We all want museums to do well (at least, I’m assuming that my readers feel that way), which means, we want our museums to be full of excited visitors.
But sometimes, museums can be too crowded and too popular. Temporary exhibits are wonderful examples of this.
The Science Center of Iowa has a very popular exhibit on their hands: Da Vinci: The Genius. The exhibit was set to close this coming Sunday, January 16, so my husband and I fought the crowds last weekend to see what the hype is about.
And I’ll be sure to write about the exhibit later. Today is about the crowds.
To give them credit, I could tell that the Science Center staff was really working hard to keep everything in order and keep their guests happy. The crowd was well-managed and well-mannered, even though the entire lobby, hallway to the IMAX and Founders Hall were packed with eager guests. Wheelchairs appeared for those guests unable to stand in line, and extra coat racks accommodated our stuff.
But, sometimes it’s nice to avoid the crowds. How can you achieve this? Here are a few tips:
1. If you want to see a temporary exhibition, don’t wait until the last week! It sounds obvious, but pick a day and put it on your calendar as soon as possible. That way you’ll be able to get in the door and spend as much time as you would like in the space, without having to look over another visitor’s shoulder to read a label or wait in line to try a hands-on activity.
2. Avoid popular days such as the day after Thanksgiving, the day after Christmas, and Labor day. Take an extra day off and visit the day after Labor Day – the museum will be a ghost town!
3. Aim to visit during the slow months (February & September are good.) Plan your visits for right after school starts but before field trips begin.
4. If possible, buy your tickets online to avoid long ticket lines.
As for Da Vinci: The Genius, it’s been so popular they’ve extended it until March 20th. I wish they had announced that before our visit–we would have scheduled things differently.