A place that makes me very happy is the American Natural History Museum (ANHM). I have spent many an hour here for special exhibitions or just to discover a new wing or visit my fav diorama. The definition of diorama (from wikipedia) refers to a 19th Century full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum.
ANHM is broken up into different countries & the animals that inhabit them. I gravitate toward the animal kingdom of Africa (birds are a close second- if not on par): the lions & tigers, elephants, rhinos, zebras, monkeys & many other beasts. The dioramas date back to some other time before technology, when their natural environments were created as a backdrop and the stuffed taxidermy-ed animals were placed in various stages of activity: sleeping, leaping, prowling, nursing, stalking or swooping. Each animal species is encased in its own over-sized glass cabinet in spacious rooms with enough space for 100 children & you. But there's always a quiet spot to be found as elephants casually wander in the open. Although they are not alive, a few years ago I went to the A-MAZ-ING Darwin exhibit there where Galapagos turtles roamed (live ones!).
I love the old-fashioned-ness of it & hope they stand the test of time & interest for the technically savvy youth of today. I am holding my very own form of diorama workshop that involves the more humble & accessible form of the glass collectibles dome. I hope to see you there July 20th for it. Tickets here!