“Let’s go on a day trip,” my dad said last Friday.

“Okay,” I replied. “And do what?” This was always the difficult question during the winter months–what is there to do when it’s 22 degrees outside and all my friends are either back at school or busy?

I love shopping and walking around downtown, but on Friday I was not up for freezing temps or spending any more money after my generous Christmas budget got the best of me.

Luckily, my favorite radio station (shoutout to 92.5 the River) gave me some inspiration. They advertised for the Peabody Essex Museum, which had a new exhibition this January.

Noting that museums were 1. indoors and 2. sometimes inspirational, I decided to check out their website. It turns out the exhibition was on Native American fashion designers, a topic I knew very little to nothing about. I wanted to broaden my knowledge about this wide world we live in, so I decided to give it a shot.


The Native American fashion exhibition at the PEM.

When I remembered that oh yeah, museums cost money to get into, I called my local library to inquire about discounted tickets. HINT: Many public libraries offer discounts and even free admission to local attractions like museums and waterparks.

The Peabody Essex Museum was on the list of discounted museums, so I told my dad to grab his nifty flip phone camera and get ready for a super educational day. He was all-in.

It turns out that, after a long winter break with zero academic duties, a visit to a museum was just what I needed. Many of the exhibits were pretty cool, and I didn’t have to hide my nerdiness because museums are the epitome of nerdiness (besides libraries, of course).

My dad and I spent four hours in the extensive museum and it was nice having the place almost completely to ourselves, since it was weekday. I had a blast releasing my inner kid in the children’s area, and the café had some stellar clam chowder and chocolate cupcakes.


My creation in the kids’ area of the museum.


The best part was, admission was only $5 for each of us, while it would have been $18 without the discounted tickets. It turns out libraries are good for more than just renting DVDs (and books, I guess).

There are various museums in my area that offer discounted prices for college students and sometimes, free admissions for residents. Plus, the gift shops are usually on point…

So if you’re looking for something to do on a cold or rainy winter day, I’d recommend hitting up your local library and then a nearby museum for an inspirational, inexpensive day trip.

Dad in museum
My dad, pretending to study a wall under construction.