A handful of new and expanding museums provide engaging and enriching experiences for families. Here are five to consider.
1. AMERICAN WRITERS MUSEUM, CHICAGO
Debuting in May, this museum will shine a light on American writers and their influence on our history, culture and daily existence. Learn about the professional practices and personal lives of famous scribes including Mark Twain, Dr. Seuss and John Steinbeck. Exhibits tagged “The Mind of a Writer,” “A Writer’s Room” and “Word Play” will decode the writing life and spur the creativity of budding wordsmiths through games and a menu of immersive opportunities.
2. THE HARLEY-DAVIDSON MUSEUM, MILWAUKEE
Kids can immerse themselves in the history, engineering and future of these iconic motorcycles. Check out the Harley’s “family tree” to learn about the evolution of the engine and design your own dream ride at the “Build-a-Bike” station. Rummage through Discovery Drawers to marvel at colorful vintage toys and collectibles.
3. THE NATIONAL WWII MUSEUM, NEW ORLEANS
Learn the secrets of military code-cracking at this expansive museum that strives to educate visitors about the many facets of America’s experiences in World War II. Enjoy scavenger hunts and games, and explore the inside of a Sherman Tank during the museum’s popular Family Overnight experience. The Founders Plaza offers a peaceful and shaded setting to honor those who have served.
4. MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, PHILADELPHIA
If you needed just one more history-based nudge to plan a trip to Philadelphia, a new museum will open in April just steps from Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall and Franklin Court. Permanent and special exhibitions, theater and diverse programming will help visitors explore the tumultuous era of the American Revolution.
5. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Opened last year, this museum is devoted to sharing the story of African-American life, history and culture. Through more than 37,000 artifacts, including Nat Turner’s Bible and Carlotta Walls’ “store-bought dress” amid powerful narratives, visitors learn about the role of creativity, community and resilience in creating change and overcoming racial oppression.