This year, International Museum Day is officially planned for Monday, May 18th, and institutions around the world will open their doors to celebrate throughout the month. Established by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1977, the event aims to draw attention to the contributions of museums to our daily lives. On International Museum Day, participating museums promote the importance of their role in society and museum staff go out of their way to engage with the public through creative activities and events. It provides a perfect opportunity to expose children to museums for little to no cost and teach them about the world around us through art, history, and science.
The theme for this year’s International Museum Day is “Museums for a Sustainable Society”. ICOM recognizes the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative, and uses resources in a way that respects living systems. In 2014, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in over 140 countries. This year, museums around the world will be taking part in the celebration, offering different activities related to sustainability. Events vary by museum, some may last a day, while others may celebrate for the entire month. Many will offer free admission and/or tours, and some will even offer arts and crafts activities for children.
Some of the more exciting events include:
The Night of the Museums in Barcelona: On the eve of May 16th, cultural venues around the city will have free performances, special activities, and live music. Throughout the weekend, several museums are offering free tours and admission.
Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego: Offering free tours, samples from local food trucks, yoga, music, and art activities at both of its locations on Monday, May 18th.
The Ponce de Leon Lighthouse just south of Daytona Beach, Florida: This 175 foot lighthouse tower will offer activities and workshops for children and families on May 16th.
Hong Kong Heritage Museum: May 16 and 17, the museum will be providing a variety of free educational and entertainment programming including shows such as: “The Joy of Country Cooking”, “Rising Stars of Cantonese Opera”, and “Bruce Lee Fans Photo Studio”.
The Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix: This museum showcases the ruins of a former Hohokam Native American site. Visitors will be have free admission and tours, as well as a show-and-tell with some of the museum’s artifacts on May 16th.
Our kids would love to visit any of these sites and we can’t wait to explore some local museums and see what goes on behind the scenes.
For a complete list of events and to learn more about International Museum Day, visit the ICOM website.