By Denise Richardson The Daily Star
---- — The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown has been named a top-10 winner in a magazine survey of family museums.
FamilyFun magazine announced winners of the 2014 FamilyFun Travel Awards on April 4. The annual search for the best kid-friendly locations and vacation spots gathers choices by families from across the country, and the overall top travel destination was Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Fla.
This year is the second time survey results have been shared, magazine officials said, and the Baseball Hall of Fame ranked No. 9 this year, the first time “family museums” was a separate category. In the first survey, the museums were included with aquariums and zoos.
Craig Muder, director of communications for the Baseball Hall of Fame, said the recognition by FamilyFun is an honor.
“It’s part of our mission to connect generations every day as we preserve baseball history,” he said this week.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum collections feature almost 40,000 artifacts and other three-dimensional items, 3 million books and documents and 500,000 photographs. The museum tells visitors the story of baseball through a timeline, with the majestic “Plaque Gallery” honoring baseball players, executives and others, serving as a centerpiece.
The six newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame will take their commemorative place in Cooperstown on July 27, highlighting four days of events and programs as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2014, July 25-28. The Hall of Fame is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a concert in August.
The magazine’s travel award winners are featured in the April issue of FamilyFun, including the top 12 overall winners, which represent the highest-scoring destinations from each category.
“This year’s travel award winners offer worlds of discovery and adventure for families across the map,” said Ann Hallock, editor in chief of FamilyFun, in the release. “Family vacations are all about having fun, and while many of the families in our survey seek that out through attractions like theme parks and zoos, it’s clear that families are also looking for learning and outdoor experiences.”
According to a media release, Orlando, Fla., swept this year’s family travel destinations, with Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the City of Orlando taking the top three overall spots. The Strong Museum, located in Rochester and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, placed in the top five Travel Awards winners of 2014.
Museums, historic sites, and national parks and preserves also had a strong presence in the awards.
FamilyFun said the top 10 in the Family Museums category were:
1. The Strong, Rochester, which includes the National Museum of Play, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the National Toy Hall of Fame.
2. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.
3. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis.
4. American Museum of Natural History, New York City.
5. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
6. The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.
7. The Field Museum, Chicago.
8. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
9. National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown.
10. Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia.
FamilyFun surveyed families traveling with children ages 3 to 12. More than 2,000 respondents in four regions — West, Midwest, South and Northeast — were asked to rate more than 400 vacation spots in six categories. For voting purposes, respondents provided feedback solely on regions in which they live, the release said.