Celebrate the Season in Orlando—Without Ever Stepping Into a Theme Park

Not quite adjusted to the cooler temps of fall yet? Feeling apprehensive about the impending “winter wonderland” weather? If you find yourself in a less-than-sunny destination over the fall and winter this year, take some time off from braving the bitter winds and dreariness, and stay warm inside at these fun and unique exhibits coming to museums across the country.
Impressionism and Barbie in Ohio
The Cleveland Museum of Art – courtesy of Destination Cleveland
Three new exhibits come to the Cleveland Museum of Art this season, including Degas and the Laundress: Women, Work, and Impressionism (open until January 2024). This groundbreaking exhibition is the first to explore Edgar Degas’s representations of Parisian laundresses, with a selection of works united for the first time. The exhibit contextualizes these works with others of the same subject by the artist’s contemporaries, including Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Also featured are posters, photographs and books that reveal the interest of Parisians in the topic of laundresses during the late-1800s.
In China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta (open now – January 2024), developed with the cooperation of Chinese museums, there are more than 200 objects from 40+ international museums on view for the first time to the American public. Pieces illustrate the rich history of the Jiangnan region, one of China’s wealthiest, most populous and agriculturally fertile lands.
Egyptomania: Fashion’s Conflicted Obsession (now ‐ January 2024) brings together nearly 50 objects that explore the influence of Egyptomania in fashion by juxtaposing contemporary fashion and jewelry with fine and decorative artworks from CMA’s collection.

Loved the Barbie movie? In Columbus, Ohio, see the Barbie exhibit at the #1 science museum in the country, COSI (Center of Science and Industry). Visitors of all ages will want to check out Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience, coming to COSI Oct. 4. COSI has been named the best science museum in the country for four consecutive years by USA Today 10Best, and this new exhibit showcases the iconic doll through history and allows visitors to explore 11 different careers and learn about more than 200 careers Barbie has had over the years.
Human Ego, Cartoon Pets, and Zen in San Francisco
Artwork on display in San Francisco, California – courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s dazzling psychedelic art installations are on view for the first time in the Bay Area at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). With an extended run through September 7, 2024, Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Love features two of the acclaimed artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms: Dreaming of Earth’s Sphericity, I Would Offer My Love (2023) and LOVE IS CALLING, one of the largest and most immersive of such installations by the artist to date. In addition, Kusama’s monumental sculpture Aspiring to Pumpkin’s Love, the Love in My Heart (2023) pushes the polka-dotted pumpkin to new extremes, extending over 18 feet in length and more than 11 feet in height.
Also at SFMOMA, Wolfgang Tillmans: To Look Without Fear opens on November 11th. Curated by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the exhibit is the most comprehensive of the artist’s work to date. It encompasses Tillmans’ iconic pieces in photography, video, and multimedia installations. Tillmans’ inaugural solo exhibition in San Francisco is on view through March 3.
At the Asian Art Museum, Takashi Murakami: Unfamiliar People — Swelling of Monsterized Human Ego, showcases more than 75 works — including a dozen never-before-exhibited ones — and delivers Murakami’s signature combination of fun, spectacle, and playful social commentary in his first-ever solo exhibition in the Bay Area. On view through February 12, 2024, Murakami uses monsters as a lens to examine human behavior. Additionally this season, the museum will reveal two rarely seen, precious and celebrated artworks that have never previously left Japan. The Heart of Zen exhibit features Six Persimmons and Chestnuts — centuries-old ink paintings originating from China. The paintings, treasures of the Daitokuji Ryokoin Zen temple in Kyoto, have remained out of sight for all but a few monks and select special visitors. Given their fragility, Six Persimmons and Chestnuts will be exhibited separately for three weeks in November and December, and together for one week in December.
Reuniting rare works from across the U.S. and Europe, Botticelli Drawings — presented exclusively at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor from November 19th to February 11the — is the first exhibition to explore the central role that drawing played in Botticelli’s art and workshop practice. The exhibition unveils five newly attributed drawings alongside more than 60 works from 39 lending institutions. Botticelli Drawings features 27 drawings by the artist. The incredible rarity and fragility of these works preclude frequent travel, and many are leaving their lending institutions for the very first time in modern history solely for this exhibition.
The Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco (ICA SF) currently has the largest solo museum exhibition of artist Patrick Martinez. On view through January 7th, Ghost Land features a major public art piece and large-scale sculptural installation. The exhibition highlights Martinez’s “landscape” paintings—works that evoke the topography of personal, civic, and cultural loss, and includes a wall installation of his popular neon works. Also on view is Out of Place from Oakland-based painter Rupy C. Tut. Her exhibit follows the relationship between three characters – the body, the landscape, and the will to belong – and features Tut’s largest paintings to date.
Finally, Disney Cats & Dogs is on view at The Walt Disney Family Museum through June 2nd. The exhibit features over 300 archival reproduction concept sketches, paintings, model sheets, animation drawings, posters, photographs, digital artworks, and final film sequences that highlight the true-to-life design and movements of Disney’s speaking and non-verbal cats and dogs, including characters like Mickey Mouse’s best pal Pluto, Lady and Tramp from Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Duchess from The Aristocats (1970).
Art-making and Apollo in Pittsburgh
A view upwards through the architecture of Carnegie Mellon University by Nathaniel Shuman – Unsplash
A one-of-a-kind exhibit Violins of Hope comes to the Posner Center on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, free and open to the public, through November 21st. The exhibit shares powerful stories of string instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. Plus, several other events and productions will take place around the city in tandem with this moving and important offering.
At the Heinz History Center, the holiday exhibition A Very Merry Pittsburgh returns on November 18th and includes artifacts from Kaufmann’s Department Store collection, along with a special section featuring family keepsakes, artifacts, film, and imagery that explores how Western Pennsylvanians have celebrated major winter holidays, including Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa, through the years. The exhibit will run through January 7.
The Andy Warhol Museum features its latest special exhibition Unseen: Permanent Collection Works through March 4, 2024. The collection features more than 60 works that have never been displayed, reflecting the enormity of the museum’s collection and the complexity of Warhol’s legacy.
The Carnegie Museum of Art’s new exhibit Amie Siegel: Panorama is now viewable through February 11, 2024. Additionally, the art museum is now offering new art-making programs for students up to 18 years old. Children ages 1–10 can share in art-making and sensory explorations at Museum Makers, a new weekly studio-based program. In its 95th year, The Art Connection will challenge artists in grades 5–9 to create unique artworks inspired by the work in our galleries and exhibit their own work in our galleries. For high school students, grades 10-12, interested in pursuing the arts, Youth Art Studio provides space and opportunities to expand students’ personal art portfolios and learn more about creative fields and local academic programs.
Finally, the first American lander since Apollo is currently being built at the Moonshot Museum. Visitors can get up close while it’s still here – plus, the museum will double as the spacecrafts mission control center guiding the spacecraft on its journey to the moon, right from Pittsburgh.
LEGO Towers in Michigan
Build with LEGO bricks at the Towers of Tomorrow exhibit – courtesy of Visit Detroit
The Michigan Science Center (Mi-Sci) is currently showing an all-new LEGO exhibition, Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks, presented by Ford Motor Company Fund. This exciting exhibition features 20 astonishing LEGO® skyscrapers from North America, Asia, and Australia constructed in breathtaking architectural detail. Featured towers include the Burj Khalifa, Bank of America Plaza, Barangaroo Hotel, Central Park Tower, Chrysler Building, CN Tower, Empire State Building, Eureka, Infinity Tower, International Commerce Tower, Marina Bay Sands, Petronas Towers, Q1, Shanghai Tower, Taipei 101, Tokyo Skytree, Willis (Sears) Tower and Wilshire Grand Centre.
Visitors can also create their own ‘towers of tomorrow’ with over 200,000 loose LEGO® bricks available in hands-on construction areas. Young and old will be limited only by their imaginations as they add their creations to a steadily rising futuristic LEGO® metropolis inside the exhibition.
“This extraordinary collaboration between Museums of History NSW and Flying Fish brings together the finest architectural artistry and creative expression. Brought to life by the talented Ryan McNaught and his team, these towering LEGO® creations are testaments to human ingenuity and limitless imagination. We are excited to share this stunning exhibition with audiences of all ages as we celebrate engineering, design, and play,” said Jay Brown, Principal & Managing Director of Flying Fish.
Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks is included in Mi-Sci’s general admission tickets, available at www.mi-sci.org. Mi-Sci is located at 5020 John R. Street in Midtown, Detroit and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday and until 8 p.m. the first Friday of every month.

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