Summertime is when families plan their vacations. If they have young kids, a trip to a museum is most likely going to on the itinerary. And when kids hear about it, their groans can be heard all over Massachusetts. This doesn’t have to be the case. Museums can be fun while being educational. There are many museums in our state worth a visit that cover everything from early American history to the sciences.
A trip to a museum is more than just looking at paintings and sculptures. Today, exhibits are interactive and expansive, including audio and light shows. People will hear stories of the past and see how different generations entertained themselves as well as adapted to new technology and social changes. Museums are wonderful for introducing kids to not only art, but architecture, fashion, music and more. Some museums feature “First Fridays,” where patrons enjoy music, drinks and food at a special price. They are perfect for date nights! If you are planning your summer vacation, here are the top three museums to check out.
- Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) — If you are visiting Boston, a trip to MFA is a must. This museum is huge – over 50,00 square feet – featuring over 450,000 pieces of art. Aside from seeing the paintings from the old masters (e.g. Rembrandt), there are sculptures, artifacts and exhibits. Many of the pieces are meant to be distracting, such as the giant baby heads by Antonio Lopez called “Day and Night.” It is always exciting to see new exhibits and to hear what other patrons think of them. The galleries showcase treasured pieces of different cultures, such as the Chinese Song Dynasty. MFA also features First Fridays for $25 a ticket.
- New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford) — This museum gives the historical, scientific and environmental views of the sea and whaling. It provides a number of programs to enrich youth and promote community engagement. The Local History Guild offers talks on a number of subjects with experts and visuals. The High School Apprentice program is a great opportunity to learn about the American Whaling industry, local artists, Frederick Douglas, the Underground Railroad and more.
- Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield) — This museum was based on Zenas Crane’s (Crane & Company) vision for a museum for the people of western Massachusetts that was based on the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum for Natural Science. The museum boasts a collection of objects associated with noted figures of American history, such as Matthew Henson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Israel Bissell. The Berkshire Museum’s collections are so famous that other museums (e.g. the Guggenheim) have borrowed from them.