Ah yes, museums: The ultimate destination for middle school field trips and parent’s intent on fighting the summer “brain drain.” Wander into one on any given weekend and you’ll find sleepy dads and moms trying desperately to corral their bored children.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Indeed, around the country are several museums that are not only interesting but exciting too. Here are six museums that won’t put you to sleep.
The Smithsonian Museums, in general, are excellent examples of interesting, accessible, and educational destinations. The Air and Space Museum, in particular, is undeniably exciting.
The overwhelming awe that first-time visitors feel upon walking into the large building and seeing dozens of air and spacecraft hanging from the ceiling actually slows the line down—and it’s an experience you should certainly enjoy yourself.
When visitors tire of looking at the airplanes, there’s always the flight simulators and IMAX theater.
With over one million visitors every year, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest and most-visited children’s museum in the world.
With featured exhibits like the five-story Fireworks of Glass sculpture by artist Dale Chihuly and the immersive “Dinosphere,” the museum has a range of exciting attractions that will satisfy the curiosity of visitors of all ages.
Art museums can be hard to recommend: Those that like them tend to seek them out on their own and those that have less interest, well, are not that interested. The Dali Museum, in St. Petersburg, Florida, however is an art museum that can appeal to everyone.
In addition to the mind-bending permanent collection, the museum features a number of events designed to appeal to art aficionados and complete novices alike.
A military history museum is, in many ways, the epitome of the dusty, boring place most visitors try to avoid. The Museum on World War II, in Natick, Massachusetts, is a certain exception.
The museum, which houses 10,000 feet of displayed items, has been called “the most comprehensive display of original World War II artifacts on exhibit anywhere in the world.” And really, it is less like a museum and more like a private gallery: Visits must be arranged by appointment and all are accompanied by the owner and chief curator.
This means the museum offers a unique opportunity to see—and even touch—authentic items from a seminole moment in World History, guided the whole time by one of the foremost authorities on the subject.
Front and center in the entry hall of Chicago’s Field Museum is Sue—the largest and most complete tyrannosaurus skeleton known. This sets the tone for the rest of any visit to the museum, which houses more than 21 million specimens ranging from dinosaurs and fossils to modern animals, artifacts from the history of science to an extensive catalog of cultural anthropology.
Indeed, through its incredible collection, the Field Museum brings science to life in a way few other places can.
Located in New York City, the Museum of Sex offers a diverse and often incredibly insightful look into the role of sex in society and history. The changing exhibits often showcase media representations, art, and historical documents—always revolving around a central theme.
Though always interesting, we can’t guarantee, however, this last entry won’t make you fall asleep afterwards.