The museum: a quiet and serene setting of contemplation and inspiration, an oasis of cultural and historical artifacts, and a family-friendly environment in which education meets entertainment. Also? An awesome place to party. You heard right.
With high ceilings, vast floor space, pristine lighting, and architectural artisanship — not to mention the actual art — museums are practically begging to be partied in. They have that sensitive, don’t-talk-too-loud quality of a library, combined with the cerebral sanctity of a church that just makes you want to run around and scream. Museums, when you think about it, are essentially parties waiting to happen — a bunch of strangers sauntering about, casually glancing between the objects on display and the other people in the room. (How many times have fellow museum guests provided more entertainment than the artwork?)
This may, in fact, be the reason why so many museums — almost all of them in the U.S., at least — allow for their spaces to be rented out in the name of pure partying (they tend to call these "events"). Hosting anything from weddings to charity fundraisers to corporate cocktail hours, the American museum can serve as a flexible and fantastic stage to most any social function — at a high price point, of course.
Yet great art and esteemed renown don’t automatically make for a great place to gather, eat, and drink with friends. A great party space needs so many elements — the layout, the surroundings, the space, the general décor and amenities, etc. So to make the job easier, here’s a list of the top 10 museums in America in which to set the perfect party.
The museums range in experience, of course. Sure, at some of these venues, partygoers will be able to snack on amuse-bouches while observing fine art, but others create more imaginative settings. Imagine for instance, "drinking with dolphins" at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where guests can sip cocktails surrounded by the dolphins in the Abbott Oceanarium. Or for a more surreal experience, there’s the The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. One thing these museums do all have in common is that they come at a cost — some higher than others, some a lot higher — which is why the average rates have been included for each.
Think a great celebration spot was missed? Note your suggestion below.