How Many of These Michigan Museums Have You Been To?
There’s no better way to forget the dreariness of March than by visiting a museum. And Michigan has so many of them, chances are there are some you haven’t seen yet. Head to one of these unique destinations around the state and you can travel back in time, immerse yourself into a world of art, discover the wonders of magic and more.
Motown Museum (Detroit): Motown Records was responsible for some of America’s favorite songs, like “Stop in the Name of Love” by the Supremes. Explore the legacy and spirit of this historic record label with a trip to where it all happened. The museum is full of famous artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia, including the jeweled glove and black fedora that Michael Jackson wore when he first performed the moonwalk.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit): Did you realize the world’s largest African American history museum is right here in Michigan? This institution was created to celebrate history, highlight trailblazers and educate people through exhibits and cultural artwork. Two must-sees: the “And Still We Rise” exhibit, which shows how blacks journeyed from Africa to America, and the “A is for Africa” interactive exhibit where children can explore the culture and history of Africa.
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids): This art museum showcases work from talented artists both near (some are from Grand Rapids) and far. Its goal is to get you talking about art. The exhibits focus on things like photography from James Lacroix (he was the Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Solo Exhibition winner) and DisArt Festival’s Art of the Lived Project, which features incredible pieces from disabled artists in an attempt to change how people see disability and eliminate the prejudice that surrounds it.
Flint Institute of Arts (Flint): This is the second largest art museum in the state and a visit here means you’ll get to see more than 7,500 pieces of American, European, Native American, African and Asian art including paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and decorative arts. If you would rather create your own, FIA offers drawing, ceramics, painting and fiber arts classes for people of all ages.
American Museum of Magic (Marshall): Described as the “Smithsonian of American Magic,” this museum tells the stories of famous magicians, highlights vital contributions to the craft and uncovers the mysterious world of magic. Artifacts include the custom-made can a handcuffed Harry Houdini would crawl into before being thrown into the Detroit River and the levitating skull of Harry Blackstone, who lived and died in Michigan. They even offer a magic camp for youth interested in learning a few illusions themselves.
Air Zoo (Portage): This museum tries to have a lot of fun in addition to being educational. Visitors can go on amusement-style rides, sit in a full-motion simulator and explore planes, a space shuttle, a ferris wheel, a hot air balloon and more. With more than 50 rare and historic aircrafts, this museum is worth a trip with your family or out-of-town guests.
Gilmore Car Museum (Hickory Corners): If you love cars or want to take a journey throughout the history of automobiles, this is the place for you. This museum showcases cars, buses and motorcycles from as far back as the 1900s. It’s fun to see the historic vehicles in vintage settings like a 1930s service station and a 1941 diner. The museum also offers lots of special events, like a cruise-in where anyone can show off privately owned vintage cars and a school where you learn to drive a Model-T.
Once you’ve visited all of these museums, check out these other attractions around the state:
- Get Wild This Summer and Visit One of Michigan’s Many Zoos
- Visit Michigan’s Newest and Largest Aquarium
- 12 Weirdly Wonderful Things to Go See in Michigan
Photo credit: Rain0975