As planner of intense family vacations, my husband and daughter know that most trips will require a visit to a museum or art gallery. Sometimes the most memorable museums are not found on the first page of tourist guidebooks. My dad once made a stop at the World’s Deepest Hand-dug Well in Greensburg, KS. While we tease him about it today, I have to admit to remembering what I saw that day (mostly a dark hole). My parents led me to the understanding that exploring fine arts, history and science shouldn’t be left to the textbooks in a classroom or found at Disneyland. As a college kid, I would cut through the SD Art Museum to warm up on cold winter days. So our daughter began her travels with visits to Science City in Kansas City, MS, to the Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI, Minnesota Children’s Museum and often to the Kirby Science Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD.
This past weekend we brought my niece and nephew (ages 8 and 3) to the Children’s Museum of South Dakota for an incredible surprise. The amazing part was that it held entertainment for the adults, a teen, a tween and a three year old! There was art, music, science, nature, culture, history, and lots of physical activity (with handicap accessibility!). As a teacher, I’ve found you have to vary your methods because people learn in so many different ways. Hearing, seeing, touching, talking and sometimes smelling are ways people remember. This museum hit all of our senses and was immediately a memorable experience for our family.
Our travels have led to other amazing discoveries:
The Art Institute of Chicago introduced us the pointillism of Seurat
Shedd Aquarium in Chicago brought the ocean to the midwest
The Joslyn of Omaha gave a new appreciation for Chihuly blown-glass and Remington sculptures
The Guggenheim near Central Park was filled with the architecture and ideas of Frank Lloyd Wright
The Metropolitan Museum of Art brought ancient history alive inside of NYC
The Smithsonian Museum of American History evoked patriotism at the sight of the Star-Spangled Banner
The Newseum in Washington, DC helped Hannah explore a career in Journalism
The Museum of Science in Boston gave an appreciation for the International Space Station and the excitement of lightening
Museums and social media bring new ways of learning, exploring and understanding to us. We connect the content to our own experiences and bring the past alive. Our senses have to be activated to remember the message. Because we never know what exhibit will be most meaningful to someone, it is important to keep wandering through the galleries of information that you want to show your customers. You make the best connections when you bring excitement and wonder to your clients.
What museum has made the best connection with you?
Riding high at Science City
Seeing the Declaration of Independence and Constitution
September 12th headlines from around the world at the Newseum
Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian Museum of American History
T-Rex and other monsters