Looking for a fun weekend destination? Pack your bags and head on a road trip to one of these special exhibits at museums in the Midwest.
Cincinnati: "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man"
Room-sized installations, mutant art vehicles and more are sprinkled throughout the Cincinnati Art Museum, with the unique aesthetic of the museum's new exhibit "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" beckoning spectators. The special exhibit showcases the avant-garde art of Nevada's Burning Man festival held annually in the desert 100 miles from Reno. It includes works like "Shrumen Lumen," featuring giant, glowing mushrooms, and "Nova," an LED star mounted to the ceiling that visitors can watch from the pillows below. Admission is free, and the exhibit runs through Sept. 2.
More info • cincinnatiartmuseum.org
Nashville: "Kacey Musgraves: All of the Colors"
Strap on your cowboy boots and head down to Nashville for the new Kacey Musgraves exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Opening on July 2, the exhibit will feature handwritten song lyrics and personal items such as Musgraves' pantsuit from the 2018 CMA awards and a detention notice she received for "continuous classroom disruption." The Grammy-winning country star will also be speaking on July 6 at the museum's CMA theater, and tickets are available on the museum's website.
More info • countrymusichalloffame.org
Detroit: The Final Frontier
"Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds" takes Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation visitors beyond the final frontier. It features more than 100 props and artifacts from the series, costumes such as Leonard Nimoy's Spock tunic, original scripts and storyboards, and a transporter simulator. The exhibit highlights the innovation and exploration that inspired the franchise, and the museum is in Dearborn, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.
More info • thehenryford.org
Des Moines: 'Queer Abstraction'
It's not all cornfields in Iowa: Head to the Hawkeye State for "Queer Abstraction," the Des Moines Art Center's first exhibit devoted exclusively to queer sexuality and identity. Many LGBTQ artists have communicated their struggles through abstraction — it's a medium capable of conveying the nuances of sexuality and gender and the challenges LGBTQ people face. The exhibit, which strives to include LGBTQ artists in art history, is on display until Sept. 8.
More info • desmoinesartcenter.org
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story had the wrong exhibit name.
Chicago: New arrivals at Shedd Aquarium
Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has some new arrivals. This May, two sibling penguins hatched at the aquarium. They are Shedd's second and third Magellanic penguins born and raised at the aquarium. And Piquet, a 31-year-old white-sided dolphin, is expecting her third calf in the fall.
More • sheddaquarium.org
Chicago: "Fantastic Bug Encounters" and "D-Day Warriors: American Indians in the Military"
Don't leave Chicago before checking out one more museum (and do not forget to see "Hamilton: The Exhibition" for that matter). Temporary exhibit "Fantastic Bug Encounters" at Chicago's Field Museum features a live bug zoo, open through April 19. Large, colorful models and interactive experiences (such as flying origami butterflies in a wind tunnel) make the exhibit a huge hit for all ages.
And in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Field Museum is hosting another special exhibit, "D-Day Warriors: American Indians in the Military," open through Feb. 2. The exhibition tells the story of American Indians' military service through photographs, video interviews with Penobscot elder and retired master sergeant Charles Norman Shay, and artifacts. Shay's story is just one of many: more than 44,000 Native Americans served in the U.S. military between 1941 and 1945, and millions have served throughout U.S. history.
More info • fieldmuseum.org
Kansas City: Nelson-Atkins adds art-inspired mini golf course
Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Art Museum fuses summer fun and art with its latest addition: a nine-hole, art-inspired mini golf course. Each hole's design reflects a work of art in the museum's permanent collection. Also outside the museum, British artist Andy Goldsworthy and his team are building a stone "Walking Wall" with its next section set to be constructed in July. The course is open all summer, and admission to the museum is free.
More info • nelson-atkins.org
St. Paul, Minn.: "Inventing Genius"
About 500 years after the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul is celebrating the Renaissance man through its summer special exhibit "Inventing Genius." The exhibit, which runs until Sept. 2, highlights da Vinci's architectural prowess. Drawings, flying machines, musical instruments (like a double flute) and more are on display. The exhibit also draws parallels between da Vinci's inventions and modern technology, and it features a "101 Inventions" immersive video chronicling human inventions. It engages visitors of all ages with an interactive area including hands-on activities like using little sticks to reconstruct da Vinci's bridge design.
More info • smm.org
Minneapolis: "Hearts of Our People"
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is celebrating the work of more than 115 Native American women artists — pottery, textiles, paintings — with its "Hearts of Our People" special exhibit. It's the first major exhibition of artwork by Native American women and showcases more than 1,000 years of artwork from the U.S. and Canada. Catch the exhibit before Aug. 18 when it heads across the country.
More info • new.artsmia.org
Cleveland: Rock & Roll "Interactive Garage"
Calling all rock 'n' roll fans: Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame opens its "Interactive Garage" exhibit July 1. Visitors will be able to play top-notch instruments including keyboards, mixing boards, drums and guitars. The museum's second floor also features a studio space and a lounge for playing acoustic instruments. The exhibit complements the hall of fame's other collections like artifacts from rock legends and an exhibit on the history of hip hop.
More info • rockhall.com
Indianapolis: "Treasures of Ancient Greece"
Ever wonder what it was like to be Hercules? Experience Ancient Greece through a new exhibit "Treasures of Ancient Greece" at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Test your art skills by building a temple and painting a vase, hear stories about the development of modern technology from ancient Greek foundations and race against your family members at a mock Olympics. And if you want to really immerse yourself in Hercules' world, try on armor and help Hercules triumph over his 12 labors.
More info • childrensmuseum.org