Touch a tortoise, wander through an 1885 home, and pause in front of a Buddhist Altar—all at The Newark Museum. This often overlooked urban treasure combines the best of art, history, and nature from around the world. But the highlight of the museum is its collection of Tibetan art—the most impressive display outside Asia. In 1990, the Dalai Lama visited the collection and consecrated the altar which is visited for both its beauty and its spiritual benefits.
Permanent galleries hold everything from Greek and Roman sculptures to contemporary conceptual paintings. Imagine the impressive African masks and headdresses moving in the motion of the dance. Follow the history of America through 300 depictions on canvas, film, and sculpture in the 17 American Art galleries. Don't miss the Art of the Americas exhibition of Native and Latin American works and, of course, the renown Asian collection with works from South and Southeast Asian, Japan, Korea, and China. Then return from your world travels in the gardens just behind the museum where you'll discover a burst of local history in the 1784 schoolhouse and Fire Museum.
But the most unique offering of The Newark Museum is, perhaps, its combination of traditional art and natural science. Perfect for kids who like to look but need some hands-on activities to stimulate their senses. Check out the Mini Zoo—a collection of more than 100 living creatures housed indoors. Among these mostly small critters are 50 endangered species. Check the museum calendar for special programs that combine art and nature through stories and activities—making the most of the museum's unusual combination of exhibits.