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How to Enjoy a Museum

Sometimes a museum can seem hectic, huge, and boring, but visiting a museum should be fun. Here's how to make the most out of your museum visit.

Difficulty Level: easy      Time Required: 15 minutes


Here's How:
  1. Perhaps surprisingly, the trick to enjoying a museum is pre-planning.
  2. If you are visiting from out of town or even going to a local museum, find out (before you go) the hours of the museum. Are they closed on a particular day? Are some exhibits closed for reconstruction?
  3. Location and parking. Do you know how to get there? Find out directions and avoid the routes notorious for traffic Is there a fee for parking?
  4. Is there a must see? Find out from friends and relatives who have been there - is there any event or object that is a must see? Also ask them if they experienced any lines or any waiting for the event.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing. Have you ever been to a kids' hands-on-science museum in a nice silk shirt? Think about what kind of museum you will be visiting - should your clothing be casual or dressy?
  6. Wear good walking shoes. Feet are often the first things to give out.
  7. How much does it cost? Ask ahead of time so there are no surprises. Sometimes guided tours and movies are an additional cost.
  8. Is there food? Find out whether the museum has a cafe or cafeteria inside the museum. If not, you might want to schedule your visit around meal times.
  9. How long is an average visit? You can cruise through some museums in half an hour, but others may take an entire day. Call the museum in advance to find out the recommended length of a visit.
  10. Get a map. Most museums have maps they hand out when you enter. Glance at the locations of the bathrooms - you might be in a hurry later.
  11. Before you start, figure out what you really want to see at this museum. Then go see those things first. This way, if your feet tire out early, you'll have seen and done the most important parts of the museum.
  12. Read the captions. Most museum pieces are labeled. If you don't have a tour guide, the captions can give you some fascinating details about a piece. Some can be quite surprising.
  13. Don't just make-up facts as you go along. Ask the guides and docents questions - they have more information about the museum and museum pieces than you can ever ask.
  14. Visit the museum bookshop / gift store. There are often books, puzzles, and gadgets that can help strengthen and broaden what you just learned.
Tips:
  1. Most museums are less crowded during the rainy season.
  2. Ask about coupons or discounts. You might be able to find a coupon in a local newspaper.

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