In Honor of Obscura Day, Get Off the Couch and Explore

sharyn morrow via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
sharyn morrow via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / sharyn morrow via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ideally, weekends are for sleeping late, spending time with loved ones, and eating carbohydrate-rich breakfast foods. But if Atlas Obscura has their way, you’ll forego the prolonged nap and Netflix marathon on Saturday, April 16, for some unusual museums, historic cemeteries, literary walking tours, amputation demonstrations, and/or taxidermied frogs instead.

Atlas Obscura, a compendium of off-the-beaten-path wonders, has been hosting Obscura Days since 2010. The idea behind the hundreds of events, all planned for a single day, is to eschew big-ticket tourist items in favor of the overlooked charms in your own backyard—which shouldn't stop you from hopping a plane to Vienna, say, to explore the Stephansdom Crypt instead. Last year’s events included an invocation from a sorcerer at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft and an orchestral performance at the Robotic Church in Brooklyn, among other amazements.

This year, there are 160 events in 26 countries to choose from. Highlights include dinner in an Ecuadorian cave on the slopes of a volcano, a hike through an Italian marble quarry, a scavenger hunt at the abandoned Olympic Village in Beijing, a tunneling workshop (“learn how to dig your own escape route!”), a visit to the world’s only dedicated LGBT cemetery section, and more ruins, underground research bunkers, death mask collections, and marine creatures built out of trash than you could possibly desire (at least on a single day). Most events are free, and all are under $100. Go forth and explore—Netlfix will still be there for you next week.