Planning your next trip to a museum?
Do you know what weekday your local art museum is closed? Do you know the rules about photography at your local natural history museum? These are questions that most of us cannot answer off hand. Let’s now go over a few basic points to briefly research before your next museum trip that could be helpful!
Know the hours, and days of operation!
All museums have different hours of operation, and some are closed periodically during the week because it is their slowest day. If you are coming from a ways away, or have a specific schedule, it only takes a few minutes to check online, on Yelp, or on TripAdvisor- and doing so could save you a headache. On the flip side, if you are being spontaneous go for it- just be prepared to go with the flow.
Make yourself aware of any special rules or restrictions.
Like tip number one, all museums have different rules and restrictions. I am here to tell you, they are for a good reason. If food is not allowed, it is not because the museum is ‘no fun’, but rather because they have a responsibility to protect their collection from spills and bugs! Rules can also be in place for your safety as a guest, so try to be understanding when you are asked to abide by them!
Policies for disabled guests, and available amenities.
No museum wants guests to be unhappy with their visit, or feel as if their disability prevented them from having a worth while visit. Most museums have amenities for these types of situations, such as special routes for those who are not able to use stairs, wheel chair rentals, or guides. Check online or call the museum in advance to plan for your needs. Consider what physical requirements will be asked of you- for example, most castles in the UK do not have lifts, so stairs will need to be used unless you are okay with not seeing the upper levels. Also, if you are coming in with a large group, booking ahead can have major advantages and sometimes even land you discounted rates or special tours. Remember, if you are counting on the museum staff to ask you if you need any special amenities for mobility issues, you will be setting yourself up to be disappointed!
Plan for your commute and parking if needed.
Most museums are in metropolitan areas, and have lots of traffic on the way. This will take time, so take it into account when buying timed tickets for a show or exhibition. In addition, parking may be limited and will almost always require payment. If you are planning on taking an Uber or Lyft, check online for designated drop off and pick up areas- most museums have these now a days!
Is the content appropriate, and are you OK with it?
If you have religious or personal beliefs that may contradict with the content or interpretation set forth by the museum, please consider checking ahead of time to prevent anyone from being offended or upset. Most museums want to be inclusive of all individuals, and will be happy to let you know beforehand if any potential issues may arise. In addition, if you do not want your small child to se an edgy art exhibition with nude paintings, think ahead!
Get excited and inspired!!!
I am assuming that if you are headed to a museum, that you actually want to be there to see whatever it is you are there to see! Keep and open mind, because what you may find could be amazing. Even after going to some museums countless times I am always surprised how enriching they still can be. Museums can be a wonderful activity for days with friends and family- it is never out of place to share your love of the past or enthusiasm for the future with your buddies or with your children.
Thanks so much for reading- happy travels.
Peace and long life.