Best children's museums in the US
Children and museums typically do not go hand in hand, but now there are some incredible museums out there dedicated just for kids! The do not touch rule has been modified to go ahead and touch! Check out our list of the 10 best museums in the country that are fun for kids and adults, too!
The museum, located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural, boasts eight hands-on interactive exhibitions designed to allow kids to discover all the amazing things in the world around them. From role-playing on the restored 1947 fire truck to exploring the lives of insects in Bugs and other Insects, kids can learn interactively while having a ton of fun. Art workshops, special programs and performances that run the gamut from cooking, storytelling and animal-feeding are also available. Here, kids can let their imaginations run wild and become a chef, pirate, movie star, bug, dogsled musher, fire chief, artist, carpenter, tugboat captain and scientist.
1000 Richmond Terrace at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY 10301. 718-273-2060. Hours: Tuesday - Friday 12noon – 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults: $5; children ages 12-18: $3; children under 12 free.
This is the museum for little ones! The Children's Museum of Phoenix's mission is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. The creative and unique interactive exhibits are totally hands-on and designed specifically for kids from birth to 10 years old. Focusing on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness, the museum offers it young visitors engaging and immersive programs and exhibits. Check out art projects in the Art Studio, and let children spin their wheels in Pedal Power, shop like Mom and Dad at the market and make a pizza in the kids' kitchen. The Place for Under Threes is specifically designed to nurture the developmental needs of infants and toddlers. You can't miss the new Schuff-Perini Climber, a monstrous indoor play area, which unveils May 21.
215 N. 7th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034. Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 9am-4pm; Closed on Mondays; Admission: Members: Free; Non-Members: $9.00; Children under the age of 1: Free.
In going with the city of San Antonio's family-friendly vibe, this museum just for kids is a must-see if you are visiting the area. Offering an education and fun experience, the San Antonio Children's Museum is designed to entertain and educate children from birth to 10 years old. The interactive museum offers programs and exhibits specific to creative arts, sciences, literacy and other aspects of early childhood learning. Don't miss the two new permanent exhibits, the 1750-square-foot HEB Kids' Market and the action-packed PowerBall Hall, which were added in 2008. A new and improved museum Tot Spot, just for kids up to 36 months old, opened in March 2010.
305 East Houston Street San Antonio, TX 78205. Hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m.; Admission: Adults: $7; children ages 2 and up: $7; children under 2 free.
The Please Touch Museum is the antithesis of a stuffy old museum that screams "Don't Touch!" It is the perfect environment for families with young children. Hands-on, interactive exhibits, various play activities and live theater performances are offered daily at this children's museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Family interaction is an integral part of the adventure here, and grown-ups are encouraged to play just as much as the kids to really demonstrate the possibilities each exhibit holds. There is fun at every turn in this museum and each visit will delight visitors with a new experience.
210 N. 21st St., Philadelphia, PA 19103. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Children and adults, $15; under age 1 free; group discounts available.
Located in Davis, California, this museum and nature observatory is a science discovery experience for the whole family. Offering a hands-on learning experience, children and adults like can delight in themes of nature and science as well as the world via rotating and long-term exhibitions, and fun, hands-on experiments. Experiment with sound waves, explore geological phenomenon related to weather, listen to hissing cockroaches, and more. On Tuesday mornings, educational, age-appropriate activities are offered for families with children ages five years old and younger. Admission is free the third Tuesday of each month, as well as free on the first weekend of each month to individuals with Bank of America credit or debit cards.
2801 2nd St., Davis, CA 95618. Hours: Saturdays-Sundays: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesdays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Admission: General Admission: $4; Members, children 3 years and under, and teachers (with school ID): Free.
This facility is truly dedicated for children of all ages – and what kids doesn't love puppets? The Center for Puppetry Arts is designed to educate and entertain visitors of all ages. Age-appropriate performances just for kids are offered as well as shows that have a bit more adult material -- so pay attention to what's being offered before you plan your visit! After you take in a show, be sure to check out the museum featuring puppets like you've never seen them before, along with some hands-on elements. ?1404 Spring Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA, 30309. Hours: Monday - Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Admission: Tickets prices to shows vary; Museum free with show ticket.
This museum boasts 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children birth through eight years old. Nurturing a love of learning in little ones, the exhibits at the Kohl Children's Museum support the strategic direction of the museum as outlined in its mission statement and key beliefs. Exhibits include Adventures in Art, All About Me, City on the Move, Habitat Park, Cooperation Station, Music Makers, Nature Explorers and more.
2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview IL 60026; Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m.; Admission: Adults and Children: $7.50, Grandparents and Seniors (55+): $6.50
If you're planning a family trip to the Windy City, be sure to schedule time to visit the Chicago Children's Museum – a museum focused on connecting play and learning. It is the only cultural institution in the city dedicated purely to young kids and their families. Featuring more than 15 interactive exhibits and programming spaces, the museum creates playful experiences for kids at every turn. It taps into how kids learn and engages them at an early age to help them foster a lifelong love of learning. Don't miss the re-opening of The Allstate Foundation Presents Play It Safe! Kids can step into the boots of a firefighter and discover a whole new way to Play It Safe! Families can learn fire safety in a fun new way by exploring a realistic firehouse -- complete with command center, fire pole, "Get Low and Go" bedroom, fire truck, and more.
700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611; Hours: Daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Admission: Adults and Children: $10.00, Seniors $9.00; All free on Thursdays from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Located in Mesa, Arizona, the Arizona Museum for Youth (AMY) boasts art exhibits and hands-on activities that teach children and their families about art and basic principles of aesthetics. Shows change several times a year, so every visit to the museum is a new experience. The museum's diverse appeal will entertain toddlers as well we children 10 years old. An amazing variety of art classes, fun workshops and family programs are available to educate children about the power of creativity and self-expression. For kids four and under, don't miss the museum's ArtVille, an art town for the younger set.
35 N. Robson, Mesa, AZ 85201. Hours: 10am-4pm Tuesday through Saturday; Sunday: noon-4 p.m.; Admission: $6.50 for everyone over 1.
This museum, which is consistently ranked in the top 10 children's museums in the US, offers kids the opportunity to discover new things about themselves and the world around them as they climb, crawl, and explore. Boasting eight educational and dramatic exhibit areas, including two especially designed for preschool age children and younger -- Little Sprouts Farm and Kids' Town – this museum will keep your little ones occupied and entertained for hours and hours with scheduled crafts and activities in addition to seasonal programs.
1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati. (800) 733-2077. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A one-museum pass costs $8.50 adults, $7.50 seniors (60+), $6.50 for children ages 3-12, and $4.50 for toddlers 1-3.