Celebrating International Museum Day

Did you know that there are more than 55,000 museums in the world? Wow! That sure is a lot of museums. There are museums for a variety of topics, areas of study, and areas of interest. In fact, there is even a Museum of Trash in New York that is solely devoted to… you guessed it, garbage.

So, why is there all this sudden talk of museums? It’s because today is International Museum Day!

International Museum Day

This special day gives museums (and those who work at museums) the opportunity to meet the public with the goal of making them more aware of the importance of museums in society, teaching them about the challenges that museums face, and promoting supportive conversation between various museum professionals. 

The Importance of Museums

Not only do museums teach us facts and information, but they also help to keep record of the world’s history and culture. Museums collect important objects to showcase to their visitors in the hopes of better educating them about their heritage. Museums connect people to the past while also providing ideas and inspiration for the future. And, if we’re being honest, museums are just plain fun and interesting! What other reasons might you add for why museums are important?

The Theme of IMD 2024

This year’s theme is Museums for Education and Research. The International Council of Museums wants to “invite people to rethink education and imagine a future where knowledge sharing transcends barriers; where innovation unites with tradition. Join us as we build a more informed and inclusive world!”

In the past, some previous themes for this day were focused on equality, the future of tradition, new approaches and new audiences for museums, cultural landscapes, covering the unspeakable in museums, and a sustainable society.

Celebrating International Museum Day

Museums typically have extra activities on this day (or even this week!) in the hopes of engaging audiences even more than usual. How can you make the most of this day with your children?

  • Make a plan to (hopefully soon!) visit any local museums. If you’ve already frequented those, are there museums that are a bit farther away but are still doable to visit? Share about your experiences with others, in the hopes that they will then be encouraged to visit!
  • If you’re unable to physically access any museums, many museums offer virtual tours or activities online. Do a Google search for museums that are focused on topics your children might be interested in and see what they offer.
  • Can you and your child look online to make a list of some of the world’s most “underrated” or unusual museums? Can they create a drawing (or a map) of a museum that they might imagine to add to this list?
  • Support your local museums. Are you able to donate an item, a monetary donation, or even a note of appreciation to a nearby museum? We bet that they’ll appreciate it!
  • There are many movies that have museums in some of their scenes. Check out Night at the Museum, Ghost Busters, and National Treasure, just to name a few! After watching, have a discussion with your child about the importance of museums.

Regardless of whether you are able to celebrate International Museum Day on this actual day or not, make it a goal to take advantage of these resources sometime in the future. We know you won’t regret the experience that it creates for you and your family!

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