Unique Museum Activities to Try with a Group
You can’t beat a museum as a venue for an engaging and educational experience. But as we’ve learned offering unique museum scavenger hunts and team-building museum activities for over 20 years, you can do so much more than “just” admire world-class art or prehistoric creatures.
From unraveling a tricky whodunit to renting out an entire museum just for your group, here are 7 surprising and unusual things you can do in a museum.
1. Solve a Murder Mystery
Perhaps a curator at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has been murdered. Maybe a fiendish killer has created a devilish whodunit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Or could there be a murderer in your midst? Whatever flavor of murder you choose, your group will have a blast following clues through the museum’s collections to find art and artifacts, answer questions about what they find, and piece together the story behind the suspicious deaths.
2. Laugh Your Butts Off
You might not associate museums with laughter. But when our museum scavenger hunts offer a combination of witty, humorous questions and sometimes silly Photo Challenges, that will change. Whether you’re finding fossilized dinosaur poop, chuckling at puns, wincing at dad jokes, or acting like woolly mammoths, even your crankiest colleagues will find something to smile about.
3. Get a Room
Or a restaurant! A change of environment is always a breath of fresh air and provides a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. It also allows your group to focus if you’re using museum activities for company team building. Many museums, particularly natural history and science museums, offer private rooms, lecture halls, and restaurants to rent for private events—we’ve run hundreds of such events in them!
Such diverse museums as the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (or MoPOP) are just a few of the sorts of venues to consider.
4. Or Rent the Whole Darn Place
Larger groups often rent out whole sections of museums, or the entire museum, for a day or evening with multiple events. Clients have arranged for our museum activities to take place before a catered dinner, as a fun change of pace after meetings and presentations, or as just one of several ongoing events throughout a museum.
Groups can rent all manner of museums, large and small: the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A.; the Morris Museum in New Jersey; the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee; the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta; the Exploratorium in San Francisco; the National Museum of American History in D.C.; and more.
5. Mingle with Naked People
You can do what in a museum? Yes, groups with a cheeky sense of humor may get a kick out of a Naked Scavenger Hunt. No, it’s not the hunters in the buff, but the art: flirty, scandalous, and sometimes silly nude paintings and sculptures you track down and answer questions about. Particularly popular in February, these hunts are available anytime, and they are not so salacious that you’d have to worry about upsetting your mom or the folks in HR.
6. Be Works of Art Yourselves
If you’ve ever considered yourself a bit of a masterpiece, it’s time to prove yourself right. Many of our museum scavenger hunts include Photo Challenges that prompt players to pose, strut, and show off in creative, collaborative ways.
Your group might have to act terrified of a T. rex, imitate Adonis, or interact with a sculpture in an unusual way. Completing these challenges might make you look loony in the moment, but they bring friends and colleagues together and produce lasting memories your whole group or team can look back on and appreciate.
7. Stretch the Definition of “Museum”
Of course, many other cultural attractions offer spaces for meetings, restaurants to rent out, and the opportunity to book the whole place. Meet at Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia, and then discover the gardens’ secrets. Brainstorm at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and then complete a photo-filled scavenger hunt there. Treat your employees to a day at the zoo or aquarium, all while solving a murder mystery.
The possibilities for spending a surprising day at museums and museum-adjacent locations are endless when you know what to do.