2014 Programs

2014 Free Fun Fridays

Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Fun Friday at the Emily Dickinson Museum

sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation

Join us for Free Fun Friday at the Emily Dickinson Museum on Friday, August 22! Sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation, this annual summer program opens doors at no cost to visitors at many of the most treasured cultural venues in Massachusetts. This year, 67 museums and cultural venues are participating. Read on for tips on how to make your Free Fun Friday at the Emily Dickinson Museum the most fun possible!


On Free Fun Friday, the Emily Dickinson Museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

What to Expect during Your Visit


The Emily Dickinson Museum consists of  3 acres, 2 historic houses—the Homestead, where the poet was born and lived most of her life, and The Evergreens, the home of the poet’s brother—and the story of 1 exceptional poet!  To learn more about our museum, click here.


From 10 am to 5 pm you can enjoy self-guided tours of the Homestead and The Evergreens. Museum guides will be on hand to answer questions.  A scavenger hunt is available for children up to age 12 from 10 am to 3 pm.  (Due to the volume of visitors expected, we will continue self-guided tours all day and not offer guided tours as previously announced--update 8/20/14)

Inside the Museum buildings, please note the following:

· Photography and video recordings are not permitted inside museum buildings.

· Use of computer equipment and cellular telephones are not permitted when visitors are on a guided house tour.

· Food and beverages are not permitted inside museum buildings. Visitors will be asked to leave any food and beverages they have outside the museum building before entering.

· For the safety of museum collections, visitors are not permitted to touch museum objects.

· We’re delighted to welcome visitors of all ages!  Please children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult when entering the museum houses.   Baby strollers and back carriers are welcome on the grounds but must be left outside when entering museum houses.


For Free Fun Friday, a festive tent will host Dickinson-related crafts. Make a fascicle (a booklet Dickinson used for recording her poems) and do collage art with Dickinson words and images!  Create your herbarium page with a pressed firm, in the spirit of Emily Dickinson's love of plantes. Have your picture taken with “magnetic Emily” (you must supply your own photo-making device).

"Grounds of Memory," the museum’s self-guided audio tour of the grounds, will also be available all day.  Wands are available on a first-come, first-served basis under the activity tent.  (Grounds tour is also available as a cell-phone tour.) You are also welcome to visit the Dickinson gardens, this year featuring vegetables grown by the Dickinson family.


The day will also include special programs. Museum guides will read and talk about their favorite Dickinson poems during readings at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. Guided architecture walks, exploring the history of the Homestead and Evergreens, will be offered at 10:30 am and 2 pm. At 11 am, author Burleigh Muten will read from her new children’s books, Miss Emily. At 1 pm, Jane Wald, executive director, will talk about current archaeology projects. All programs are free.


The Museum also has a gift shop with wonderful Dickinson-related books and other items appropriate for all shoppers.  On Free Fun Friday, in addition to our regular merchandise, we will feature special items in a “sidewalk sale.”


Directions to the Museum from Interstate 91 and the Boston area are available here.

Parking is available in several locations. Amherst College’s Alumni Parking lot (see map) will offer free parking for the day as well as the side streets near the Museum.  Look for “Free Fun Friday” parking signs to direct you to the Alumni Lot from Main Street. Metered parking is in effect on Main Street, in front of the Museum. Accessible parking spaces are available; the crossing guard will provide access to the driveway. All other vehicles must park in the locations described above.


Although the Museum does not have formal picnic facilities, visitors are welcome to enjoy food and drink on the grounds.  Food and drink are not permitted inside either the Homestead or The Evergreens.  The Museum does not have a food service facilities, but bottled water will be available for purchase.  The Museum is within easy walking distance of many dining establishments in the center of Amherst.

Lost and Found
Lost and Found will be located at the Tour Center desk. Please see attendant if you have lost something during your visit.

The Tour Center and first floors of the Homestead and The Evergreens are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges. Because of the historic nature of the two Dickinson houses, neither house includes an elevator to the second floor. Visitors who are unable to use stairs are provided with illustrated notebooks that describe the exhibits upstairs in each house, and guides and other staff are available to answer questions about the content of those notebooks.

Due to the wealth of original materials at The Evergreens, visitors with respiratory difficulties may be sensitive to the air quality in the house.  The recent addition of air-conditioning has improved air quality.

Service dogs are welcome throughout the property, including both historic houses.


If you have questions about your upcoming visit to the Emily Dickinson Museum, please e-mail edmprograms@emilydickinsonsmuseum.org.

For more information about Free Fun Fridays, visit http://www.highlandstreet.org/.