8 places to visit during winter vacation

Building of the Oriental Institute in Chicago

Summer isn't the only time to go sightseeing or vacationing. Winter break offers you the opportunity to play tourist as well. Here are some places to check out in the coming weeks if you've got time off from work, school, or both.

1. The International Museum of Muslim cultures in Jackson, Mississippi

An antique astrolabe and an ancient Mimbar from North Africa are some of the artifacts you can currently find at America's first and only Muslim museum. Nestled in Jackson, Mississippi, its current exhibit shares Muslim Spain's legacy to Europe.

This is a great place to visit to get in touch with your Islamic roots. It's also a wonderful project to support.

2. The Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago

This museum boasts a pretty good collection of Quranic manuscripts dating from the second half of the first century of Hijra onwards. You'll find Makkan, Kufic and Maghribi scripts.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Islamic Art Collection

This is the largest collection of Islamic arts in the US with nearly 12,000 objects. But the main Museum's galleries for Islamic art are temporarily closed for renovation, and restoration. But about 60 works are still being shown in a temporary installation on the south balcony overlooking the Museum's Great Hall.

4. The Honolulu Academy of Arts

When you think Hawaii, you think sun, sand, and surf, right? But if you're planning a trip to this popular vacation destination, visit the Honolulu Academy of Arts' Arts of the Islamic world gallery. The gallery's collection of Islamic art includes finely carved wooden doors and chests; woven objects such as garments, carpets, and other textiles; decorative objects such as tiles, plates, jars, ewers, bowls, and oil lamps made from metal, ceramic materials, glass, and stone; and works on paper such as folios and manuscripts from different parts of the Muslim world, including Uzbekistan and Persia.

5. Check out the children's museums

Children's museums can be found in most major cities across the country. They offer the chance to learn the art of museum hopping in a fun and interesting way.

For instance, the Dinosaur Expedition exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum recreates the site of the 1997 expedition to the Sahara that unearthed Suchomimus, a never-before found species of fish-eating dinosaur, now on display at the museum.

6. Be a tourist in your own city

If going out of town is too much of a hassle or too expensive, go sightseeing in your own city. Visit your city's tourism or travel bureau to find out what's out there. Check out historic places, go on a bus or train tour, visit the tallest skyscraper or city hall.

This will give you an opportunity to become better acquainted with your city and give you a greater appreciation of how much great stuff there is to see and do right where you live.

7. Go Masjid hopping

Visit as many different Masjids as you can in your city. Plan to visit at least one a day. Make a point of praying at least one of the five daily prayers there, and if you're allowed to, take pictures. Later, you can use them to put together a scrapbook or upload them to a webpage about Masjids in your city.

8. Visit Temples and Churches

Learning about others faith and practices is a good way to build bridge. Call ahead and ask if you can schedule a visit to different places of worship. This will help you understand how people of other faiths worship God. Follow up the trip with a discussion during a family meeting.

Photo Attribution  -  Luiz Gadelha  -   Jr.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Building_of_the_oriental_institute_chicago.jpg

Comments

To Zuli: the article isn't saying you must never take your kids to Disneyland. It's simply offering ideas that are connected to Muslim culture and Islamic heritage, that's all. An art museum may be boring to you and your kids, and that's fine. On the other hand, I think we don't give kids enough credit. We allow them to have all of these technological gadgets and don't engage them in activities that are better for them intellectually, like museums. We just assume they'll be bored. Nowadays, museums have so many activities geared toward kids, and they make a special effort to make them interesting to this crowd. So while places like Disneyland are an option, we should not consider them the only alternative. There are many other ways to spend your winter break besides it. That was the point of the article, I believe.

Location

Chicago

Thnaks for the suggestion but do you really believe walking around an art museum is any comparison to a roller coaster ride at disney. You must forget what it is to be a kid or a teenager. I am an adult in my late 40's and I would choose a trip to disney any day over an art museum. Is there anythign in Islam that forbids a muslim to have fun. All the suggestions maybe educational and religious but they are also austere and boring. Kids need fun and excitment. You are up against XBOX, vidoe games, movies, disney. You need to come up with something a lot more interesting than an art museum. Maybe Sound vision should create the first Islamic theme park.

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ny

Thank you for these tips. It is really nice to know there are islamic museums in the states. Inshalla, I will visit some of the museums.

Location

Scweinfurt,Germany

what is this a muslim religious site?

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mo

Gaining insight to Islamic sites within the US is great especially to let our kids know that there are muslims everywhere around us.

Location

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