Visiting a museum can be an educational experience; it can also be a fun way to spend the day with your family, friends or even by yourself as you explore different cultures, art and history. Check out these 10 must-see museum exhibits.
Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
A touching narrative walk-through of a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945, Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story is the museum’s main exhibition program for kids ages 8 and older and their families. The exhibit tells a family’s story during the Holocaust from a young boy’s point of view. It begins with a brief film and then invites visitors to take an interactive journey through Daniel’s world. They can read entries of his diary, look at family photos, listen and engage as they walk through his home and learn about the changes Daniel and his family went through during the Holocaust. This exhibit is a great learning opportunity for adults and children.
The National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center, Washington, D.C.
The museum’s ongoing and newest signature exhibit, American Stories, takes visitors on a journey through time to display both famous and unknown stories about the American experience. More than 100 artifacts in 5,300 square feet are used to tell stories about the country’s history from the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth to the 2008 historical presidential election. Some of the exhibit’s highlights include Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, a Kermit the Frog puppet, a piece of Plymouth Rock, clothing artifacts, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves and a fragment of the first transatlantic telegraph cable.
The Field Museum, Chicago
Spend an afternoon enjoying this fun and family-friendly exhibit, Underground Adventure. Look at the world from a bug’s point of view as you explore an environment of worm tunnels in your new size (you’ll magically shrink to become smaller than a penny). Visitors have the chance to meet a giant mole cricket, crayfish, a wolf spider and other creatures. When you return back to your normal size, you can become a soil scientist to connect the dots between what happens under the ground and life above.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Is Disney World or Disneyland one of your favorite places on earth? The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives is the perfect exhibit for Disney fans. Schedule a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to learn about the Chicago-native Walt Disney and to check out unique artifacts that haven’t been seen by the public (drawings, props, costumes and artwork from classic Disney animation). Visitors can learn how to record sound effects, draw Disney characters and discover their photography skills with Disney’s ground-breaking multiplane film camera. Among the 300 artifacts, visitors will find props from Disney films, such as “The Princess Diaries,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia” and others, along with a section devoted to “Mary Poppins.”
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
If you visit the Museum of Science and Industry during November 14, 2013 through January 5, 2014, you can enjoy the Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit. The museum’s one-of-a-kind seasonal celebration will showcase its 45-foot Grand Tree with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments. The 50 surrounding small trees are decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art showcases a variety of contributions from Latino artists in the U.S. since the mid-twentieth century — an important period in Latino art. This exhibit presents 92 works by 72 artists who participated in key art movements, including abstract expressionism, conceptual and performance art, and explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and transformed classic American art and culture.
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga
Stop by the Hunter Museum of American Art and view a vast selection of sculptures, paintings and photographs by 43 black artists who explored the African-American experience from the Harlem Renaissance movement through the Civil Rights era and beyond. With more than half of the works being shown for the first time, visitors will have a unique opportunity to see artwork that has never been seen before. Some of the artistic work in the exhibit includes James Van der Zee’s portraits of elegant New Yorkers in the 1920s, Jacob Lawrence’s exploration of the struggle for economic and civil rights, Sargent Johnson’s depiction of the heritage of Africa and Romare Bearden’s recasting of Christian themes pertaining to the black experience. The African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond exhibit will run from February 14 to May 25, 2014.
The Dinosaur Hall
National History Museum, Los Angeles
The all-new 14,000-square-foot Dinosaur Hall exhibit features the world’s only Tyrannosaurus rex growth series, which features a 30-foot young adult Thomas the T. rex, a 20-foot juvenile, and a 10-foot baby. The specimen-rich exhibit features many large-scale murals and is designed to let visitors walk around and underneath the specimens to get an up-close look at the fossils. The Dinosaur Hall is known for its many individual fossils on display. The never-before displayed Triceratops greets visitors as they enter the exhibit, and Stegosaurus is an armored dinosaur and mounted fighting with the predator Allosaurus.
Bodies: The Exhibition
Luxor Hotel, Las Vegas
See the human body in a different light when you visit Bodies: The Exhibition. More than 200 actual human bodies and specimens have been preserved and are on display. The exhibit allows visitors to view the inner workings of the human body. The three-dimensional visual of the bodies provides an up-close look inside the organs and skeletal system. Visitors can also see how overeating and smoking affect the inside of the body while viewing a healthy lung alongside a black lung.
Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Known to have one of the largest frog collections in the world, the American Museum of Natural History’s Frogs: A Chorus of Colors showcases an array of frogs of more than 20 species from around the world. This live-animal exhibit includes frog species, such as the African bullfrog, Brazilian milk frog, dart-poison frog and the Mexican dumpy frog. The next time you’re in New York, hop on over to this museum to see frogs of all sizes and colors. The exhibit is open until January 5, 2014.