March is Women’s History Month and if you’re looking to teach your kids about the can-do women who took leaps and bounds throughout history, we’ve got three must-hit Women’s History Month destinations for you.
These spots, which are located in Michigan, Ohio and Washington D.C. offer interactive exhibits that showcase all of the work that women have put in throughout history – plus some displays dedicated to modern dames that are making history today.
Read up on each one’s specific offerings here and then pack up the kiddos for an educational experience at one of these Women’s History Month destinations.
Close to home: Michigan Women Forward HERStory center
Just down the block from the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, drop by the Michigan Women Forward HERStory center, which houses both the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.
The small space tells a big story of contributions various Michigan women have made towards helping shape the state and the nation and March is the perfect time to visit, since the center switches the display to its newest group of inductees, going from 2017 to 2018.
Each year, the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame chooses both contemporary and historical women to showcase. This year’s class of five includes Agatha Biddle, an Odawa chief who was born and lived on Mackinac Island from 1797 to 1873 and was involved with the 1855 Treaty of Detroit. Current Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, the first African-American woman to serve as a county prosecutor in the state, is also on the list.
When asked to choose her favorite newcomer, Riley Hubbard, lead guest assistant at the center, says, “That’s a tough question – there are so many remarkable women. They’re each so unique in what they’ve accomplished, there’s no way I could pick one.”
Along with the Hall of Fame display, another exhibit is dedicated to Michigan women in science, technology, engineering and math.
The exhibit includes “women who have been leaders in the STEM field,” Hubbard says, “ranging from Icie Macy Hoobler, who started her career in 1924 (as a physiologist and biochemist and served as director of the Research Laboratory of the Children’s Fund of Michigan) to Julie Neph and Kim Nowack, engineers for the Mackinac Bridge.”
A Day Trip: International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Right on the banks of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum includes a collection of artifacts, photos and displays that capture inspiring moments and stories about women in aviation.
Located within the Burke Lakefront Airport, the museum is free and open to the public.
Heather Alexander, the museum’s executive director, explains that they have items on display from famous female aviators, like Amelia Earhart, and women astronauts, like Sally Ride, plus plenty of fun historical finds.
“I’d point families to the mini plane built by Tracy Pilurs, who was a single mom with six kids,” Alexander says. “Her kids helped her build it.” Today, the 1963 Pilurs-Smith DSA-1 Miniplane with lilac trim is on display at the museum.
Alexander suggests checking the museum’s social media posts. “We do have a lot of special events going on that might be of interest to families.”
Even farther away: National Museum of Women in the Arts
If you’re planning a visit to Washington, D.C., make sure to add the National Museum of Women in the Arts to your list. Located just northeast of the White House, NMWA includes an extensive collection of 4,500 artworks by more than 1,000 women artists, including some your kids may know – like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo or American painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
The museum also highlights new and emerging artists, along with those who may have been overlooked by history but who are showcased here.
Photo from Kevin Allen/NMWA