This morning, reading my morning social media feed provided a moment of serendipity. One of the posts reminded me that it was International Museum Day. Just recently, after assigning my writer’s circle students to write on a the events of a specific day in history, one completed the work for the date of May 18th, informitng me of International Museum Day. It was the first I’d heard of this designation and now, it had popped up again, only a couple of weeks later!
I’ve been fornuate to have been able to visit some wonderful museums. My travels include several international museums as well some closer to home. I think my fascination with museums stems from an 8th grade field trip to the Toronto Science Center. The other attractant that draws me to museums is that I love information!
Some of the museums recommended to visit in the United States are the following:
- Franklin Institute – Philadelphia PA
- The Air and Space Museum in San Diego, California
- The Smithsonian Institution Museums in Washington, D.C.
- The Air and Space Museum is a favorite and one I have been to several times in my life, sharing it with my parents, my husband, and my boys – all on separate occasions. If you like space flight and airplanes, it is the place to go!
- The Natural History Museum is also a favorite of mine, having much to offer my curiosity about science and our natural world.
- Also in Washington, D.C., is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. We took our teen boys to this museum in the summer of 2015. It is a sad and serious place that loudly reviberates the atrocities that humans can commit against each other. I would d like to say it should not be missed, but it is not for everyone. It might be too emotionally draining and definitely not something I would do with young children.
- Being from Rochester, New York, a trip to the George Eastman Museum (and House) is necessary to for any visiting photographer or local resident fascinated with the lore of the Eastman Kodak Company.
- Also in Rochester is the The Strong – National Museum of Play. This is what I would deem a pre-eminent children’s museum. It has something for everyone and probably bears repeat visits or membership if you are a local family in that region. I’ve been to other children’s museums around the country, including Madison, WI and even volunteered in our local children’s museum in La Crosse, WI, but nothing has ever surpassed The Strong! Of course their numerous and generous endowments allow this museum to continue to be top notch. One cannot reasonable expect other children’s museum to compete without simlar funding.
- Philadelphia is filled with museums, and the Franklin Institute, mentioned above is filled with interesting exhibits. One must visit Independence Mall, which has numerous museum like venues but is run by the National Park Service. Gettysburg is another place I would highly suggest visiting that has several museums or museum like exhibits.
Internationally, the following museums are interesting –
- Science North – Science Education Center in Sudbury, Canada
- Mauritshuis- Dutch Art Museum in the Netherlands
- Gemeentemuseum Den Haag – Dutch Art Museum in The Hague
There is more about my visits to these Dutch museums in an earlier post on the Dutch artist, Vermeer.
As you can tell, I think museums are great places to visit. If you are able, start going to a few local museums with your children. If they are exposed early to museums, they will develop an ability to appreciate the exhibits and time spent learning about our world!
Happy International Museum Day!