Junkanoo Expo Museum
From December 26 through New Year’s Day, the streets of Nassau erupt with live music, festive floats, and costumes for Junkanoo—a festival akin to Mardi Gras and Carnival. Located in an old customs warehouse on the wharf, the fun Junkanoo Expo Museum, offers visitors who can’t make the trip during the holiday season a chance to experience the wonderful event.
Originally created to celebrate the temporary freedom granted to slaves in the three days following Christmas, Junkanoo has now become a beloved part of the nation’s holiday celebrations and cultural traditions. The vibrant Expo Museum celebrates the deeply meaningful festival through its vast collection of intricate crepe paper costumes, masks, richly-detailed parade floats, and other memorabilia from Junkanoo’s history, giving visitors a taste of the celebration any time of year. Included with the price of admission are on-site tours, which are extremely entertaining and educational and often led by the museum’s owner.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Junkanoo Expo Museum is an ideal spot for history and culture buffs and families with small children.
- A small admission fee is required.
- Kids may bang drums and cowbells in the music room.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.
- Pick up souvenirs at the boutique.
How to Get There
Junkanoo Expo Museum is located on Prince George Wharf in Nassau, accessible via the No. 10 bus. A public bus, or jitney, operates throughout Nassau everyday, typically from 6:30am until 7pm, with reduced hours on Sundays. Drive a car or a scooter, bike, take a taxi, or walk to the museum.
When to Get There
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from morning until afternoon. Nassau’s peak season is between December and May so expect perfect weather but also crowds. Hurricane season generally falls between June through November. If you can make the Junkanoo festival in late December, book in advance since the prices are at their highest.
To continue your deep dive into the local Nassau culture, make your way to the coast to Arawak Cay, also known as "Fish Fry." Here along West Bay Street vendors sell fresh local delicacies such as fried fish, conch fritters, pigeon peas and rice, and johnnycakes. Live music is a typical feature of the area, with an open stage set up in front of a grassy area for concerts and picnics. Come on a Sunday night for the biggest parties.
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- Nassau Cruise Port
- Straw Market
- Queen's Staircase
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Fort Fincastle
- Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
- Pirates of Nassau
- National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB)
- Nassau Public Library & Museum
- Marine Habitat at Atlantis
- Rose Island
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- Atlantis, Paradise Island
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