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Effective and Important Tips for Planning a Museum Visit

Buzzle Staff Jul 7, 2019
Whether you're getting away for the weekend or want to stop here and there during a road trip, a museum is a wonderful place to visit. Read on to get some tips to plan a museum trip.

World's Largest Museum

Smithsonian, the world's largest research and museum complex, houses over 137 million objects detailing America's story. So you'd better prepare for a long week of walking.
Museums are popular destinations for many reasons. First, they hold some of the most beautiful and interesting pieces of history. Be them artistic achievements, pieces of knowledge, or preserved artifacts, the items that museums house can help you better understand both history and the world today.
Oftentimes, museums host exhibits that speak of the local culture, artistic tradition, and/or history of a particular area. For this reason, it's a wonderful idea to plot museums on your vacation or road trip route.

Important Tips

#1 Select a museum that excites your passion.
#2 Kids must be accompanied by adults.
#3 Know the rules from museum website.
#4 Wear comfortable shoes.
#5 Don't touch artifacts to keep them safe.
#6 While walking around, observe and be involved. This makes your experience enjoyable.
#7 Avoid exhibits that kids might be terrified of, like dinosaurs, mummies.

Who Should Visit a Museum?

If you are interested in learning about old cultures and history, then you would enjoy a museum visit. Museums carry information about the daily living of olden times.
A visit to a museum can expose you to in-depth information on the art, history, culture, and social life of a certain place or a particular era. Seeing the artifacts takes you back to the time they belong to. Thus, a museum visit turns out to be an enriching experience for the interested.

Know the Museum Rules

Before visiting, call the museum and know about the admission fees, visiting hours, travel directions, best time for visits and other rules and regulations of the museum. Ask what days of the week and what hours are less crowded.
Some museums have days when they allow entry free of cost or have discounts for families, senior citizens, students, and children. You may need advanced booking for services such as parking or when visiting as a large group. If you need a stroller, wheelchair, baby-changing areas or nursing rooms, you need to see if they are available.
Visit the official website of the museum. Most websites have portals to enable you to explore the museum virtually. You will also come across stories about the artifacts, thus making your visit more enjoyable.
Oftentimes, information about the permanent collection and changing exhibits will be given, allowing you to see whether or not you'll enjoy what the museum has to offer.
Look for the dates and prices since changing your itinerary around can make all the difference between an exciting museum experience and a boring walk through exhibits that you would least bother about.

Timing Your Ticket Purchase

In terms of timing, most museums won't need you to reserve tickets in advance. If you're going to a popular museum orwant to attend a special exhibition, you may want to call a week or so ahead to book the tickets. Tours tend to fill up quickly at high-traffic museums, especially if there's a particularly interesting exhibition or collection on display.

Deciding Which Museums to Visit

Most big cities have museums spanning art, military and war, history, science. People often have a particular interest, such as art, and they find it easy to narrow down the options by visiting museums that cater to that interest.
If you're torn between two or aren't sure if one of them is worth the admission price (some of the museums in bigger cities can get a bit expensive), take a look at the museum's website. By doing some research you will get an idea about the things worth seeing and doing. This will help you know where you're going and make the most of your time at the museum.
For instance, art museums hold exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings, photographs and more. For visiting such museums, you need to have a passion for art and an open mind which can lead you to understand how people in the past had thought, lived and led their lives, or what the artist is trying to say in the pictures.
Museums of natural science house objects which are concerned with the natural world. There are sections for geology, zoology, astronomy and more. In the geology section, you can find collections of minerals, fossils, various colored stones, birthstones and more. You can also learn about different types of rocks, how they are formed and where they are found.
In the animals section, you can see the largest and smallest mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. You can also see birds with the most colorful feathers and with strange habits. In the astronomy section, you can learn about the largest star, the youngest galaxy, black holes and star clusters in constellations, among other amazing things.
If you are interested in knowing about the history and artifacts of artillery, visit an artillery museum. The exhibits can include photographs, maps, models, dioramas, clothing and equipment used by gunners.
There are also general museums that hold collections of more than one category of specialization including natural history, science, art, war and military, and more.

Packing for the Occasion

Many people like to take pictures of their favorite pieces, or jot down names of newly discovered artists. For this, all you need is your smartphone and a reliable note-taking application. Just be sure to pay attention to signage around the displays, as some art pieces and other items cannot be photographed due to copyright and legal issues.
Long hours of standing, walking around, and seeing the displays can be tiring after a while. Therefore it is necessary to make sure that you keep a few things in mind for the day that you'll spend at the museum.
First and foremost, bring some snacks with you, as museum restaurant hours are often short and you won't want to leave the museum halfway through your exploration to grab lunch. Something small, like granola bars or trail mix, will get you through without disrupting fellow patrons. Also bring a bottle of water.
Know whether or not there is a locker or storage for bags and other belongings so that your walk around the museum is comfortable. If there are no lockers available, make sure that your bags are lighter in weight.


Many museums hold art chats, yoga classes, professional development classes, free gallery tours, talks, activities and even wine festivals to enrich your experience. There are also museums that offer interactive places of learning, allowing people to touch, watch stories in displays, move things around, test your knowledge, and play games.
Most museums provide headphones on rent, to plug into the little hole next to an exhibit. This lets you to listen to descriptions if you don't enjoy reading them. Check the museum website and find the activities that would take place at specific days and time.
You can spend time by making a rough sketch of what you see in the galleries. After your visit, you can create an art piece by sketching a favorite object or create a sculpture that is special to you. Kids can search for specific shapes, colors, objects or animals in the various galleries.
They can also be asked to choose two works of art and discuss how they are similar or different, or you can play the memory game together by looking at an object for a few minutes and then, turning around and describing what you saw.
On looking at the paintings, you can discuss what's portrayed and ask the kids to think of a name for the artwork. Compare the answer with the one on the label and discuss which is better.

Take Family Members or a Friend Along

A visit to a museum can become more fun when you are with a friend or family members to share your experiences and views. They will bring another perspective of the subject.
No matter where you're going, there's always something new to learn. When traveling, museums are a great way to know local culture while building your appreciation of whatever subject interests you most. By keeping this in mind, you can plan a museum visit for a positive impact.