Smithsonian Museum Day in Western MA

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day in Western MA
Saturday, September 28th, 2013

In the spirit of Smithsonian Museums, who offer free admission everyday, Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket… for free!

Western Massachusetts is home to a huge number of museums, each one filled with a myriad of unique learning opportunities. Families can visit the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield to learn about the role that manufacturing played in the development of the Pioneer Valley, or spend a day perusing classic works of 20th century American art at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. Children’s book enthusiasts of all sizes love the exhibits at Amherst’s Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and a visit to Chesterwood in Stockbridge or Ashley House in Sheffield can reveal much about the lifestyle lived by some notable former Berkshires residents.

Thanks to Smithsonian Magazine, all of these museums and many, many more can be visited free of charge on Museum Day Live! on Saturday, September 28th. Tickets for the special day are available on the publication’s website, and each ticket grants admission for one person plus a guest. Only one ticket may be printed per household, and each may only be used at one participating location – but nevertheless, Museum Day Live! presents a great opportunity for families to explore local galleries, historic homes, museum exhibits, and historical societies that they’ve yet to visit.

Kids of all ages can satisfy their curiosity about nearly any subject while utilizing their free ticket. Institutions participating in Museum Day Live! can help families learn about everything from the first settlers in Deerfield and the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir to the Yiddish language and the works of poet Emily Dickinson. Families can even use the event as a way to target specific topics or interests that their children have. Try matching your visit to the topics that your children are studying in school this fall, or themes that you’re learning about together at home. Entering an exhibit with learning goals in mind can help kids to focus on a common theme while taking in lots of information. If you choose a topic beforehand, try writing down all the knowledge that your family has about the subject on your way to the museum, and then generate some questions that you have. Work on answering these questions as you learn throughout your visit, then discuss what you learned on the way back. You might be surprised what you’ll find out!

A full list of participating museums is available at www.smithsonianmag.com – check ahead of time to plan your visit!

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