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Figuring out kid friendly things to do on vacation can sometimes be a little tough. These top children’s museums across America can help alleviate a few rolled eyes and tears of woe. Learning is a byproduct of fun, so it’s no surprise that the best children’s museums feature interactive exhibits that encourage kids to play and linger. Because most of these kids museums are in big cities, it’s a bonus for booking hotels on a budget, finding cheap plane tickets, and the best car rental deals.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- This city is one of our nation’s founding cities and is full of historical sites such as Independence Hall which is home to the Liberty Bell. Philly is also the home to Please Touch Museum. The name alone invites little hands to get involved and to come and play. This two story museum is designed to create learning opportunities that are nothing but fun. Younger kids and toddlers can hone their imaginations while at play in the Fairy Tale Garden while older kids will love the Alice in Wonderland exhibit. Children of all ages can explore a miniature Philadelphia-esque neighborhood as well as exhibits about the river, automobiles, airplanes and a historical train station. You’ll also want to take a few turns on the 1908 carousel before you call it a day. Find out more: https://www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/
Jersey City, New Jersey- If you happen to be in the NYC area on vacation, you are likely to be checking out the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration or the Statue of Liberty, but just across the bay in Jersey City is the Liberty Science Center. Kids can immerse themselves in learning in one of the 12 exhibition halls. From climbing a rock wall, to a planetarium to make your experience out of this world, to a live animal collection and giant aquariums, kids will be wowed. I Explore is a mainstay exhibit for 2-5 year olds for curious little ones to enjoy. Find out more: https://lsc.org/
Boston, Massachusetts- While the inner nerd in your adult self may be drawn to the grounds of historical sites such as Boston Harbor, the Boston Public Library, or for shopping at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, your little ones may be more intrigued at the Boston Children’s Museum. This children’s museum is easily accessible via public transportation. Here you will find 88,000 sq ft of hands on activities for little hands. There is a special play area for kids 3 and under. Boston Children’s museum focuses on science, culture, arts, and health and fitness. The New Balance Foundation Climb is a 3-story climbing structure in the center of the museum that is sure to leave your kids tired and happy. In the summer, they (and you) can enjoy the beautifully landscaped co-friendly waterfront park. Find out more: https://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/
Chicago, Illinois- Chicago is the largest city on our list and has 2 museums that are kid friendly and make our list.
– Kohl Children’s Museum- This interactive museum offers 17 permanent exhibits that lets kids expend some of their endless energy by becoming veterinarians, nature explorers, chefs, mechanics and even Whole Food employees. Come back for story time, fitness classes, and Science Fridays. Kohl lives up to their motto, “The Place Where Awesome Lives”.
Find out more: http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/
– Museum of Science and Industry- This is “The Place to Let Your Imagination Fly”. Step inside the vortex of a tornado, be amazed at the lightning show produced by the suspended 20 foot tesla coil. Step inside a coal mine, fairy castle, modern farm, or Main Street. For kids 10 and under, the Idea Factory is a must. It caters just to this age group with interactive geometry and physics-focused activities. Also, be sure to climb aboard the U-505 submarine and see the baby chicks in the hatchery. Find out more: https://www.msichicago.org/
Indianapolis, Indiana- While you might be thinking that Indianapolis isn’t exactly on your radar to visit, you’d be missing out on some great fun and kid-friendly travels. You can check out the Indianapolis Zoo or the interactive percussion museum-Rhythm Discovery center. The kids would have a blast at the 100 acre outdoor art sanctuary at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where kids can climb on the art. Did we mention this activity is FREE? However, the real gem for kids in Indianapolis is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. First time visitors will need a whole day to explore the five floors of energy-zapping fun activities. It is the largest children’s museum in the world. With nearly 500,000 square feet of space, 11 permanent exhibits, and over 120,000 artifacts, you and your little ones are sure to be wowed. Dinosaur lovers will go berserk in the Dinosphere. Here kids can dig for bones and get to touch a real T-Rex bone. If you live close, it is certainly worth a membership so you can return again and again. Find out more: https://www.childrensmuseum.org/
St. Louis, Missouri- There’s a ton of FREE activities here making St. Louis one of the best family vacation destinations on a budget. Just a few of the free things to do with kids includes the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis Art Museum, The Missouri History Museum, CityGarden Urban Park, Grant’s Farm, and World Bird Sanctuary. This list of free stuff to do isn’t comprehensive. Get restaurant deals and coupons for even more savings.
Other family friendly activities include Gateway Arch Tours, or catching a Cardinal’s game. We also recommend City Museum. You’ll want to wear comfy clothes for all he crawling, climbing, and sliding you will be doing. There’s a ton of architectural features such as salvaged bridges and old chimneys that will appeal to kids and adults alike. Even the littlest explorer will love venturing through hidden tunnels and scaling jungle gyms. Find out more: https://www.citymuseum.org/
Atlanta, Georgia- Since Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world, Finding Cheap Flights is pretty easy, even when flying the family. You may want to start your visit at the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park and the adjoining Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and Center for Civil and Human Rights. If that isn’t enough things to do with kids, Atlanta is also home to LEGOLAND Discovery center and a Six Flags theme park. However, you won’t want to miss out on the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Atlanta’s go-to destination for kids museum offers awesome hands-on exhibits, a 3,000 square foot mezzanine, and permanent performance space, all of which have a focus on STEAM-centered (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) , play-based learning. Gateway to the World invites mini explorers to climb through the layers of the earth, while Step up to Science hosts a permanent lab with experiments conducted on a daily basis. Find out more:
Denver, Colorado- If you are needing something to do indoors after being out in the cold on the slopes, you may want to check out the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Here, kids can go grocery shopping in a miniature farmer’s market, get creative at the art studio, and learn about the science behind bubbles. A favorite exhibit is Altitude, where kids make their way to the top of 3 levels of Colorado heritage. Younger lads can enjoy a smaller indoor mountain range, Box Canyon. Find out more: https://www.mychildsmuseum.org/
San Francisco, California- While The Exploratorium is not a children’s museum per say, it was designed to be a fun learning experience for folks of all ages. It is truly a hands-on interactive experience for kids ages 4-12 as they visit the tinkering studio or play inside and
take a sensory loaded trip through the tactile dome. Play outside and learn about the weather and physics This museum expands on the education kids get at school. With ove 330,000 square feet of learning fun, kids will leave tired and happy. Find out more: https://www.exploratorium.edu/
Keeping the kids entertained doesn’t have to be a pain. These fun things to do with kids should make your family trip more enjoyable. Taking your family vacation on a budget is possible with a little planning. MySitti.com has the best car rental deals, cheap flights, and we make finding hotel rooms for any budget easy. Get Restaurant Deals and Coupons directly from the site to save time when planning your trip. On your next family vacation, include one of these top children’s museums in America and keep the kids happy too.