Or, head over to Harvard Square to travel back to 1943 for The Dunster Club. Sip cocktails and chat with actors as you rally for the Allied Forces. 

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Megan is a freelance writer and editor who has loved exploring Boston since she first moved here. When she's not seeing punk shows, you can find her hunting for antique furniture. Come say hi on Twitter at @HegMennessey or on her website, meganhennesseywrites.com

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