Check out the latest youth travel industry updates.


‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ coming to The Franklin Institute

'Harry Potter: The Exhibition,'
‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition,’ The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.
Credit: Courtesy The Franklin Institute

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The most comprehensive touring exhibition about the Wizarding World makes its world premiere this winter at Philadelphia’s iconic science museum. “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” will be on view from Feb. 18 through September of this year at The Franklin Institute.

This groundbreaking exhibition will celebrate the iconic moments, characters, settings, and beasts as seen in the films and stories of Harry Potter and the Wizarding World using best-in-class immersive design and technology. From the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle to the antics of its mischievous yet brilliant students; from daring duels to dragons and Dark Arts; from glittering Gringotts™ to the magnificent Ministry of Magic — the exhibition will bring magic to life, connect visitors with the larger global community of fans of the Wizarding World, and reveal the artistry and craftsmanship behind the blockbuster films.


New exhibit on view at the Musical Instrument Museum

PHOENIX, Ariz. — The Musical Instrument Museum’s (MIM) newest exhibition, “Treasures: Legendary Musical Instruments,” celebrates the power of music across 6,000 years of history with some of the world’s most notable musical moments, performance traditions and musical instrument developments. Eighty exceptional instruments fill the Target Gallery, including some of the finest from the MIM’s collection and more than 20 loans from renowned museums, private collections and musicians around the world.

From the ancient Olympic Games to the unveiling of the Eiffel Tower, history is brought to life by the instruments that forever changed the world. The exhibition shares global human achievement and musical ingenuity through an Amati violin likely made for a royal marriage, the oldest guitar still in existence, a shell trumpet from the Maya civilization, Jimi Hendrix’s Black Widow guitar, and more historic instruments. The exhibit is exclusive to The MIM and will be on display for most of the remainder of the year.


Yale Peabody Museum to offer free admission forever

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Yale Peabody Museum recently announced that it will offer free admission in perpetuity once its galleries reopen in 2024, following the museum’s first major renovation in nearly a century.

Yale Peabody Museum of Natural Histor
Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Conn.
Credit: Michael Marsland

The Peabody, which continues to operate many of its programs online, will join the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art as free public admission museums.

Founded in 1866, the Yale Peabody Museum is one of the world’s oldest and largest university museums of its kind. Home to over 14 million objects and specimens across 10 distinct collections, it preserves and displays more than four billion years of Earth and human history. It has long served as a gateway to science for the Greater New Haven community, hosting exhibitions and public programs that connect tens of thousands of visitors each year with the latest research occurring at Yale and around the world.


Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition explores portrayals of race in published art

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The Norman Rockwell Museum has announced “Imprinted: Illustrating Race,” a landmark exhibition scheduled for June 11 through Oct. 30, 2022. This special exhibition examines the role of published images in shaping attitudes toward race and culture. More than 100 works of art and artifacts of widely circulated illustrated imagery will be on view, produced from the late 18th century to today, which have an impact on public perception about race in the United States.


New experiences coming to Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — New attractions are slated to open this year in Orlando, Florida.

SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando, Fla. Credit: SeaWorld Orlando

Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration brings new experiences to all four theme parks and beyond. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT’s first “other-world” showcase pavilion opening in the summer, features a new storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open a new show, “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue … and Beyond,” reimagined to be set in the timeline of the Finding Dory movie.

Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, opens in February 2022. The ride features four launches, both backward and forward, culminating in a reverse launch with a 93-foot-tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida. The new Reef Plunge water slide at Aquatica Orlando launches in spring 2022. Guests will zoom past a vibrant array of marine life, Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks and a variety of other cold-water fish.

Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex will open at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in March 2022. The 50,000-square-foot, multi-level attraction will feature a showcase of NASA and commercial spacecraft hardware with immersive displays, as well as a “journey” through space, unique launch viewing opportunities and more.

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Courtney Birchmeier oversees the editorial department at Group Tour Media. With half a decade under her belt in the group travel industry, she's eager to connect tour operators and group leaders with new destinations. It's a great day at the office if her dog, a chow/lab mix named "Kiwi," is in tow. In her free time, she enjoys reading (for fun, with no red pen in hand), sampling craft beer (New Holland Brewing's "Dragon's Milk," anyone?) and adding new destinations to her travel bucket list (like Salzburg, Austria).