Buenos Aires–Dia de la Primavera and Sunday Ferias

Our last day in Buenos Aires was a Sunday–and since we were taking the later flight back to Posadas, we had almost a whole day to explore! We decided to walk to the famous Feria de San Telmo, which runs every Sunday in the neighborhood of (you guessed it!) San Telmo.  Some of the guidebooks we were a little iffy of where the feria actually started, but we had heard from one of the people we met at The Argentine Experience that it started near Plaza de Mayo.  Well, no, it didn’t–but we found a cute little eco-themed street fair. Loved the umbrellas!


We ended up walking a loooong way, past the University of Buenos Aires engineering building, which I am sure was active, but looked to be crumbling. Then we walked up what I swear was the longest hill ever, and walked a few more blocks until we found the end (or beginning?) of Feria de San Telmo.

_DSC0286 _DSC0289

Feria de San Telmo is a a huge street fair/antique market that runs every Sunday from around 10am to around 8pm.  (I say “around because it’s Argentina–things don’t really get hopping until about noon, after everyone has woken up frm the effects of their night clubbing.) It’s filled with antique stalls selling rotary phones, vintage silverware, and plenty of artisans selling paintings, mates, and all sorts of other Argentinian handicraft.


Also, it’s filled with musicians, puppeteers, singers, tango dancers, and artists. I didn’t get a photo of it (boo, me!) but there was a guy there playing a saxophone he made out of a very large gourd–and it sounded just about right! We also saw a band for a local milonga (or tango dance club).  A word of warning–it gets VERY crowded at San Telmo. Watch your wallet–it is a notorious area for pickpockets. We didn’t have any problems (and I love my Magellan’s bag with a wire-mesh strap for occasions like this–Note: crud, looks like Magellan’s has undergone another sale. If they make it back, their anti-theft bags are great), but I can see how the crowds make it very easy for someone to just disappear with your belongings.


Sunday ended up being a pretty special day in Argentina–Dia de la Primavera, or Spring Day. It always coincides with Student’s Day. The parks were filled to the brim with high schoolers and college students sunning themselves, listening to the free concerts, and playing frisbee or futbol in the many parks. It was a gorgeous day–and it was so cool to see everyone outside and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. We were sad we were only able to get some photos on our way to the airport!

_DSC0298 _DSC0300 _DSC0304

Buenos Aires–Recoleta

Now that we’ve talked about Eva Peron… let’s talk about where she is buried.

T was a little wary when I enthusiastically told him I wanted to visit a cemetery in Buenos Aires. When we visited Cementerio de la Recoleta … he immediately understood why we were there.  Unlike anything else I have seen before, Recoleta is a city of the dead. It is filled with elaborate mausoleums for the rich and powerful of Buenos Aires.

_DSC1000 _DSC0995

What stood out the most for me was how different each tomb looked… and how some looked almost modern and were clearly well-kept by the family, while others were falling into disrepair.

_DSC0992 _DSC0999

We wandered the rows for a while, marveling at the workmanship (and occasionally getting skeeved out by older caskets that seemed to warp the wood to almost opening). It’s easy to spend a few hours just wandering around and wondering what every person’s story was. My favorites were the ones that included photos and effects from those who were buried there–the family tried to tell a story of who these people were and what made them special.


Loved the cemetery kitties!


Incredibly creepy memorial.

_DSC0061 _DSC0015 _DSC0012 _DSC0042 _DSC0005

Some of the most important people in Argentinian history are buried there–including many of their “founding fathers” and pretty much every Argentinian president.  My Argentinian history is fairly rusty, so I wasn’t always quite sure what I was looking at.  We did see the tomb of the La Paz family, which still owns the media conglomerate of Argentina, as well as Carlos Saavedra Lamas, who was the first Latin American Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his diplomatic work in ending the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia (he also did a lot of legal work in establishing rights for workers in Argentina).

_DSC0046 _DSC0063

However, by far the most popular tomb is that of Evita. She’s buried in the Duarte family tomb. (Remember how she was illegitimate? One of her legacies was making sure that illegitimate children would be referred to as natural children, in order to give them some legal standing.) It’s not the fanciest tomb in Recoleta, and it’s somewhat hard to find (we trailed a tour guide speaking in English until we found it). But it perpetually has flowers outside of it.

Here’s where I get to tell you the tale of Eva’s body. She died in 1952, and Dr. Pedro Ara was tasked with embalming the corpse and making her as lifelike as possible. The ultimate goal was to create a statue of a descamisada (literally, “shirtless one,” but the word used by Eva Peron to describe the poor in Argentina) with a tomb for Eva’s body in the base. She was to be in a crystal casket and be on display (like Lenin).  However, before the memorial could be creating, in 1955 the military overthrew Juan Peron and dictated a ban on Peronism until 1971. You could be punished for owning a photo of the Perons, or even speaking their names. In those years, Evita’s body went missing. According to this BBC story, her body was probably in a van, behind a cinema screen, in the Buenos Aires waterworks, and was ultimately removed to Juan Peron and his third wife Isabel in Spain.  They set about restoring Eva’s body, which had experienced some deterioration and mysterious wounds. In a very weird twist, they stored the body in their own home, on their dining room table.  In 1973, Juan and Isabel Peron returned to Argentina where they were elected President and Vice President, respectively. After Juan suddenly died, it was Isabel who ensured that Eva’s body was repatriated to Argentina for its final burial in Recoleta.


Now, onto less grisly discussions… there was a beautiful outdoor market on the hill outside Recoleta that apparently runs every weekend. There you can buy all sorts of handmade crafts and goods–it was fun to walk around and see all of the ingenuity and creativity. We have plans to go back next time with a much larger suitcase to get some stuff as gifts and for ourselves! We clearly didn’t plan for all of the beautiful things we were going ot see in the market, and we only brought a small suitcase and two overnight bags total–so we’ll have to go back soon!

_DSC0990 _DSC0985 _DSC0984


Buenos Aires–Museo Evita

We did more than look at animals in Buenos Aires!  We also decided to check out some of the museums that we’ve been hearing so much about.

We had a disappointing moment at Museo de los Artes Decorativos (Decorative Art Museum) as only the first floor was open, and that floor was filled with a temporary exhibition of Italian paintings. The paintings were nice, but I wanted to see luxurious housewares! A bit of a disappointment, and I think we only spent about 30 minutes there.

Instead, we decided to hoof it over to Museo Evita, the museum all about Eva Peron, who is still referred to on Wikipedia as the Eternal Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina.


For those of you who missed the movie starring Madonna, Eva Peron was born in the rural pampas of Argentina, became an actress and moved to Buenos Aires, and married Col. Juan Peron, who became president in 1946. She was the first woman to appear with her husband on the campaign trail, and she was a tireless crusader for women’s suffrage.

She was a stylish lady, with many of the exhibitions including her outfits. She embarked on a “Rainbow Tour” of Europe in 1947, meeting many dignitaries and heads of state, wearing an extravagant wardrobe. She was well received in Franco’s Spain, and had mixed reviews in the rest of Europe.  I loved the black evening gown on display with feather trim. It would not have looked out of place in a red carpet lineup today.


She was very philanthropic, and created her own Eva Peron foundation to focus her efforts on women, children, and the elderly. Through it, she established halfway houses (such as the one the museum is housed in), payments for single mothers, and a nursing school.


By 1951, Evita’s popularity had reached such a fevered pitch that the population called on her to run for Vice President–something that was frowned upon by the military. The Cabildo Abierto was a giant rally in Buenos Aires held where the approximately two million Argentines attended to support the Peron ticket. However, ultimately, she decided to not pursue the Vice Presidency–which furthered her image as a selfless saint and upheld the strong belief in marianismo (another post for another day–where I’ll actually get to use some of the Spanish degree I earned!).


By 1950, she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, and she underwent a radical hysterectomy in an attempt to stop the spread of the cancer and was the first Argentine to try chemotherapy. By 1952, she was in a parade with her husband where she had to be supported to standing with a frame of plaster and wire. She ultimately succumbed to the disease on July 26, 2952.  All official government activities were suspended for two days, and her funeral was attended by over three million people. She was 33.


Evita is a a contentious figure, particularly in Argentina. Her father was a wealthy rancher with multiple families–of which Eva’s was not the main one, so thus she wasn’t a “legitimate” child. She didn’t have much of a formal education, and was an actress–putting her on the outs with the traditional Argentine high society. Her Rainbow Tour of Europe was criticized as having been an expensive cover for her depositing vast amounts of Argentine money for the Peron’s personal use in a Swiss bank account. She gained more expensive tastes in clothing after her European tour, preferring skirt suits made by Dior and jewels by Cartier. Some have said that even her foundation was just a means to funnel money to the Peron’s personal bank accounts.  Even in her death, critics said that the outpouring of grief by the average Argentine was less of a real feeling of grief, and more of a reflection of how well the Peronist “passion plays” were distributed to the public.  One thing that is true beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Evita forged some of her documents. She forged a birth certificate that listed her as the child of two legitimate parents, and also changed her birth year to make her three years younger.  She was possibly a fascist, and indeed the time when her husband was in power (either in the military or as president) was the time when Nazis were escaping to Argentina–although there has been some discussion that she was less fascist and more the victim of her husband’s influence and went along with his views.

I was surprised that the museum did address some of these criticism, despite its benefactors–it was created by her niece and is funded by her foundation. Although it didn’t reflect all of the criticisms, it did address her illegitimacy, and her “other-ness” within established Argentinian society. The museum noted that she could be incredibly brash and brusque, and that tended to put her at odds with others in power, particularly in the military. It didn’t address the later issues of Juan Peron (google “Dirty War” for a primer on that), but focused only on Evita’s experience.

Evita’s legacy is an interesting one, and one that is wholly Argentinian. She combined radical leadership, spirituality, and femininity into a package that stirred the people to act. It was revolutionary that a woman held the power that she did in the very macho Argentinian society. She is featured on the Argentinian peso, and regardless of the political party, she is still considered an important part of Argentine history. In some portions of Argentine society, she is even considered a saint!


The museum itself was built in 2002, and is well-presented. There are videos of her speeches and appearances, and plenty of her stylish outfits on display, as well as some items that are related to either her or her works. I enjoyed how the museum told the story of the building’s role as a halfway house founded by Evita’s foundation. It only took about 2 hours to go through the entire museum, and I read everything. If you go, look on the wall near the doors for the plaques with the English translation of (most of) the written descriptions in the room.

_DSC0132 _DSC0135 _DSC0129 _DSC0126

Also, the restaurant attached to Museo Evita is excellent–it had a long line for the sunny patio seats that were pet-friendly, but we were too hungry to wait and took a table inside by a large window and got some vitamin D from in there. The menu was modern, tasteful, and full of variety. I enjoyed my chicken and vegetable ravioli, and T enjoyed his gnocchi, but we absolutely loved the bread best–warm, freshly baked, and filled with fresh herbs. The dipping sauce that came with it was very Argentinian–mayonnaise with sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper, which is not odd to the average mayo-obsessed Argentinian, but definitely was not what we were expecting!

We would highly recommend Museo Evita–it’s a short trip (and pretty close to Zoo Buenos Aires) that is presented in an interesting way with a good cafe to end the afternoon. However–definitely do some additional reading on Evita and, if you’re feeling ambitious, the Peron legacy, to understand how contentious a figure Evita can be. It’s more than “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina!”

Buenos Aires–Zoo Buenos Aires

On a whim we decided to visit Zoo Buenos Aires while we were in town. We had already gone to Temaiken and loved it, but we were already walking around the perimeter of the zoo, and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to pay the approximately $14 each and go in.

The pros: The zoo has a lot of animals you can see close up, much like Temaiken. They’re right there! In many cases, you can feed the animals. Just buy the little bucket of animal feed, and you can feed lots of deer, bison, monkeys, etc.

_DSC0171 _DSC0183 _DSC0198

They also have maras–lots of them. They are free-roaming, and they are on every available grassy patch. They are friendly and adorable and by far were my favorite part of the zoo. We also saw some free-ranging nutria (kind of a groundhog with a long rat-like tail that gets made into coats in the US)!


If you look closely near the brush, there’s a whole den of baby maras hanging out there.


Nutria and rhea

_DSC0166 _DSC0156 _DSC0153

They also have a large amount of capybaras/carpinchos that you can see up close (though unfortunately not pet…). I was happy to see such a big herd of them. Capys are happiest in a big crowd.


A whole nest of carpinchos. Plus a nutria with an identity crisis.


The big con: this is a zoo in the truest of forms. That means that some of the cages are small, the animals have virtually no room to run around, and they aren’t given proper stimulation/toys. Also, the pellets you feed to the animals are one size fits all, so they’re not specific to the animal’s diets. The animals in Zoo Buenos Aires were not nearly as happy as those in Temaiken. Well, except for the maras and nutrias, who seemed pretty pleased overall.

_DSC0249 _DSC0245 _DSC0186

Was it worth it? Eh. Obviously, there were some high points, but the zoo is a bit run-down, and clearly focused on making the people happy, not so much the animals.

Buenos Aires–Bioparque Temaiken

T and I just made it to a big work milestone, so we decided to take a few vacation days and continue our exploration of all of the sights of Buenos Aires!

One of the first items on our list was Bioparque Temaiken. It’s about 40 minutes outside of Buenos Aires (although a little longer for us, since our taxi got stuck in major traffic due to some sort of political demonstration). All in all, it’s about 50 km outside of the city in Belen de Escobar, which is a suburb of the city very reminiscent of a US suburb. It cost us about AR$170 (or approximately $14USD) each to get in. If you take a taxi, make sure they are willing to wait for you! There’s virtually no taxis in this area. Ours cost AR$1500 ($125) which included the ride there and back, plus four hours of waiting. There are buses that go there (see Viator for the most up-to-date offers) for about $50 per person, including admission and a private guide–but we figured that out after the fact.

_DSC0057 _DSC0059

We loved Temaiken. Their focus is on preserving wildlife, rehabilitating animals caught in the illegal exotics trade, and protecting wildlife native to Argentina. All of the enclosures were clean, airy, and bright, and you could get so close to all of the animals. We have never been to a zoo where the animals were so active and looked so happy. Although there are no guide books in English, it’s pretty easy to figure out which animal is which. They do have a 360 degree theatre, which offers one show a day in English. We missed that, though, because we were too busy watching all of the animals! We remarked several times that Temaiken felt like one of the most “American” things we’ve done down here–in that it was clean, modern, well-organized, and everything seemed to happen on schedule. They had several very cute playgrounds for kids, which were well maintained and the kids seemed to really be enjoying! Lots of shade, lots of places to stop and rest.


Another great kid activity? The farm animal/petting zoo area. It was filled with cows, chickens, sheep, and goats. Also–the lushest vegetable garden (or huerta) we have seen yet. We were definitely salivating as we looked at the huge vegetables, and plotting how to make our own huerta look half as good!

_DSC0299 _DSC0254 _DSC0238

Bioparque Temaiken is just one portion of the Fundación Temaiken’s mission. Up in our neighboring province, Missiones, they have a full rehabilitation center. They also have a full breeding center outside of Buenos Aires (for those Smithsonian Zoo buffs, it works pretty much exactly like Front Royal). They attract a lot of school groups, and focus their efforts on educating kids to respect the environment, not keep exotics as pets, and teach them about their country.The main attraction was the monkeys, and they had cute little signs all around the park that said things like “Monkeys don’t wear deodorant,” “Monkeys don’t use WiFi,” and “Monkeys don’t use mattresses.”  Very cute.

_DSC0202 There was an on-site animal hospital showing some of the current animals that are receiving rehabilitation. There was an adorable baby aardvark there (did you know they cling to their mother’s back for the first nine months of their lives?), plus some snakes and lizards. In an outdoor pen, they had a sloth that had been hit by a car in Corrientes province (where we are) and received care, and a monkey that had been found in the black market.

_DSC0218 _DSC0225 _DSC0230 _DSC0213 _DSC0233

The variety of animals was kind of astonishing–beautiful bright pink flamingos, various varieties of antelope, peacocks, yacares (crocodiles), and much more!

_DSC0155 _DSC0157 _DSC0085 _DSC0094 _DSC0066 _DSC0069 _DSC0067 _DSC0073 _DSC0327

I think this is one of the only zoos I know of that has a bat (murcielago) exhibit–and you could even go into the enclosure on this one. These were vampire bats, and they were HUGE.

_DSC0342 _DSC0334


Our most exciting portion of the day was in the large bird area. T is apparently very popular with birds. We went up to an observation deck in the African bird area, and when we went down the stairs, a bird decided that a step belonged to him, and attacked T’s shoelaces. We had a small crowd watching as the bird pecked feverishly at T’s feet for a while. (No worries–he was wearing steel toe shoes, and we ended up going down the other set of stairs and retracing our steps.)

_DSC0504 _DSC0508 _DSC0515

Later on, in the parrot area (which was awesome–you can get so close to such beautiful birds) there were two blue parrots that were not happy about life. They were cackling at people and being fairly aggressive. Unfortunately, they were also right next to the exit door. At one point, the birds flew at a little boy! Again, it was T to the rescue–he let the parrots attack his steel toes while I and some other zoo patrons made it through the door.


The were biting at the cage bars after we left the enclosure!


Just a few parrots strolling through the underbrush.


They may look calm here–but these are the two infamous blue parrots.

_DSC0543 _DSC0549 The rest of the bird area was great–again, very active animals and lots of great photo opportunities!

_DSC0566 _DSC0579 _DSC0701 _DSC0710

Temaiken even has an aquarium, complete with some great exhibitions on both local and more exotic fish. There’s a huge tank of rays (which are native to here–we see one near the dam at work all of the time), and there was a really impressive tank filled with giant rays, sharks, and some of the bigger fish. We couldn’t get great photos of that–too dark, but got some other good ones!


This is a piranha. They are deceptively pretty, with gold sparkles.

_DSC0357 _DSC0367

There was a part of the park more dedicated to local fauna–such as the rhea (sort of like a slightly smaller ostrich that’s brown), and maras (which are pretty much what you would get if you crossed a capybara/carpincho with a rabbit).  Maras are one of the national animals of Argentina–and you’ll hear more about them in a later blog post!

_DSC0619 _DSC0646_DSC0715

All in all, we had a great time and highly recommend Temaiken to anyone who is visiting Buenos Aires and has a spare day to get out of the city center!

_DSC0199 _DSC0194



Fiesta Nacional de la Yerra y la Doma

Two weekends ago, we had lots to celebrate! We hit a major milestone at work, which means that things slow down for the next few weeks. More importantly, that means that we get to have five day weeks for at least a few weeks!

In addition, the 14th was what we refer to as our “other anniversary.”  We were legally married on November 1, 2012, but had the “white dress, tux, and cake” wedding in September 2013. We like the opportunity to celebrate twice. 🙂

Since we had some time this weekend, we got to enjoy a local festival.  The Fiesta Nacional de la Yerra y Doma Correntina is part livestock show, part county fair, and part equestrian event. The weekend started with a parade that we managed to miss since we were so happy to sleep in and completely forgot about what time it started. (Note to self: 11 is not the same as 1.)


It’s a major gathering of all of the gauchos, or cowboys, in the area to ostensibly celebrate branding their cattle. We didn’t see a single cow branded, but did see a lot of cows! The main event seemed to be a variation on barrel racing–the two riders would serpentine around the barrels and race back. I’m sure that there’s a proper name for this in the US–if anyone knows it, feel free to comment! There were all sorts of levels and divisions, and the banter from the announcers was hilarious. For the women’s division, every time they mentioned the next competitor’s name, one of the announcers would inevitably say, “Hey! I had a girlfriend by that name once!”

_DSC0028 _DSC0030 _DSC0039

Local ranchers brought some of their prize livestock to the arena, and we enjoyed looking at (and, I’ll admit it, petting) all of the pretty farm animals. There were cows and horses, of course, but also ducks, chickens, sheep, goats, and bunnies! A very nice gaucho noticed me admiring his very pretty horses, and let me pet his four month old colt. I was really fascinated by all of the people in their traditional gaucho garb–it looks impressive to see everyone all dressed up in their national costume, and the pieces themselves are incredibly beautiful and durable at the same time!


Local firefighters

Local firefighters

We got some new housewares while we were there. There is a furniture maker we see in town occasionally who sells very ornate wooden chandeliers, and I’ve always admired their work. We didn’t end up with one of those–but instead got a nifty wine rack with wine glass holders, a huge new basket for our towels, a decorative mirror with some really interesting wicker work so we can start making the place feel more like our own, and some wooden plates in a holder–for our own asados!

We finished our weekend up with a meal at the Manantiales Hotel, where we lived for our first two months in country. We haven’t eaten out in ages–so the staff was all very happy to see us, and everyone asked us how we were doing.


T’s Argentinian Birthday Celebration

T has apparently never been one for big birthday celebrations. He definitely hasn’t been as long as I have known him! One year, I asked him what sort of cake he wanted, and he said, “I prefer pie.”  He then refused to tell me what variety of pie he preferred… resulting in him getting six different types of pie.

The word leaked out that T’s birthday was on August 16 (I know, late post!), and Argentinians love celebrating birthdays. I was in a business meeting a few months ago where one of  my American coworkers visiting down here mentioned it was his birthday. By the end of the meeting, someone had sent their secretary into town, and brought back a gorgeous birthday cake. For a town that is comprised of only a few thousand people, there are at least five stores that I know of that sell party supplies.

So, once they found out that T had an upcoming birthday, they were flummoxed that he wasn’t all that into celebrating it–but they decided that he should anyway. Our coworkers threw a lovely asado for him, inviting some of the people we’ve met so far in town, as well as a few others. They stocked the fridge and bought a pile of meat!

_DSC0002We started off with some picados, or appetizers. Not the greatest photo, but it was cheese, bread, salami, and sausages.




It was a very traditional asado, including a lot of the more “adventurous” parts of the cow. Argentinians love to eat the stomach, intestines, etc. We haven’t quite hopped onto that bandwagon.

_DSC0004 _DSC0008 _DSC0011 _DSC0012 _DSC0013


The night was topped off with a beautiful ice cream cake topped with candles and a huge sparkling firecracker! (It didn’t actually explode, but it was very intense!) Sadly, I have no photos of that–just a video on WhatsApp that I’m not sure how to transfer.

T says he loved the celebration–and it was just low-key enough to not seem like too much of a big to-do about his birthday!


Weekly Reading, Vol. 12

We’re (hopefully) reaching a momentary lull in our work next week, so we anticipate spending some time planning our next adventures! We’re going to try to plan a fun getaway for our second anniversary in November. Beyond that, T has been thrilled by our internet access, even if it is slow. He’s downloaded lots of new games for his XBOXOne–and I’ve been rocking XBOX Fitness, which can “see” you with the Kinect and yell at you to lift your legs higher or move quicker. Kind of like a regular exercise class! I’ll be spending some time with my GMAT prep books and working on getting ahead in my Microeconomics class.

Here’s what I found on the internet this week:

1) From The Atlantic, a story about a large collection of historical Louisiana newspapers, with the larger story being about the de-accessioning of magazines, newspapers, and other physical ephemera from library collections can be both positive and negative.

2) Lisa Desjardins left CNN with more than just than generic “thanks for everything” email–she reported on her own layoff. It’s pretty epic.

3) More from the “women just can’t win” category: It seems from a new study that women who promote other women and minorities suffer professionally as a consequence. Also, another tidbit: women are less likely to  have sponsors/mentors, because a young woman and a middle aged man talking over coffee can seem like an affair, and just negatively affect the woman (“she slept her way to the top”) if she is promoted. Hooray.

4) The Soviets of the 1930s had a booming cosmetic industry that’s been widely ignored by historians. But the bottles are pretty and art deco, and the history is fabulous. Read about it here and here.

5) I could spend hours on Photogrammar from Yale, which has a map of all of the 170,000 photos from 1935-1945 from the US Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information. Fascinating photos that allow you to zoom in on specific geographic areas and see how the Great Depression and WWII affected your area.

6) Did you see the “Monuments Men” movie earlier this year? I watched it on the plane, and was less than impressed–but the book it’s based on is fantastic. Now, in Syria, there is a whole new group of Monuments Men attempting to save the treasures of the country in the face of terrible looting and damage from the ongoing war. Read the National Geographic article here.


I leave you with a gif from “bunny island” in Japan. T thinks this is horrifying–but I think it’s hilarious.


Museum Day 2014

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone about one of my favorite things: Museum Day!

One day a year, 1,500 US museums open up their doors for free! All you have to do is go to the Museum Day website, and you’ll get a free ticket good for two people mailed to you.  It’s an excellent deal to check out the museums in your hometown you just haven’t gotten to yet.

This year’s is September 27th.  As an additional bonus, anyone who registers to get the tickets gets a free one year digital subscription to Smithsonian Magazine–one of my favorites.


What are my picks?

In Pennsylvania:

  • The Hershey Story (Hershey, PA)
  • Da Vinci Science Center (Allentown, PA)
  • York County Heritage Trust (York, PA)
  • The Moravian Historical Society (Nazareth, PA)
  • America on Wheels Museum (Allentown, PA)
  • Allentown Art Museum (Allentown, PA)
  • Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • National Canal Museum (Easton, PA)–and visit the Crayola Factory while you’re in the same building!
  • Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University (Kutztown, PA)

In MD:

  • College Park Aviation Museum (College Park, MD)–Great for kids!
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry (Baltimore, MD)

In VA:

  • Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum (Alexandria, VA)

In DC:

Here I’ll note what is always free (*) as opposed to what is a good deal:

  • Crime Museum
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries*
  • DAR Museum*
  • Newseum (and an AWESOME deal. Normally this is $15/person)
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History*

I’m only recommending the museums I’ve been to in these areas–out of the list, I know there are even more awesome discoveries.


Also, if you’re interested… SavvySugar has a great resource on free admission to museums, cultural centers, aquariums, and zoos.