The Toledo Museum of Art houses more than 30,000 wide-ranging works of art, including important pieces by van Gogh, Matisse, and Rembrandt; a glass collection; and masterworks ranging back into antiquity. This deal gets two adults and their under-18 offspring a yearlong family membership, which includes admission to exhibits as well as members-only special events and a subscription to the arTMAtters newsletter. Members can also enroll teens aged 14 and older in discounted welded-sculpture workshops (such as Welded Sculpture: Arc and TIG, $95 for members) and get 10% off children's books and other purchases at the Museum Store, providing flammable materials for his or her biblioclasmic coming-of-age ceremony. Check out a full list of benefits here.
Located on the placid Toledo Riverfront, the Imagination Station unfolds over seven splendiferous Learning Worlds, each with its own multisensory science exhibits designed to inspire and educate visitors. The family membership grants unlimited access to all exhibits and attractions, as well as special members-only events, discounts, and entrance to 350 Association of Science-Technology Centers included in the reciprocal membership benefit program.
After spending years designing kitchens and handcrafting cabinets, John Barlowe opened Frame Shop Art Gallery & Gifts to celebrate and showcase great household art. A member of the Professional Picture Framers Association, he's won awards for his custom-frame designs, which pair his meticulous woodworking skills with elements such as football skin to accent displayed pieces. As a premier partner of Larson-Juhl, he has access to thousands of ornate American hardwood borders and gilded moldings crafted with more than 100 years of company expertise. Each artwork or photograph squeezes between Tru Vue glass and Bainbridge mats and backboard, a sandwich framers can often complete in as little as 24 hours.
In addition to displaying art, John and his team specialize in various photo services, from printing images to transforming ordinary snapshots into caricatures or watercolors with artistic photo treatments. They also prevent boxes of family photos from falling victim to age, disasters, and swamp monsters’ thumbprints by digitizing large collections.
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History showcases a wealth of knowledge about the living world with focus on anthropology, zoology, and paleontology. On the Museum's second floor, the hall of evolution houses fossils and dioramas of dinosaurs, prehistoric whales, and mastodons. On the third and fourth floors, a wildlife gallery explores Michigan's native flora and fauna through taxidermy mounts and habitat scenes, anthropology displays feature archeological finds from around the world, and geology exhibits highlight colorful amethyst clusters and sparkling pyrite crystals. The butterfly garden provides a living example of the natural world. Its 55 herbaceous perennials—including goldenrod, black-eyed Susan and spicebush—attract butterflies through all four of their life stages, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to fully grown winged beauties.
Extending its reach beyond the galaxy, the Museum's recently renovated planetarium projects the night sky on a dome. Sitting under the curved screen, visitors can travel to the most distant reaches of the universe. As part of its efforts to get families involved in hands-on learning, the Museum also runs weekend demonstrations, leads dinosaur tours, and partners with local libraries for its family reading and science program.
One hundred fifty years in the making, the permanent collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art now totals more than 19,000 pieces. Displayed throughout the museum's galleries, those collected masterpieces include canvases by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as a 1638 self-portrait by Rembrandt. Far from a narrow representation of the art world, the museum asks questions about the global nature of art by juxtaposing the aforementioned artists alongside African work, Indian bronzes, and Chinese ceramics.
After exploring the museum's permanent and special exhibitions, visitors can decompress at the DialogTable. Not only does the interactive table show guests films about the art they've seen, but it can also answer the age-old question "what is being a table like?" To supplement its exhibits, the museum hosts numerous programs and events every year, ranging from student programming and a reading series to artist talks and art-making workshops. The artistic attractions even spill through the museum doors with seven sculptures surrounding the building.