Take your kids to the museum

After watching Bill Maher briefly yesterday on Larry King Live, one can clearly tell one of the messages he was trying to send to the audience was that travelling and understanding situations over seas helps in making a stronger and smarter government. The advantage knowledge and experience gives to somebody is priceless and helps the development of an individual tremendously.

Montreal, fortunately, is the home to a multitude of cultures. One can learn several languages, eat diverse style of foods and understand several different ideaologies. Although not the experience one can get from traveling and seeing the world first hand, the fact that these differences can be found and observed within a single community is still an advantage for children around.

Both of the authors of this blog actually spent a significant amount of time growing up in the city of Ottawa, Ontario. The luck of growing up in such a city is slightly different then that of Montreal. Although it does hold a diverse population, it more importantly is a city filled with museums to keep kids interested.

While I was growing up in Ottawa, my parents took me to a museum at least once a month. It could also mount to a little more then that. I remember walking through each museum, and although I had been to them many times before, the exhibits always sparked interest in me. Whether I read the little explanations that went with them or not, the experience of seeing visually first hand several pieces to a puzzle that would be complete many years in the future through education, I was definetly more interested and ahead of myself.

The advantage of museums, and although they're are a lot less of them in Montreal, don't only deal with a child's education. The fact that a family can visit exhibits for quite a cheap admission is a true advantage. It allows for a family to do an activity together for a good price, and it does keep the kids occupied in a positive way. This is the sort of activity that pays off later on.

The cities are full of culturally significant observation points. From museums, to architecture, the cities offer cheap solutions to keep a child busy and educate him at the same time. This is the sort of experiment that doesn't require much effort, or money and pay off in the end. So, do take your kids to the museum, or at least show them the effort that was put into building a city, and all that it offers.


At 13/3/07 6:35 PM, Blogger Portelance said...

When I travel, especially with my family, we always end up visiting museums (on top of exploration and visiting culturally significant sites, of course). There always seems to be a bit of dissent. Me and my dad get high on museums, and the women in my family get bored of them very rapidly.

Case in point: in Washington two summers, ago, me and my dad spent hours in the Air and Space museum, like a bunch of little schoolboys. My mom and sister got fed up very quickly and just decided to sit down on a bench to relax. I never quite understood this. Then again, my mom's idea of a vacation is going to some all-inclusive resort and lounging on the beach for a week.

I can't stand these places. You have absolutely no idea of how the culture itself works outside of this Americanized resort. I often tell people that these resorts could be in Lac Saint Jean and you wouldn't notice a difference. Some have argued that, obviously, you go there for the "quality" of the beach and weather and all this. Sure, but the point is that whether it is in Lac Saint Jean or Mexico is of little importance because these locations are geographically irrelevant.

Museums, to me, are important landmarks in a city. This could stem from the fact that, in Ottawa, museums are some of the only important landmarks. Since I grew up with this whole museum culture (I did summer camps at the Aviation Museum, school field trips to Nature, Science and Tech, Civilizations, National Gallery, War Museum, etc.), it is possible that I am using the same frame of mind when I travel. Nonetheless, I find that museums can give a very interesting view of another culture because they tend to showcase what that culture is proud of, and wants to educate the world about. You also get the other extremes, like the fantastic Holocaust Museum in Washington, whose goal it is to educate because we are not proud of it.


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