Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museumAnsel Adams
Kids get the best museums. They get to rub amok inside, touch every surface, press all the cool buttons, and jump in giant ball pits depending on the museum. Museums as adults? We have to be near-silent, wander around looking scholarly and under no circumstances are we to touch anything.
Museums seem to forget that adults are just large children at heart who pretend we know what’s going on. While I love museums, they can get a bit stuffy and I can totally see why many people just don’t get excited over going to one, especially on vacation. For this week’s post, I went on a deep dive to try to find museums for adults who just don’t like museums. I’m convinced there’s one out there for even the pickiest of travelers. I hope my picks below inspire you to visit more!
MONA Museum in Tasmania
The Museum of Old and New Art is one of the most innovative museums in the world. It is the largest museum in Australia and houses 3 levels of underground galleries. A handheld device (or app on your phone) called The O guides you through the entire museum so you can go at your own pace and explore uninhibited. None of the exhibits are normal. There have been exhibits on the infamous Gorilla in the Room experiment, galleries turned into a mine shaft, and so much more. You have to expect the unexpected here.
Maybe you also want live music, to explore a house of mirrors, or attend a comedy show? Yeah, they have that. They also have High Tea for Two, a winery on site, and lots of delicious food. Getting sleepy from all the amazing exploring you’ve done? You can have a sleepover with access to the museum at night. Oh yeah, your room overlooks the water too. I think we can all agree this isn’t your average snooze-inducing museum.
Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia
If you’ve ever wanted to contribute to a museum this is your chance. Unfortunately, it’s a museum dedicated to failed relationships. Every item in the museum came from a real person and is displayed with a brief story behind the object. Fun fact: the museum was created by two artists whose relationship failed and they joked about opening a museum around the concept. They asked friends to donate objects left behind from their break ups and their mini collection was born and eventually evolved into what it is today. There are traveling exhibits as well as the permanent museum in Croatia and another in the USA.
Not only can you donate items, you can choose to record confessions. You can also share your stories online and have a pin left on a map so you can see that you’re not alone. This museum is super neat in the fact that it aims to bring people closer together through the shared experience of heartbreak to create a community of shared experience and connections.
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Norway
Most museums have you stuck inside all day. That is not the case with the Vigeland Sculpture Park. You get to enjoy the fresh air while you wander the park viewing the 200 sculptures on display. However, if it does rain the outdoor park is part of a larger museum that houses over 1,600 sculptures and other works of art indoors for you to explore.
The park itself features the massive sculptures, all works created by Gustav Vigeland. You start the journey through the park at the Fountain. From there the path you take is up to you. You’ll pass so many interesting sculptures, so please don’t expect anything remotely boring. Unless you think a man fighting flying babies or hugging giant lizards is normal.
MUSA Museum in Mexico
Ever needed to SCUBA dive to get to a museum? You can if you visit the Museo Subacuático de Arte. If you’re not feeling extra, you can take a glass bottom boat ride and experience the art from above. Both are great options, but everyone knows which one I’m choosing! Sitting on the sea floor are 500 sculptures created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. DOn’t worry, it’s eco friendly as the materials used were made to stimulate the underwater ecosystem to create artificial reefs.
The exhibit features 3 galleries and they all have an important meaning behind them centered around conservation. The artist aimed to show the relationship between humans and nature. He achieved this by showing both the positive and negative aspects of that relationship and through the sculptures themselves he shows how the two can have a workable future without destroying the other.
Museum of Ice Cream in USA
Calling all ice cream lovers! AKA 99% of the world’s population. There’s now a museum where we can live out our wildest ice cream dreams. What started as an NYC popup turned into a global establishment and took the world by storm. From a pool full of sprinkles, a candy garden, pop rocks cave, and lots of ice cream flavors to try, this place is perfect for any summer trip to New York, Singapore, or one of their pop up locations.
Each room features a different aspect of our favorite summer treat. For example, there’s a whipped cream room, 50s diner room, cotton candy and cherries, and so much more. The rooms change often so you’ll get to experience something new each time you visit. What’s sweeter than that? The experience tries to create moments to share with the world with lots of Instagram-able places. They aim to get you to remember the best moments and connect with others while you share those pictures.
ArtScience Museum in Singapore
I love a museum that champions a great cause and uses it as a theme to educate and raise awareness without boring you to death. It combines art, science, culture, and technology into one museum in fun, innovative ways. The building itself represents a lotus flower, but here’s the first place nature and technology collide. Each petal tip has a sunlight that uses the curvature of the building to provide sustainable light to the galleries housed in each wing. The roof was also designed to collect rainwater and when it overflows it creates a waterfall effect. That’s just the outside.
From manga exhibits to virtual reality experiences highlighting space travel, this museum has such a wide variety of exhibitions that you’ll want to explore every gallery. You can even travel in an imagined future or explore the history of inflatable objects. How cool is that!?
Spyscape in USA
Calling all espionage fans, do I have a museum for you. From cryptanalysis and hacking to James Bond and WWII spy gadgets, there is something for every type of spy aficionado or movie lover. The museum prides itself in being extremely interactive and rotates their experiences so nothing ever gets stale. Can’t make it into the exhibit? They even have a celebrity-hosted podcast where real-life spies and superheroes are interviewed.
Within the galleries, visitors are challenged to test their own spy skills. You’ll be tested on assessing traits, agility (can we all just admit we’d love to expertly maneuver through a room of lasers?), and risk tolerance to name a few. At the end of your visit, you’ll get a report on how well you’d fare as a spy.
Cité de l’Espace in France
Discover all things space and science here! While air and space museums are not rare by any means, few are in-depth as this one in Toulouse, France. When they say they want to transport you beyond Earth, they mean it. Most museums have a look, but don’t touch policy, but that is not the case here. Most of the exhibits are interactive to get you completely immersed in space travel.
Ever wanted to touch a moon rock? You can. Wanted to walk on a moon simulator and feel what zero gravity is like? That’s absolutely an option. You can also kick up your feet and view the wonders of outer space in the planetarium. Outside sits the replica of the Ariane 5 rocket. It’s not just a boring replica, you can press all the buttons and help prepare the launch of a rocket, assist on its flight path, and even place a satellite in orbit. If that’s not enough, you can visit the Mir space station or the Soyuz spacecraft.