15 Museums for People Who Hate Museums
15 Museums for People Who Hate Museums

Can we be real for a second? Museums can be...boring. It's true that many museums are enlightening, historical, and visually compelling. But sometimes we need a little something extra to keep our attention from wandering. If you're part of the group who doesn't love museums, consider that maybe you just haven't found the right museum. Here are 15 museums even people who hate museums will enjoy.

Museum of Bad Art - Massachusetts, U.S.

"A Jig and a Jug," acrylic on canvas painting by artist or artists unknown, on view at the Museum of Bad Art
Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./ Alamy Stock Photo

As its name suggests, the Museum of Bad Art has showcased the “best bad art” since 1994, and after moving locations several times, MOBA has landed in its best site yet — inside the Dorchester Brewing Co. in Boston. Now visitors can enjoy a pint while discussing the bizarre art housed in this collection. There are 800 permanent pieces in MOBA's collection, though the pieces rotate and only 50 are displayed at any given time. Each piece embodies plenty of “poor-traits” (as MOBA calls them) and has been donated, thrifted, or even rescued from the trash. From undistinguishable Presidents and celebrities to disconcerting landscapes and anthropomorphic animals, each piece carries a story and a laugh.

Museum of Old Art and New - Hobart, Tasmania

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Quirky, unusual, strange. All these words have been used to describe the MONA. But here's one more for the list — FUN. Everything about this museum is fascinating. Its collection is incredibly varied, with modern, contemporary and antiquities making an appearance. Housed in an underground labyrinth, the museum's entrance is located in an old tennis court. The moment you enter, you are instantly plunged into a world of stimulating art. It's a far cry from the stuffy museums you were dragged to as a kid, and it's definitely worth a visit.

La Cité du Vin - Bordeaux, France

Exterior of the La Cité du Vin museum.
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Located in the world-renowned wine region of Bordeaux, France, La Cité du Vin, is anything but a stuffy, boring museum. As one of the largest wine museums in the world, La Cité du Vin stands out against the Bordeaux skyline — it’s shaped like a giant red wine decanter! Inside the museum, discover the rich history of winemaking, from antiquity to present-day production, and embark on a journey through the “The Buffet of the Five Senses” to learn more about the art of wine tasting. The tour ends at the rooftop bar, Belvedere, where a free glass of wine awaits. Sip and relax while enjoying 360-degree views of Bordeaux.

The Museum of Broken Relationships - Zagreb, Croatia

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If you know the pain of having your heart ripped out and stomped on, then you'll love this museum. Originally conceived in Croatia, with a second location in Los Angeles, the Museum of Broken Relationships is for anyone who has felt love's cruel sting. The exhibits include donated personal objects from former lovers, often accompanied by a story about the failed relationship. The displays range from heartbreaking to hilarious, and will entertain and delight even the biggest cynic.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - Virginia, U.S.

Space Shuttle "Discovery" with a booster section in the foreground at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center .
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This is no ordinary air and space museum — the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center boasts some of the most prized aircraft in aviation history, including World War II bombers, the Space Shuttle Discovery, and the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The museum is an annex of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., located a short drive west of downtown in Chantilly, Virginia. The museum is essentially one massive airplane hangar, boasting over 3,000 artifacts, ranging from the dawn of aviation to the modern space era. As part of the Smithsonian collection of museums, entry is completely free, and visitors only pay for parking.

Amsterdam Cheese Museum - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Exterior of the Amsterdam Cheese Museum with cow statue.
Credit: Jan van der Wolf/ Shutterstock

Situated along a picturesque canal is a quaint culinary experience called the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. From vintage gouda to award-winning goat cheese, this museum specializes in edible exhibits and is best-visited on an empty stomach. Learn from one of the museum’s cheese guides about the history of Dutch cheese making before stepping into the store to purchase some delicious souvenirs. The museum is located just steps away from other museums on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal, including the Anne Frank House and the Amsterdam Tulip Museum.

The Strong National Museum of Play - Rochester, New York

Display of some of the popular toys of the Baby Boom generation and the 1960's.
Credit: debra millet/ Alamy Stock Photo

Your inner child will have a blast visiting the world’s most comprehensive toy collection at the Strong National Museum of Play in upstate New York. Tour hundreds of interactive exhibits about toys, board games, dolls, video games, books, and more. Experience the evolution of Barbie, explore the Sesame Street neighborhood, see the very first Monopoly board game ever made, and so much more. The museum is also home to the National Toy Hall of Fame and the World Video Game Hall of Fame, boasting priceless versions of some of the world’s most beloved toys and games.

Yayoi Kusama Museum - Tokyo, Japan

Art exhibit of pint polka dot tentacles.
Credit: Yula Zubritsky/ Alamy Stock Photo

The Yayoi Kusama Museum is a feast for the eyes. It is dedicated to contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama — sometimes referred to as the “princess of polka dots" — who creates many types of visual art, from paintings and sculptures to installations and even performances. The psychedelic experience features five vibrant floors of mirrors and polka dots and includes one of her most famous installations, the “Infinity Mirror Room.” The museum even topped Time Out’s list of “The Best 50 Things to Do in the World Right Now” in 2018.

Vasa Museum - Stockholm, Sweden

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A massive wooden warship might not seem like most people's first choice for a museum, but then again Sweden has never done things by the book. The Vasa Museum displays an almost fully-intact 17th-century ship, which sunk in 1628 and has since been salvaged. The museum was built around the ship, which stands on a dry dock. You can tour the ship and the accompanying exhibits that detail its history for an engaging and awe-inspiring experience.

Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway

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One of the more bizarre museums of the world, the Vigeland Sculpture Park is an open-air park home to more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. It's one of Oslo's most-visited tourist destinations, and it's not difficult to understand why. The collection of bizarre statues includes naked human sculptures cast in bronze, iron and stone, and while some are depicted in traditional poses, there are quite a few engaged in weird scenarios, like hugging giant lizards and fighting flying babies. If the weather is sunny, make your way to this park to see humanity portrayed at its strangest.

The Design Museum - London, England

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London's Design Museum covers the whole wide world of design, from industrial to graphic, fashion and architecture. The museum celebrates all things visual, with exhibitions displaying everything from an old Model T Ford to Vogue Magazine covers to interior design layouts. The museum will make you stop and appreciate the beauty of the everyday objects around you, and the geniuses who designed them.

MUSA - Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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Engaging and eco-friendly, with a side of adventure? We're in! Meet Mexico's underwater museum. Set in the waters between Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizucthe, Museo Subacuático de Arte is not easy to access. But if you strap on your scuba gear or step aboard a glass-bottomed boat, you can explore a magical underwater world populated by over 500 sculptures on the bottom of the ocean. The art installation is the work of artist Jason deCaires Taylor, and is made of materials that help stimulate the local ecosystem.

ArtScience Museum - Singapore

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Located in the heart of Singapore, and resembling a giant lotus flower, the ArtScience Museum's exterior is a marvel to behold. Once inside, you will encounter a rotating selection of art and science exhibitions from around the world. There's plenty to do and see in the 21 gallery spaces, and one visit might introduce you to everything from the history of the Silk Road to Andy Warhol's most vibrant paintings and Egyptian mummies.

Museum of Ice Cream - United States

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The Museum of Ice Cream is pure, pink and delightful. It has popped up across the U.S., enjoying limited engagements in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, and Miami over the past few years. The museum is characterized by brightly-colored rooms each with a delicious theme. Indulge in your sweet tooth with exhibits like a massive sprinkle pool, a candy garden and a Pop Rocks cave. Each new room will make you feel like you're Willy Wonka.

Gibbs Farm - Auckland, New Zealand

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If you associate museums with stuffy buildings filled with priceless paintings and endless corridors, you may need to update your definition. Gibbs Farm outside Auckland, New Zealand is less enclosed museum and more sprawling ranch. This open-air sculpture park sits on 990 acres of private land and is home to dozens of large-scale sculptures commissioned by owner Alan Gibbs. Touring this collection feels more like a rustic country stroll, and it's not uncommon for sheep to be your companion as you explore these massive sculptures.  Perched on hilltops and emerging from lakes, these sculptures are simply breathtaking, and it's worth the drive to experience this landscape.

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