It’s no secret Savannah is a minefield of museums and historical markers. What might be less known is that for one afternoon of the year, some of the best spots welcome guests free of charge. That’s why this Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, the Super Bowl will not be the only big event for the Peach State. If you need an alternative to sitting inside on the first Sunday in February, look no further than Savannah’s annual Super Museum Sunday.
Over 40 of Savannah and Tybee Island’s hubs for showcasing knowledge and education will be open from noon to 4 p.m. with free admission. According to Coastal Heritage Society PR and Marketing Director Holly Elliott, the Georgia-wide event has been hosted each year by the Georgia Historical Society since 2012. The Coastal Heritage Society participates every year with their five sites—Georgia State Railroad Museum, Old Fort Jackson, Pin Point Heritage Museum, Savannah Children’s Museum and the Savannah History Museum.
“For Coastal Heritage Society, the event gives us a way to share each museum’s educational experiences with guests that may not otherwise be able to visit,” Elliott said. “We hope it’s a way to engage more locals and Georgia residents in our programming.”
The state of Georgia, combined with the multiple museums participating within Chatham County, hosts over 70 cultural institutions for the one-of-a-kind family-friendly event. Along with the museums beneath the Coastal Heritage Society’s umbrella, the Telfair Museums will also open all three of their sites—the Owens-Thomas House, Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center. Vicki Scharfberg, the Director of Marketing and P.R. at Telfair Museums, said that in addition to no charge for entrance fees, a Free Family Day event will be offered at the Jepson Center from 1 to 4 p.m. with activities for families relating to their recent Nick Cave exhibition.
Like the Jepson Center, a majority of the museums open in Savannah for Super Museum Sunday plan to offer free guided tours and live re-enactments for the special occasion. Interactive exhibits and captivating activities will guide guests through these unique, engaging programs designed to immerse them in the story of Savannah. A few other features worth exploring and taking advantage of include office car tours and short train rides at the Georgia State Railroad Museum and enhanced Revolutionary War-inspired programs at the Savannah History Museum, including performances of historic music by Three Fold Chord.
The Pin Point Heritage Museum, once home to the A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory on Pin Point Avenue, will offer guided walking tours while educating guests about Gullah and Geechee culture in the Lowcounty. Younger museum-goers can play at the Savannah Children’s Museum, while history buffs can indulge themselves in Old Fort Jackson’s vast military history with various viewings of old weapon demonstrations.
The team at the Coastal Heritage Society looks forward to and loves Super Museum Sunday, because it provides the opportunity to extend their educational and entertaining resources to those who would, if not for the free admission, otherwise not get the chance visit one of their museums.
Here are a handful of the museums and historic homes in the Savannah area on the roster for this year’s day dedicated to granting everyone access to some of Georgia’s best institutions for history, arts and culture:
• The Beach Institute
• Bonaventure Historical Society
• Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
• Davenport House Museum
• Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home
• Fort Pulaski National Monument
• Georgia Historical Society
• Georgia State Railroad Museum
• Harper Fowlkes House
• Jepson Center for the Arts
• Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
• King Tisdell Cottage
• Massie Heritage Center
• Old Fort Jackson
• Owens- Thomas House
• Pin Point Heritage Museum
• Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum
• Savannah Children’s Museum
• Savannah History Museum
• SCAD Museum of Art
• Ships of the Sea Museum
• Telfair Academy
• Tybee Island Light Station and Museum
• UGA Marine Education Center & Aquarium
• Webb Military Museum
• Wormsloe Historic Site
Visit the Georgia Historical Society website for more information and the complete list of participating museums.