“We’re bored!” “There’s nothing to do,” and “Where can we go today?” are often rote expressions delivered by family members who are given the gift of some “time off,” whether it happens to be a weekend day, a summer break or a three week track out. Many families like knowing that the vacation they’ve chosen will be every bit as educational as it is entertaining and fun. A museum trip is the absolute best way to spend any chunk of time you might have. Here are the top 5, must-see museum destinations.

The Louvre
Offering visitors 60,00 sq.ft. of 35,000 masterpieces, the Louvre was originally constructed as a fortress to protect Parisians from raids by seafaring Scandinavian Vikings. Only in 1793 was its function as a museum instituted. Here, visitors can experience such world treasures as Venus de Milo, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, and most famous of all: the “Mona Lisa.”

The Center for Puppetry Arts
Ever since creator Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog cut the opening ribbon in 1978, this Atlanta Midtown museum has delighted visitors of all ages as the nation’s largest non-profit conglomeration of “everything puppet.” Discover fascinating behind-the-scenes puppet life, concentrated on three main aspects of performance, education and the museum itself. Families experience a live performance (some with classic storylines and some new,) attend a Create-a-Puppet-Workshop and explore the museum.

The Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian’s vast collection means you’ll need to choose the areas that most appeal to you, because you won’t be able to see everything in one visit. With thousands of objects and hundreds of exhibits, wear comfortable shoes. An interactive guidebook is loosely geared toward 8 to 12 year olds, Awesome Adventures at the Smithsonian is worthwhile, and extends the Smithsonian to your home. As the world’s largest museum and research complex, visitors find 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities. Among the most-visited museums are the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History. Make sure to download the Smithsonian Mobile App.

Boston Children’s Museum
A century-old Boston destination focused on “the power of play” that is just as educational as it is fun. Operating as a “green” museum since 2007, the building is complemented with a landscaped waterfront park. Rich exposure to art, music, building, science and imaginative play abound here. There’s even a special play zone for little visitors who are 3 years old or younger.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Since opening in 1997 as Frank Gehry’s masterpiece, this spectacular structure made of titanium, glass, and limestone has been lauded as the most important structure of its time. Changing the way people regard museums, the Bilbao impressively challenges our assumptions about how art, architecture and collection are connected. With a concentration on American and European postwar painting and sculpture, the collection spans from the mid-20th century to current times.