Summer vacation planning is underway, and if you're looking to sneak in a little education over your summer when traveling with kids, check out the numerous museums and programs available at the University of Michigan.
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History has been offering educational programs and exhibits for more than 80 years, and continues to inspire kids of all ages. A few of the most memorable exhibits will likely be the Allosaurus, prehistoric whales and Mastodon displays.
Visit the museum on either Saturday or Sunday and join a free docent-led tour of the dinosaur exhibit at 2pm. After you’re done exploring the museum, take in a planetarium show and learn about the night sky. Admission to the museum is free for adults and children. Planetarium shows are $5 for adults, children and seniors.
Recently recognized as one of the 50 best college museums, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) provides a perfect complement to the Museum of Natural History, with stunning collections of paintings, sculptures and installations. Once a month, UMMA hosts "Storytime at the Museum" for children ages four to seven and their older siblings. Docent-led tours are also available on a regular basis.
There are also multimedia options available for self-guided tours. Admission to the museum is free for adults and children.
An outdoor option is to take a self-guided tour of the sculptures around campus. One of the must-sees includes the Wave Field by Maya Lin, who also designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. A piece of art built directly into the landscape, the Wave Field is playful and inspiring. While on North Campus, check out the rest of the public sculptures including BEGOB and the Reflecting Pool. On Central Campus, no visit is complete without spinning The Cube "Endover." A complete list of public artwork including sculptures, fountains and more is available online.