It's International Museum Day and this year most of us are happy to just celebrate the slow reopening of museums worldwide. In that spirit we thought we'd take a look at some of America's quirkiest, most unusual and reliably strange museums to visit with kids right now. Happy International Museum Day!
Enter a world of make believe at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures in Tucson. This museum’s extensive miniature collection is second to none. It houses both contemporary models and detailed miniatures dating back almost 250 years. There are three permanent exhibits: The Enchanted Realm, Exploring the World and the History Gallery. The Enchanted Realm is full of magical and whimsical displays that delight the senses like a dragon academy, fairy castle and snow villages. Exploring the World gives visitors a glimpse into faraway destinations with no detail forgotten. The History Gallery provides an opportunity to travel back in time to see scenes of life in a bygone era.
For model building enthusiasts, Matchstick Marvels is like a trip to the candy store. It is an remarkable sight to see many historically significant buildings created by one man, Patrick Anton, with only ordinary matchsticks. This museum features amazing replicas of many popular icons such as the new World Trade Center, Notre Dame, The International Space Station and Hogwarts. Star Wars fans will love the Millennium Falcon, the size of a full-grown person, made from 910,000 matchsticks. Don’t miss the giant 5-foot-tall, 11-foot-long two-headed dragon that is made from 272,000 matchsticks.
Creepy and fun, the International Cryptozoology Museum is a walk on the wild side. This museum is the only one of its kind dedicated to the study of legendary creatures. Except, at this museum, these creatures aren’t just legendary–they’re real. The museum showcases evidence and artifacts that they believe undeniably prove that these creatures like Bigfoot, the Yeti, or the Loch Ness monster exist. This museum has been featured on many television shows including the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum and the History Channel’s MonsterQuest. Even if the museum doesn’t convince you such creatures are real, it’s entertaining to explore the possibilities of what might be out there.
In 1947 a UFO allegedly crashed just outside the town of Roswell, New Mexico and the International UFO Museum is devoted to providing evidence that the event actually occurred and that there is other life in the universe. This museum lets the imagination run wild, investigating the prospect that life exists beyond earth and the idea that aliens have visited our planet. This museum is unique in the fact that it brings together history and legend. It is a must see for all sci-fi fans who long to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”
The tiny Jell-O Gallery focuses on a little slice of Americana: Jell-O. A famous dessert that has been consumed by many families across the country. LeRoy, New York, is the birth place of Jell-O and the Jell-O Gallery is a trip through the invention, popularity and evolution of this delicious dessert. The museum features Jell-O artifacts, such as original packaging and advertisements, and serves up delicious dessert recipes as well. The nominal admission price makes it worth a stop if you happen to be in the Western New York (Buffalo) area.
Popcorn is the snack of choice in Marion, Ohio — The buttery smell can bend anyone’s willpower. Give in and make a stop at the Wyandot Popcorn Museum to see largest collection of popcorn wagons, peanut roasters and popcorn antiques in the world. Be sure to check out the restored circus popcorn poppers and colorful wagons from boardwalks and amusement parks. See the history of popcorn while munching on one of America’s favorite snacks.
Sparkling costumes, daring stunts, flashing colors of clowns running amok and giants animals performing: a childhood memory shared by many. This Circus World Museum, on the site of the original Ringling Bros. Circus winter headquarters, brings back the glory of an age gone by. The museum is dedicated to presenting the history of the circus with exhibits from circus antiquity. In addition, it has various circus performances that visitors can enjoy with their admission to the museum.
Want museums beyond International Museum Day? Check out Sarasota and Bradenton for family vacations this summer. And don't forget to follow Family Traveller on Instagram and Facebook and share your travel plans - or just say 'hi'.