How we tell a story either immerses our audience or turns them away. The details, energy and flow of a its components is what sparks adventure and ultimately creates lasting connections. If told in the right way a story can be magical, and a museum is simply that – a story. A visually appealing and historically rich story, yet if not conveyed right it can well… bore you. Even though museums display some of the finest artwork and artifacts known from our culture, they don’t always connect with their audience. There’s no need to fret though. You see, this is where Museum Hack comes in.
Museum Hack is basically that teacher in school that you’ll never forget because they made learning fun and exciting! They lead renegade tours throughout the top museums in the country and turn them into engaging and interactive experiences. Ones you’ll never forget. I recently had the opportunity to tour the American Museum of Natural History with Museum Hack and it honestly left me smiling from ear to ear. I mean, I ended up taking a selfie with a stegosaurus so you know fun was had!
Our tour guide was Emily and within the first five minutes she had laid down about ten hilarious puns as we named our favorite animals and had us in a circle stacking hands yelling “MUSEUM!” Then we were whisked off into the exhibits. The museum itself has over 25 interconnecting buildings, AKA it’s HUGE, so we weren’t able to see all of it but to do so would take days. Instead we saw a selection of what the museum has to offer, but they did not disappoint. We saw popular pieces and ones that were more hidden. The best part? All the incredible, intriguing information you learn about these exhibits that you would never know by reading the description plates.
Some examples? Well in the hall of African Mammals we learned the animals themselves are made from real fur, teeth & bones, which is why they look so lifelike. However, they have thankfully discontinued the use of taxidermy. That Carl Akeley, the man who conceived of this hall, and his wife are both nuts. That there was an epic and hilarious jewel heist at the museum, that the blue whale got a nip tuck, that some explorers are just plain assholes, that not every exhibit in the museum is accurate but on others they have gone to considerable lengths to create a lifelike atmosphere and so, so much more. I learned more during this tour than I have at any museum ever. And I wanted to know more!
Another favorite part? You get to interact with the museum and your group. We teamed up and ran through the dinosaur exhibits quickly gathering facts and snapping photos, we got to tour the Hall of Gems and decide which one of them we’d like to steal (for fun guys!) and had some really enjoyable discussions as a group. The tour was two hours long but it was way too quick for me. I truly could have stayed hours longer.
If I would have gone to the museum by myself I would have toured through and read the descriptions and had a nice afternoon. Honestly though I probably wouldn’t have retained half of what I read. It would be forgotten moments later, or I wouldn’t have been paying attention that much because well…mom brain. Yet this jammed packed two hour tour of knowledge bombs (as Emily likes to refer to them!) are details I’m going to take with me for life. They made someone who liked museums realize that they love them.
One thing I do want to point out is you need to be 16 and older to go on this tour and over 21 for some of their others. There is a bit of fun, adult language that happens and you’re traveling pretty fast through the museum so having a stroller would be impossible. Especially when trying to make it up and down all those stairs! If you don’t want to leave your kids though, they do offer private tours for families.
All in all this tour left me wanting more. Emily made this story magical and showed us all that if you make the contents engaging that people are going to listen. I’m looking forward to my next Museum Hack tour and highly suggest that you guys check it out as well. You won’t be disappointed. And you’re definitely going to realize that museums? Well, they’re f***ing awesome. Check out more at www.museumhack.com!