Did you know that there is a truly amazing, one-of-a museum-kind in Phoenix?! The Musical Instrument Museum (formed by Robert J. Ulrich, former CEO and chairman emeritus of Target Corporation) features instruments (boasting a collection of over 15,000) from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Through special technology, visitors get to see and hear these instruments in their original cultural settings. We got the opportunity to check it out recently and absolutely loved it!
First off, I was surprised at how big it is (200,000 sq. ft!!). Seriously, the facilities are huge and beautiful!! In fact, they are SO nice that as soon as we set foot inside, I was worried about having the kids with me. But, I was so pleasantly surprised at how family-friendly the MIM is! There is a cafe on site and a much-appreciated feature of the Family Center! How great is that? A place for kiddos to take a break! The space had toys for the kids, little tables, couches, a nursing room, and private family bathrooms. After a couple of hours of exploring with 5 kids under age 6 (I had a friend with me), this was a much needed respite. I’ve rarely been to a museum or business with this kind of Family Center. It was a VERY nice touch!!
After getting acquainted with all the MIM has to offer, we headed up to the Geographical Galleries. They focus on 5 major regions of the world. In these galleries we made use of the wireless headsets. As you approach each display, you can hear the instruments that are a part of it being played. Many of the displays even include flat-panel monitors where you can see the instruments being preformed. Once again, I was a bit nervous about how the kids would do with this. But, they did surprisingly well–even the 2 year olds! The handled the wireless headsets well and loved hearing the music at each display. There were a few displays we had to tear them away from! And, the dancing– SO cute! The bottom left and right photos are mid-jamming sessions. The bigger boys (ages 4 & 5.5) could have stayed a lot longer! But, the littest ones really wanted to touch everything. It’s not allowed in these galleries, but the MIM does feature a whole hand-on area! So, after making our way through about 2.5 of the 5 regions, we headed down to the Experience Gallery. I think the kids could have stayed there for hours! The former band member in me loved to see our budding percussionists! 😉 It was so fun! We will definitely be back.
So, if you’re local to AZ or will be traveling to the Phoenix area, put the MIM on one of your to-do lists! It’s fabulous.
Have YOU been to the MIM? What did you think?
Disclosure: We received free admission to the museum for the purposes of review. However, all opinions and experiences are entirely my own.