Best Museums for Kids
If you’re planning your summer vacation or just looking for something FUN to do with your family. Why not check out a Kid’s Museum that is loaded with FUN and often has inside as well as outside activities for your family to enjoy. We have chosen 15 kid’s museums in the United States that we think you and your family will enjoy. Add them to your Summer Bucket list. Here is our list.
1. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
You will find the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest kid’s museum in the heart of Indianapolis. There are 5 floors of absolute FUN and 7.5 acres of outdoor activities. This museum is loaded with family fun and activities. Parking is always FREE. Memberships are available.
Homeschool, family, and preschool programs are available. All activities include kids 2 and up. Must register for each event so they can maintain their safety standards.
Can’t make it during the day? That’s ok they are open the first Thursday of the month from 4-8 pm. The tickets are only $6 which is more than a 75% savings. There is limited capacity so need to worry about it being crowded. Foodcourt is open so your family can grab dinner there.
Here is a list of the dates for the rest of 2023.
- July 6
- August 3
- September 7
- October 5
- November 2
- December 7
There is so much to do. Here are a few of the FUN attractions:
This exhibit opened in 2004 and quickly has become a favorite. Who doesn’t like dinosaurs?
Discover the world of the dinosaur. Now even more amazing. Whether you are exploring the Mesozioc Seas, Creatures of the Cretaceous and the new Dinosphere Art lab. This exhibit will keep you busy.
Beyond Spaceship Earth:
Immerse yourself into the life of an astronaut. This is a great way to take part in the story of space exploration. From NASA’s Project Mercury program, which sent the first Americans into space, to the International Space Station (ISS). Families can discover how astronauts did scientific experiments in space as well as try on space gear.
Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience:
There are 3 indoor exhibits. National Art Museum of Sport where you can enjoy art depicting sports. The World of Sport is where you can learn how to balance and practice agility. Baseball Boundary Breakers is an exhibit of athletes who faced adversity and succeeded anyway.
There are 12 outdoor exhibits. Your family will have an opportunity to try out sports such as basketball, football, racing, golf, tennis, baseball, soccer, hockey, and fitness.
Don’t forget to check out the Tree of Sports where you can climb high and take a ride down the slide. Parents are always encouraged to play along with their little ones.
These are just a few of the exhibits that are available. Check out the website to discover more at www.childrensmuseum.org
2. Miami Children’s Museum
The Miami Children’s Museum provides a unique, creative atmosphere for children to play, learn and simply have FUN. Here are just some of the attractions.
Castle of Dreams:
A two-story Castle made of luminous sand and colored glass. A great way to take a voyage through imagination and adventure. A winding slide just adds to the fun of this exhibit.
Enter the building sites and explore the different building stations. Giving the feeling of what it would feel like to be on a real construction site.
Health and Wellness Center:
The Baptist Children’s Hospital gives kids the opportunity to try a variety of sports and to explore the different fitness activities. There are stations specifically designed for toddlers. For the older kids, there are stations such as Flex Your Muscles, Food is Fuel, Standing Long Jump, Vertical Jumping, and an Obstacle Course to test agility.
How exciting to be on a cruise ship and learn about life on the sea! This exhibit allows your little ones to explore and experience the Navigational Control Station, cruise ship artifacts, and activities on the ship. Like the Dr. Seuss Bookville family reading area or the Lego table where families can build their own ship.
The Miami Children’s Museum has lots of events going on. Make sure to get on their newsletter to keep up to date. They also have camps, field trips for schools, and even have a preschool.
The preschool is called Early Childhood Institute (ECI). It is a licensed program in the state of Florida. The program works with kids from 12 months to 5 years. For more information go to their website under Educate/preschool. Go to www.maimichildrensmuseum.org
3. Port Discovery Museum
Looking for a great way for your little ones to explore, use their imagination, and have hands-on interaction with the exhibits. The Port Discovery Museum has 3 floors of FUN for everyone. Using imagination while playing makes learning so much more fun. Here are some fantastic activities for you and your family to enjoy.
The Skyclimber: (Socks required)
This exhibit is for 5-12-year-olds. The Skyclimber builds confidence, and teaches problem-solving skills as well as building gross motor skills all while having fun. Parents make sure you join in the fun and climb along with them.
Royal Farms Convenience Store & Fill’er UpStation:
Explore a convenience store and take turns becoming the cashier, the customer, or stock the shelves. Have fun putting some gas in the car’s tank and don’t forget to fill up the tires. Great for learning to work together, critical thinking, and gross motor skills.
Enjoy this toddler-sized adventure in a soft-themed area featuring Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster. Explore different textures, read about underwater sea creatures, and enjoy the sensory-filled underwater experience. Great to help with gross motor skills and sensory development.
BGE Studio Workshop:
If you and your child enjoy art this is perfect for you. Hands-on visual art experiences of all kinds. They have choices of a variety of art projects all designed to promote creativity. The best part is when you are done the clean-up is taken care of by the staff.
There are so many fun activities we just couldn’t cover them all. So, make sure to check out: The Port, Tiny’s Diner, Wonders of Water, Kick It Up, Adventure Expeditions, The Oasis, and many more.
The Port Discovery has virtual learning programs as well as field trips and after-school programs. Make sure you get on their newsletter so you can keep up to date on all their events at www.portdiscovery.org
4. Children’s Museum of Houston
The Children’s Museum of Houston is often ranked as the BEST children’s museum in the country. Their calendar is full of daily activities and this summer is action-packed. Here are a few exhibits we think you will love.
Explore the outdoors in the gardens, around the pond, and in the woodland areas. The Eco Station was designed for kids to have hands-on experiences to help them understand our environment.
With the temperatures being high in Texas make the outdoor Flow Works water playing exhibit one of my favorites. Flow Works allows kids to explore all things water with a hands-on activity to observe how objects respond to water. Plus, a great way to stay cool.
Harness up and enjoy this obstacle course. Climb on the cargo nets and rope bridge. Choose between the lily pads or the Kelp Walk as well as the Rolling Log and the Swinging Steps. The Challenge Course is a popular destination. Because of the time, the course takes the number of climbers may be limited.
This is a busy place. You get to choose where to work, where to shoprole-play and what to do with the money you earn. Kidtropolis features more than 9 different businesses and over two dozen job opportunities. Kids can role play jobs such as city leaders and business owners. The kids help keep the city running. There is something new every visit.
These are just a few of the exhibits. Please make sure to check out: ,Know-How and more.
5. Kidspace Children’s Museum
Kid Space is known as the “A Happy Place to Play and Grow”. Anytime you spend with your kids playing you create not only memories but growth. Spending time together helps your child to develop physically, socially, and intellectually. There are indoor activities as well as 3.5 acres of outside activities. Here are some FUN ways you can spend time together.
On this adventure make sure to bring extra clothes and a towel. Here’s a great way to commune with nature while having loads of fun. Play in this nature scape and enjoy the fresh water along with the kids.
This is just one of the popular activities at Kid Space. Let your little ones enjoy the twisty high way by themselves or ask a friend to join on a two-seater bike.
Enjoy some interactive exhibits that put science into motion. Using levers, pulleys, motion, and more to explore physics. What a great way to have fun while learning.
Let’s go inside and have some FUN. Enjoy the Mighty Build Guild where kids can play and create but most of all have fun.
Don’t forget to check out these other exhibits: The Dig, Splash Dance Fountains, and Rope Bridge. Make sure you get the Newsletter so as not to miss out on any of the fun.
Lots of programs for kids and families. Enjoy the FREE First Fridays of the month. They will be open from 4-7 pm. Advanced registration is required and tickets are released 2 weeks prior to the date of visit. Check out their website www.kidspacemuseum.org
6. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
This children’s museum has so many fun ways to learn through play. Our kids learn best when they are having FUN. Lots of hands-on activities. Here are just a few.
The Kindness Gallery:
The Kindness Gallery has taken over the attic. What a great way to promote kindness. Lots of hands-on activities such as the Teletype Machine, Care Package Factory, and the Conversation Bench. Lots of hands-on and lots of FUN!
So much to do! Have fun with the 7-foot diameter Water Mover, Dam Building, Magnetic Water Wall, and Build-a-Fountain are just a few of the exhibits you will enjoy. What a great way to stay cool on those hot days. Make sure to bring extra clothes and a towel.
What a fun way to learn about gardening. Some of us have already started gardens but others don’t have the space for them. You can still have your little ones learn all about gardening. Gardening starting from seeds, composting, and learning about pollination are just a few of the lessons kids will learn. The plants and fresh air make for loads of fun.
Have some fun in the Garage rolling, spinning, bouncing, and flying at this exhibit. The Garage has lots of hands-on activities. The best way to learn is while having FUN this exhibit provides all that and more.
Here are some more exhibits not covered: Backyard, The Limb Bender, Make Shop, and the Nursery just to name a few. Plus, don’t forget the temporary exhibits. The one running now is “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Work together to solve problems and sing along with Daniel Tiger to learn little life’s lessons.
Make sure you get on their Newsletter in order to keep up with all the fun activities going on. Check out the website now www.pittsburghkids.org.
7. Madison Children’s Museum
The Madison Children’s Museum is full of FUN exhibits. This museum makes PLAY a priority. It’s how kids learn to explore and learn. Here are just a few fun ways to play with your child.
Climb, play, balance, and discover in 10,000 square foot outside play place. This playground is made from local natural materials where you will find there is always something new. Fun features include The Thicket Climbing Sculpture, Cocoon Climber, The Orchard, Cabin Yard & Gardens, and The Down Under. No special tickets are required.
This exhibit is made from 90% recycled and repurposed materials. Your kids will learn about pullies and how to use them. Be able to push buttons and turn dials. Have fun climbing the two-story Hodge Podge Mahal Climber.
So much fun! Check out the pond and gardens and discover how the seasons affect them. Enjoy the famous rooftop chickens and pigeons. Dig for fossils in the sandbox or ascend the Acorn climber. Check out the Crow’s Nest and enjoy the view.
Take part in Early Learning Gallery, cross the Bone Bridge, get wet in the Water Dome or cuddle up in a reading nest. This exhibit is built with natural and sustainable materials.
We could not include everything and all the exhibits. Here are just a few more: The Art Studio, From Coops to Cathedrals, Trash Labs, and the Community Concourse. Check out the full schedule of what events are going on and sign up for their newsletter. There are drop-in programs, workshops, and playgroups too.
8. Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center is full of science exhibits and fun! So many things going on. Here are a few we think you will be interested in. Make sure to check out the other exhibits we didn’t cover.
This exhibit is for children from 0-5 years old. This bright and inviting world is unlike anything else. In the center of this exhibit is a 14-foot column where the Body Mobile is. The kids can hop on the seats and surfaces dangle down for loads of fun.
Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium:
Home of the BIGGEST Planetarium in America. Eighty-eight million pixels views of the night sky and far away galaxies. There are 4 different shows that are playing. You can choose the best one for your family. All planetarium shows are available as add-ons to general admission tickets.
Dino Dig Adventure:
Imagine your child’s excitement when they uncover one of the 7 species of dinosaurs. This outdoor exhibit is 1,750 square feet with 60 tons of sand. Every dinosaur lover’s dream!
Climb in this first suspended climbing play space. Designed for safety but meant for fun. Height requirement of 42” required. There are other safety protocols be sure to check those out.
This is another great museum loaded with lots to do. Because we can not cover everything be sure to check these exhibits out too: Wild About Animals, Making Mammoths, Microbes Rule, Our Hudson Home ad Dream Machine, etc. Make sure to sign up for their e-newsletter at www.lcs.org .
9. Children’s Museum of Denver
This museum allows kids to investigate, imagine, explore and create. This museum has so many different exhibits your child will not be bored. Here are just a few of the exhibits.
Who doesn’t like bubbles? Your child will be immersed in soapy bubbles. The kids can surround themselves with a BIG colorful bubble inside the Bubble Booth. They can catch bubbles falling from the ceiling or make big bubbles of their own.
Fire Station #1:
This exhibit is for kids 2-5 years old. This is every fireman’s dream! Become a firefighter to save the city. Hurry and slide down the pole, get dressed, and the dispatcher will inform you where the fire is. Jump into the fire truck and head to the fire. This is a great time to talk to your child about fire safety while having fun.
Climb up and down and all over. Decode a secret language, meet the Council of Creatures, and find treasures. Slide thru 70-feet of slides. Enjoy the panoramic view of Denver. Climbers must be 5 years old or 44” tall. Because this is outside it’s dependent on the weather.
The Teaching Kitchen:
This kitchen is open to all ages. Join a cooking class, and see the plants growing using hydroponics. Programs include nutrition, cooking, gardening, and food from around the world.
Here are some more FUN exhibits to check out: Kinetics, My Market, Book Nook, Energy, Box Canyon, Art Studio, Assembly Plant, and many more. We always encourage you to join the email lists so you can see the upcoming events.
10. Discovery Place
The Discovery place is a great place to discover and explore science. The hands-on exhibits are fun and educational. Your family will enjoy the time spent together learning and exploring. Check them out below.
Dive Into the Unseen Oceans:
Experience the Ocean beneath the surface. Scientists have uncovered new ways for us to see what was once hidden from us. Learn more about the “Mysterious Drifters, Striking Fluorescents, Underwater Giants, Secret Landscapes and Deep Sea Submersibles.”
Also, find out what is being done for the future that will lead to even more discoveries.
All new workshop that allows you to get messy, think, create and take risks. Learn new skills such as sewing, woodworking, or soldering. Also, learn to use the latest technologies such as the laser cutter or 3D printer. There are educator-led classes for families, middle and high schoolers as well as adults.
This is an exciting place for kids and families. There is so much to do. All hands-on and loaded with fun.
Families can explore, create and play together. Build structures with blocks, Duplos or Magnatiles. Explore colors and lights using the Jumbo Light Peg Wall and create your own designs. Build your own Kids K’Nex cars and race them on the track.
For the little ones (ages 0-36 months) check out the Nano Zone. Here toddlers can enjoy lots of activities such as laughing along with the Giggling Flowers.
To wrap up the busy day settle down for a while in the Reading Nook and enjoy a book or two.
IMAX Dome Theater:
Enjoy a movie experience like nothing else. This movie experience delivers, crystal clear images, and precision sound like you have never experienced before. Check out the movies that are playing and sit back and enjoy.
Lots of classes and activities for field trips for homeschoolers or schools, summer camps, and even digital classes to learn from home. Make sure to keep up to date on all the activities by subscribing to their newsletter. www.discoveryplace.org
11. The Strong National Museum of Play
Join in on the fun at the ULTIMATE play destination. Lots to do for all ages. A great place to spend time as a family. Check out some of the exhibits.
Challenge yourself to this indoor high rope course. This course is suspended in the museum’s Carousel Atrium. Crossing beams, ropes, and wobbly bridges and leaping off the zipline platform are a few of these challenges. There are two courses for different sizes and skills. There is the Low-Rise for 48” and under and the High-Rise for the 48” and above climbers.
The National Toy Hall of Fame:
The Toy Hall of Fame was established in 1998. The toys that have made it into the Hall of Fame have inspired creative play, been popular, and have stood the test of time.
Each year new toys are inducted and are showcased alongside historic versions of toys that have been loved through the ages. What a great way to introduce your kids to toys you or their grandparents played with as a child. If you have a favorite toy, make sure to nominate it. Maybe it will be chosen to be showcased too.
Paw Patrol Adventure Play:
Join the rescue pups at Adventure Bay and have your own adventure. Whether you are popping on a pup pack, scoping out the view from the Lookout Tower, boarding the Paw Patroller, heading up Jake’s Mountain, or taking a cruise on the Sea Patroller your child will become an adventurous pup. This is a short-term exhibit but thought it was too fun not to tell you about it. Make sure to check out the dates it is available.
Wegman’s Super Kids Market:
Kids run this market! Kids can shop for items needed, check out groceries, work in the bakery, or make brick-oven pizzas. They can also shop for organic products at Nature’s Marketplace. Little ones can sort, count, and weigh veggies or gather eggs or rest under the apple tree. What a great way for kids to pretend they are shopping for their families.
There is so much to do. Here are some of the exhibits we didn’t cover. Here they are: Pinball Playfields, Playing Pals, Reading Adventureland, Imagination Destination, One History Place, and Aquariums at Rainbow Reef. There are even more exhibits that we have not named so be sure to check them all out.
12. Minnesota Children’s Museum
There is so much to do! Three floors of nothing but FUN. We only chose 4 to highlight so make sure to check out the other exhibits.
This exhibit takes up a good portion of the first floor. The wreck is designed after the wreck of J.S. Seaverns sinking in 1884. Immerse yourself in this underwater adventure. Become a scuba diver and explore the wreck as well as Lake Superior. See how the engineers created this exhibit by going to www.mcm.org/shipwreck-adventures.
Two-four story climbers are a great way to increase gross motor skills. The forty-foot catwalk will challenge any skill level. Make sure to come down the spiral slide so you can start all over again. Socks are required.
Forces at Play:
Great way to experiment while having fun. Become an engineer thru play with ramps, and cars. Your little ones will even be able to wash a car. Make sure to bring extra clothes they may get wet.
Playing is not just for kids! Playing is so important it helps with coordination, and balance and can help with sleep and eating habits too. This exhibit explains the benefits both for kids and adults. You can play games or relax with mindful activities.
There are so many exhibits that we couldn’t cover them all. Here are just a few: Our World, The Studio, Forces at Play, Imaginopolis, Tip Top Terrace, Sprouts, and Backyard. Also, subscribe to the Newsletter so you don’t miss anything.
13. Children’s Museum of Atlanta
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta believes in the power of play. Lots of learning going on too. Here are a few of fun exhibits for all ages.
Leap Into Learning:
Enter the magical forest and fish for colorful fish. Discover why some things sink while others float. Climb the treehouse where your child can create their own adventures. For the younger crowd check out the Toddler Zone. They can drive a car, playhouse, or have fun with bubbles and the light interactive wall.
Gateway to the World:
There are so many hands-on activities. Learn about the layers of the earth and learn about the 7 continents in our world. Build a rocket and launch it into space. Climb up two stories high and get a better view from a new perspective.7
Step Up Science:
No matter what age this exhibit gives everyone a chance to explore agriculture, engineering, computer science, and more. Enjoy these activities as a family and have fun.
Here are some other exhibits to check out: Tools for Solutions and Let Your Creativity Flow. Make sure to get the newsletter to keep up with the daily activities available.
14. Kohl’s Children’s Museum
There is so much to see and do at this kid’s museum. Lots of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. Here are just a few that we found fun.
Hands on House:
This exhibit is hands-on! Kids will learn what it entails to construct a house. Choose the outer exterior of the house, pretend to paint, install carpet, or shingle the roof. What a great way to have fun while learning too.
Science and You:
Young kids will walk into a science lab that is just their size. They can learn about health, nutrition, problem-solving, and the tools scientists use to experiment.
Does your child love animals? Here’s a great way to learn to care for a sick animal. Your child can pretend to be a veterinarian, treat their patient, create a diet for them or help them find their way home by scanning a microchip. All in a day’s work. When they are done they can brush up on their skills on the pet obstacle course.
This exhibit allows kids to experience guided art activities that kids can enjoy making with their families. When they are finished, they get to take it home.
There is so much more to do. Here are some more exhibits: Story Time, Garden Buddies (seasonal program) Tinkering, Stem Cart, Build It, Water Works, Whole Foods Market, and City on the Move. Also, check out other events going on.
15. Boston Children’s Museum
There is so much to do at the Boston Children’s Museum. We wish we could tell you about all but are a few of the fun you will have.
Countdown to Kindergarten:
Step into a kindergarten classroom. Kids along with parents can experience what kindergarten will be like. You can ask the teachers (staff) questions about child development and how to help get your child for school.
The classroom has math, science, creative play, a writing corner, and a creative arts area. What a great way to introduce your child to kindergarten.
Become a scientist and explore the world of the dinosaur. Discover clues and observe fossil evidence of how big they were and how they moved. Loads of fun things to do like putting together a dinosaur puzzle to learn about their anatomy. So, ask questions and dive into the world of dinosaurs.