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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Review

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I’m hardly a JFK phile but when I was doing my Boston research I saw a picture of the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and thought I needed to carve sometime out in my schedule to see it. 

I took the Red Line to JFK/Umass on a Sunday afternoon and waited around for the free shuttle to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.  Dead easy and dead quick.  The only harsh thing that day was that it was bleeding cold.  Hey when is it not in Boston in November? 😉

As we were travelling by bus up to the library I remembered that Umass is where Frank Black from the Pixies went to University.  😉  It made me smile.  Passing the Umass campus there were loads of people milling about on that cold Boston afternoon taking photo’s as you do of a world renowned university.

When the bus finally pulled up to the JFK Presidential Library and Museum; the photo’s I had seen on line did nothing for how beautiful of a structure it was in person.  It was glorious.  White, clean lines, beautifully maintained, modern and very emblematic of holding a prestigious political figures loving pieces that adorned his home and family’s life while he was alive.

The striking I.M Pei building lies peacefully on Boston’s waterfront.   Located on Columbia Point, the Library and Museum is set on a ten acre park landscaped with pine trees, shrubs and wild roses reminiscent of the landscape of Cape Cod familiar to President Kennedy.

The Museum has three theaters, period settings, and 25 dramatic multimedia exhibits, and enter the recreated world of the Kennedy Presidency for a “first-hand” experience of John F. Kennedy’s life, legacy, and leadership.

There were a lot of kids milling about on the day.   It was neat to see how energetic and excited they were to see historical pieces from their country’s history. 

Pieces from the permanent exhibits that are worth looking at are The Space Program, The Oval Office, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and The Kennedy Family. 

The special exhibit which was also of interest is ‘In Her Voice: Jacqueline Kennedy, The White House Years’.    Mrs. Kennedy’s 1964 oral history interview which was sealed for 47 years and published in September 2011 is a series of wide-ranging conversations with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., in which Mrs. Kennedy reveals her thoughts and impressions on topics spanning John F. Kennedy’s early campaigns to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The conversations cover Mrs. Kennedy’s impressions of world leaders and events, her role as First Lady, and her life as a wife and mother living inside the White House.   This in itself is worth the $12 admission.

Jackie’s dresses and jewellery were nicely curated and stunning up close.  I spoke to a staff member who stated that the pieces rotated on a regular basis.  So the pieces I saw today wouldn’t be there next month.  I wished I could see all of her Oleg Cassini numbers that afternoon in one shot. 

I found the highlights from the museum’s artefacts collection to be stunning.  Check it out here for a sneak peek:  http://www.jfklibrary.org/Exhibits/Museum-Artifacts.aspx

How do you get there?

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125

(617) 514-1600

Toll free (866) JFK-1960


The Library and Museum is easily accessed by public transportation. Take the MBTA Rapid Transit, Red Line (any red line train) to JFK/UMASS Station. There is a free shuttle bus to the Library every 20 minutes beginning at 8:00 a.m. and running until Museum closing. Please take the buses marked ‘JFK.’

When is it open?

The Museum is open 7 days per week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the exception of New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The last Introductory Film of the day is at 3:55 p.m.

Museum Admission

Adults $12.00, Seniors (62 and over) and Students (with valid college ID) $10.00, Ages 13-17 $9.00, Children 12 and under are free.

Thank you to Rachel Flor for your assistance in helping me put this piece together!

Yours in travel,

Mel xo