In the past two months, I estimate that I’ve been to at least 100 museums in the Midwestern region. That’s a lot of museums. Some of them were even accidental. For example, I pulled over for a quick hike down to the Missouri River and discovered the Lewis & Clark Interpretative Center nearby. Even my smartphone seemed confused (not an unusual occurrence, unfortunately).

Nevertheless, museums don’t have to be the intimidating and school-like institutions that people remember from their childhood. These days, many are ramping up the tech with movies, smartphone audio tours, interactive exhibits (like, want to experience seasons on the Kansas prairie?), and even holograms. Museums are important because they hold concrete objects of ideas, science, and history. You can often immerse yourself in the past and culture of the area and discover that yes, history does often repeat itself.