I love what my kids can learn from museums dedicated to art, history and science, but sometimes you just need to get off the beaten path and go to one of the weird and wacky museums that can be found in every corner of the country. Here are seven of my favorites that are worth checking out as a family.
- The Bunny Museum (Pasadena, CA): If you like rabbits, stop by to view the world’s largest bunny collection, which includes over 28,000 bunny collectibles. You’ll also find seven real bunnies hopping around the premises. Open 365 days a year by appointment
- Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia (Burlingame, CA): Pez dispensers have been around for more than 60 years, and here you and your family will find dispensers featuring 550 unique characters, including Miss Piggy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Wonder Woman. You’ll also see the world’s largest Pez dispensing machine.
- Louisville Slugger Museum (Louisville, KY): More than 230,000 visitors explored hands-on, interactive exhibits and checked out the rotating exhibitions at this museum dedicated to the world-famous Louisville Slugger bat last year. You’ll see the World’s Biggest Bat and will also have the opportunity to create a Louisville Slugger bat with your name on it, just like the pros.
- Lunchbox Museum (Columbus, GA): Stop in to see more than 1,500 classic metal lunchboxes, featuring the likes of the Bee Gees, Pac-Man and Cabbage Patch Kids. While some have been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, those on display tell the story of American pop culture through the late-80s when lunchboxes switched over from metal to plastic.
- Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (New York, NY): You and your family can check out various genres of comic and cartoon art, including animation, comic books, comic strips, sports cartoons and political illustrations. You’ll also get a chance to learn how they’re crafted and how it reflects history.
- National Museum of Roller Skating (Lincoln, NE): Learn about the evolution of roller skate wheels, view early roller skate patents and watch highlights of roller skating competitions. More than two centuries of roller skating history is covered in this museum dedicated to one of America’s favorite sports.
- National Mustard Museum (Middleton, WI): Just west of Madison, you’ll find an entire museum dedicated to one of the most popular condiments. You and your family can view more than 5,300 jars of mustard from all 50 states and 60 countries, as well as vintage mustard ads and the Great Wall of Mustard. Stop by the first Saturday in August for free hot dogs and mustard samplings on National Mustard Day.
Have you visited any of these museums? I’d love to hear your feedback. And, if you’ve visited any other wild and wacky museums, please let me know which ones you’d recommend.