Weekend Getaways: 8 Trips To Help Kick-Start Your Summer

No. 1 Get Cultured

A better day (or night) at the museum.

Close to Home →  So your idea of a successful summer afternoon is less hanging-off-a-mountain and more scoping-out-a-museum? It can still be adventurous. Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park doesn’t see anything figurative about taking a stroll down memory lane: The walk-through village includes 25 (relocated) historic buildings, the oldest one being Newcom Tavern, and a small Greek-style residence that’s basically the O.G. of tiny houses. Walk through a recreation of the Wright Brother’s bike shop and get up close to their actual 1905 plane, the Wright Flyer III. In the park’s main building, walls of old cash registers and other odes to Daytonian innovations await, as does a carousel paying homage to the theme.

Down the Road → The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis is all about native and western art and objects—both ancient and contemporary—with a collection that includes works from artists like T.C. Cannon and Georgia O’Keeffe. Through August 7, the feature exhibition takes an atypical look at a well-known natural wonder, exploring “the interwoven natural and human histories of the Grand Canyon.” On June 25 and 26, the annual Indian Market and Festival takes over with Native American dance, art, music, and food from more than 60 tribes.

Worth the Drive →  The City Museum in St. Louis is not so much a museum as it is a giant, surrealist, life-sized, adult-friendly Chutes and Ladders playground. Traipse through 10 stories of a former shoe factory to explore a man-made cave system, above-ground treehouse maze, mirror-filled former bank vault, and more. To get there, climb up winding, old-rebar staircases and descend the 10-story slide (one of several) to the various floors. Outside, the “MonstroCity” concrete-jungle-gym utilizes found objects (a fire truck, an airplane fuselage) for you to make like Spider-Man and show off your parkour moves on the skyline. Bonus: The museum stays open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The only thing you won’t find? A “Do Not Touch” sign.