Thing 5: Your Local Museum

Happy Small Business Saturday! Escape your family and go to a museum. As I remarked in my viral tweet earlier this year, I hate when we refer to visiting our local historical and cultural institutions as “playing tourist.” You should be visiting these places all the time! Sure, the decommissioned submarine at your City’s harbor may not warrant an annual visit (maybe it does!?), but plenty of museums and historical sites are changing up their exhibits and programs constantly. And sign-up for email newsletters or follow places on social media to watch out for special events and programs.

Go to lots of them, and go often! Become a member, if you have some money. Many memberships are tax deductible.  Check to see if your membership (or a slightly elevated membership level) will get you reciprocal benefits at other museums. I save several hundred dollars a year being a member of The Whitney.

If cost is an issue, lots of museums have free and reduced days monthly, just check their website or social media feed for information.  Or see if you can take advantage of Free Museum Day!

Kerri in Falls Church gets two tickets to visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

TIP: If you try and give everything in a museum equal viewing time, you are bound to be overwhelmed or disappointed. Give yourself permission to pass things over. Develop a strategy: stop at what catches your eye, stop at every third thing, only look at things with circles in them, or just skip entire galleries and wings you have no interest in. Let yourself really focus and absorb a few things instead of trying to do it all. Memberships can help with this, as it gives you a great excuse to drop in for an hour whenever. But do challenge yourself to see new things, especially if they are showcasing parts of history or the art that many museums have often ignored.

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