When traveling with children, it is always fun to scout out interesting places to take them. Children love to learn and see new things. Museums offer an educational experience and a chance to form fond memories as a family. From the Midwest to the West coast here are some must-see museums for families:
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is a highly interactive museum located on Lakeshore Drive in the city of Chicago. Children can experience Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb or drive a huge John Deere combine through a crop field. They can even take a ride through a coal mine! Their engaging website offers interesting online educational activities, such as a drag-and-drop laboratory.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum
You cannot go to Missouri without visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. Nearly everyone is intrigued by the pioneer days of our country. Here you can learn more about the “Little House” series author Laura Ingalls Wilder and how the pioneers actually lived, as well as look around her two homes on her Rocky Ridge Farm.
Chicago Children’s Museum
Located on Navy Pier in Chicago, the Chicago Children’s Museum has three levels of fun educational activities that are sure to keep your children busy in mind, body and spirit. For your hands-on learners, try the Tinkerlab. Your dinosaur lovers will love the Dinosaur Expedition. For those who need to climb, try the Treehouse Trails. There’s something for everyone!
Wonderscope Children’s Museum in Kansas City
Wonderscope Children’s Museum in Kansas City offers children the opportunity to play with water in the H2O exhibit. Other highlights include Farm to Market, Lego Ocean Adventure, Tinkerspace, and Amazing Airways. Kids can let their light shine in the Performance area. Your children are sure to be entertained for hours! Admission is a nominal fee.
WOW Children’s Museum Lafayette, Colorado
Want to make your kids some slime? What about homemade bubbles? WOW Children’s Museum in Lafayette, Colorado, has some online activities you can do at home with your children. In person, here are some of their popular exhibits: Bubbles, Pirate Ship & Lighthouse, Pulley Chairs, Stage & Puppet Theater, Dance & Yoga Studio, Forest of Light, Blowing in the Wind, Build It!, Market, Garden (which is seasonal) and SunSational Energy & Science.
Discovery Museum in Las Vegas
Like many other museums, the Discovery Museum in Las Vegas offers you the chance to host your child’s birthday party there, school tours and enrichment programs just for kids. Their newest exhibit arrived on Jan. 31 – Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear! and will be there until May 31st. Sounds pretty scary, eh? Their other exhibits include: The Summit, Eco City, Fantasy Festival, Patents Pending, Toddler Town, Solve It, Water Town, Young Art and It’s Your Choice.
Treehouse Museum in Ogden, Utah
Children ages 3- 10 will love the playful options at Treehouse Museum in Ogden, Utah including knights and castles, a diner, the rodeo, life-size chess, multicultural exhibit, and plenty more to spark the imagination. And, of course, a large pretend treehouse. This museum offers daily “Step on Stage” interactive theater programs for families. The Art Garden provides visual arts programs using a variety of media for your children’s enjoyment.
Academy of Sciences in San Francisco
Fun-filled informational exhibits like the living roof and kid-friendly tidepools enable children to learn more about the world in which they live. There is also a live rainforest with butterflies and parrots, a penguin tank, a giant tank featuring sea life found off the California coast, and a planetarium. At the Early Explorers exhibit, kids can learn about the cove and the Galapagos. There is also a fifteen year old albino alligator named Claude. Locals and tourists alike love this museum. More can be found at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Zimmer Children’s Museum in L.A.
Children will be excited to participate in Rhythms of the World learning about different instruments around the world, Mark Taper Foundation Aid and Rescue Center, Construction Zone, Blue Bagel Cafe enjoying cuisines from different countries and so much more at Zimmer Children’s Museum in L.A. The video below gives you a quick sneak peak.
Instead of being inside a building, our National Parks are a living museum that are constantly changing. Several times a year, the National Parks have free admission, and even on the days that there’s an admission fee, the sight of places like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other National Parks is well worth the visit.
Eager to head to your local museum now? Museums are a valued part of our culture and get kids experimenting and thinking. Conscious parents desiring to enrich the lives of their children find museums supplement their child’s education in a hands-on way. Parents, grandparents and older children may take advantage of volunteer or employment opportunities to enhance their resume or college application. One thing is for sure, there is something for young and old from the Midwest to West Coast…at these must-see museums.