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What better way to spend a Saturday than visiting a local museum and expanding your horizons? This coming Saturday, September 29th, Smithsonian magazine is sponsoring Museum Day Live in which hundreds of museums nationwide will open their doors for free admission. All you have to do is visit Smithsonianmag.com/museumday and use their interactive map to find local participating museums. Tickets must be downloaded from the event’s website.

There are all kinds of museums participating in the event, from art and science to natural history. Below are five distinctive museums that are sure to inspire a day of fun and learning:

Old South Meeting HouseBoston, MA

A National Historic Landmark, Old South Meeting House is the location of the genesis of the Boston Tea Party. Visitors can step back in time and experience events that helped shape our nation.

Center for Puppetry ArtsAtlanta, GA

A museum dedicated to the craft of puppetry that features a permanent exhibition exploring the use of puppets in different cultures and two special exhibits that celebrate the contributions that Jim Henson made to the art of puppetry.

Alder PlanetariumChicago, IL

The first planetarium in America, the Alder Planetarium features three full-sized theaters, including “the most technologically advanced theater in the world,” the Grainger Sky Theater. The Alder Planetarium also features an important collection of antique scientific instruments.

Denver Botanic GardensDenver, CO

This 61-year old botanic garden offers a lush getaway in the middle of Denver’s urban sprawl. A pioneer in water conservation, the Denver Botanic Garden covers 24 acres and features plants from all corners of the world. You can also visit the newly opened Bonsai Pavilion and Tea Garden

Museum of Latin American ArtLong Beach, CA

This unique art museum is “the only museum in the United States exclusively dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art.” The museum recently underwent an expansion and now features a huge sculpture garden. On display now: the work of Mexican photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo.

So take some time this weekend and explore a local museum. You may even end up finding a hidden gem you didn’t even know existed.

All pictures from http://www.si.edu/

Ben Stagg

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