It’s been said “having company” and fish both grow malodorous after a couple of days, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Just like you can throw fish in the freezer, you can keep visiting kin and friends chilled out by taking them on field trips of the area. Show off your hometown.
Long-term exhibits to which we’ve grown accustomed in our daily lives can provide assistance for weary hosts. Shows we’ve long since forgotten about are fresh and exciting to visitors.
The History Museum of Mobile, 111 S. Royal St., is a facility of which we should all be proud and right now the entrance fee is perfect: zero. Their “Ark of India” exhibit is something you would never expect to find in the Azalea City, a spellbinding trip to another world on the second floor of the old City Hall and marketplace. The History Museum of Mobile also runs Fort Conde, located diagonally across the intersection of Church and Royal. They are also in charge of the Phoenix Fire Museum near the Mobile Civic Center.
The museum is closed on Mondays but open the rest of the week. Fort Conde is open seven days a week. The fire museum is open Tuesday and Thursday only.
On the same block as the history museum, the Gulf Coast Exploreum science center, 65 Government St., is still featuring their IMAX presentation of “Jerusalem,” something that dovetails nicely with the religious tinge of the holiday season. Though closed on Mondays, they are open the rest of the week.
The Centre for the Living Arts at 301 Conti St., still has their PRE-GLO show up, featuring Los Angeles artist Mario Ybarra’s “Barrio Aesthetics” in gigantic scale. Combined with Tom Leeser’s video presentation and Xavier de Richemont’s world-class vision for the U.S.S. Alabama, it could be perfect for those guests who might like their art on the contemporary side. The facility has limited hours through the week so call 251-208-5671 for more info.
Drop into the Mobile Arts Council offices which double as one of the town’s most accessible galleries. Say “hi” to Bob, Charlie and Hillary; tell them Klee sent you. They are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The variety of other galleries and shops downtown are a good place to spend a gorgeous December afternoon. On Dauphin Street alone there’s Bienville Books across from Bienville Square, Artology across from Cathedral Square and Cathedral Square Gallery across from no square at all. Elsewhere on Dauphin, Urban Emporium and Gallery 450 have unique combinations of experience thanks to their innovative approach to storefront presence. Then head over to St. Louis Street to meander into Koch Gallery, Innova Arts and Portal Studio.
The Carnival Museum at 355 Government St. is conveniently located near the aforementioned institutions but if you want to show your guests a new twist on pre-Lenten happenings, head to the Mobile Museum of Art at 4850 Museum Drive in Langan Park. Their show on the artistic craftsmanship behind the three-week spectacle can open up a whole new realm of appreciation.
MMoA is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours are extended until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and free all day. Call 251-208-5200 for more info on entrance fees.