In this day and age there are so many ways to satiate our thirst for culture, even from the comfort of our homes. By reading interesting books, watching fascinating documentaries and connecting with friends and family members across the globe (thank you Skype and FaceTime), we can learn about other cultures simply through our mobile devices.
Yet, while we love that kind of accessibility, nothing can replace a tactile experience that involves us engaging our senses and absorbing firsthand a healthy dose of cultural goodness. So, let’s start thinking of some ways to channel that desire for more culture and knowledge into tangible adventures in our hometowns.
Visit A Presidential Library
Presidential libraries are an amazing way to learn more about the United States’s rich history. In addition to showcasing the life and achievements of the president featured in each library, these facilities often have special exhibits that provide additional tidbits and little-known information about a president and his first family.
For example, the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, recently showcased an exquisite collection of the late Oscar de la Renta’s gowns that he designed for First Lady Laura Bush. Additionally, there are often events, readings, and speaking engagements that take place in these libraries, offering visitors with an extra chance to soak up more neat information and knowledge about presidents and their impact on modern-day society.
Peruse A Special Museum Exhibit
There are so many incredible museums located throughout the continental U.S.— and, of course, the world — but one of our favorite things to do when we’re in search of a cultural outing is to hone in on the special exhibits running for a limited time at the museums in our neighborhood. These exhibits are usually only available to the public for a few months and they often cost a few extra dollars, but they offer an exclusive peek into a certain topic or art form. This provides visitors with a unique experience that is both invigorating and inspiring. A tip: start keeping tabs on the exhibits offered at the museums in your area so you can make sure to pop in before they close.
… nothing can replace a tactile experience that involves us engaging our senses and absorbing firsthand a healthy dose of cultural goodness.
Attend A Lecture
If there is a museum, university, or library in your neck of the woods, chances are that you’ll have a plethora of speakers coming through town on a speaker’s circuit. Even boutiques and stores have been getting in on the action hosting artists, authors, and other creatives in their space (sometimes accompanied by yummy bites and sips, too).
Authors often travel around the country to promote their new books, creating a great excuse for you to pre-purchase their titles online in advance —after all, you’ll need something for them to sign when you meet them! You’ll not only learn more about a new topic by hearing what the speaker has to say, but you’ll also have the unique opportunity to potentially get some face time with the person to whom you’ve come to listen.
Take A Cooking Class
Local culinary shops and grocery stores offer fun opportunities to get together with family and friends to learn how to whip up something tasty in the kitchen. Participating in classes where you learn to make sushi, curry, Pad Thai, and a wide array of other treats can satiate your international cuisine cravings. You can use what you learn to wow your friends at your next dinner party, or you can simply revel in the fact that you’ve expanded your culinary horizons, soaking up a bit of culture while enjoying a delicious meal.
How do you take in culture in your community?
Image via Morgan Ashley Photography