Skip to site content
Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader Group Travel Leader

Lectures Let Your Mind Travel at These Museums

World-class museum collections come from world-class curatorial staff and relationships with the worldwide arts and science communities. While many museums offer lectures relating to current exhibits to allow museum visitors to take advantage of these human resources, some also offer ongoing lecture series in which both museum staff and external researchers can share their passions and research with the public.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland, Ohio

Between its main collection, hands-on discovery center, planetarium, observatory and wildlife center, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has plenty to offer visitors during the day, but it also carries those opportunities to learn more about the universe in which we live into the evening with two lecture series.

The Explorers series brings in top experts in fields from paleontology to environmental science to archaeology to highlight a range of obscure but fascinating topics such as the chemistry of poison frogs and ancient fermented beverages. In Frontiers of Astronomy, attendees absorb the latest breakthroughs in knowledge of worlds beyond our own, such as research that demonstrates that our galaxy is eating several smaller galaxies nearby.


Aspen Art Museum

Aspen, Colorado

Some museums have large collections but lack the exhibit space to display them all. The Aspen Art Museum is just the opposite: a museum with no collection at all. The interior is devoted to groundbreaking contemporary art exhibits to match its daring exterior, an ephemeral-looking box of thin strips of wood woven into an upside-down cube-shaped basket.

Each season, the museum features a different focus for its lecture series — summer artist lectures, fall architecture lectures, and winter and spring curator talks that feature visiting curators from around the world, such as Elena Filipovic, who co-curated the fifth Berlin Biennial, of the Kunsthalle Basel this March. Every year in January during Aspen’s Winterskol festival, the museum presents a special interactive walking lecture titled “I Don’t Get It,” in which attendees and museum staff engage on one of the current exhibits.

Houston Museum of Natural Science


Home to one of the world’s best collections of gems and minerals, one of the world’s largest sundials, one of the world’s first full-dome digital planetariums and one of America’s largest paleontology halls, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the most attended museums in the country. But not everyone gets to interact with museum curators and other top researchers in a more intimate setting.

Several times each month, the museum puts on Distinguished Lectures on topics as diverse as paleontology, modern food culture, environmental engineering and South American shamanism. Lectures are frequently scheduled to correlate with films on the same topics showing in the museum’s 4,800-square-foot, giant-screen 3-D theater, such as April’s Solving Stonehenge and the McFerrin Faberge Collection lectures.

Gabi Logan

Gabi Logan is a freelance travel journalist whose work has also appeared in USA TODAY, The Dallas Morning News and Italy Magazine. As she travels more than 100,000 miles each year, she aims to discover the unexpected wonder in every destination.