One of the best parts about parenting is getting to go to spaces that are generally kids-only. You know, like going to the playground or visiting a children’s museum. Children’s Museums are especially fun, and while some might feel a bit, well, juvenile, others will simply make you feel like a kid again. You might not usually be the type to crawl around on the floor, but a good children’s museum will totally get you to forget your inhibitions and simply have fun. We’ve rounded up some of the best children’s museums in the country, ones that you’ll appreciate as much as your own little ones.
1. City Museum, St. Louis, MO: This truly unique museum first opened just over 20 years ago and is a continuous work in progress. Founded by the late artist Bob Cassilly, the museum was created out of found objects, and the result is both surreal and magical. Adults could totally have a great time here on their own, but we suggest bringing your kiddos along for the ride. (Photo via City Museum Facebook Page)
2. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN: This is currently the largest children’s museum in the world, and with so much space, they’ve managed to create a truly unforgettable experience. From the ever-popular Dinosphere (complete with dinosaur bones and a paleontological dig area) to their brand new Sports Legends experience (where you can test your skills against your kids’), you’ll never run out of fun here. (Photo via Children’s Museum of Indianapolis)
3. Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA: While kids aren’t ordinarily invited to touch much in other museums, Please Touch practically demands it of all its visitors. Two floors of permanent exhibitions provide plenty of entertainment for your littles: have a Mad Hatter tea party in Wonderland, build rocket ships and cars, and relish in the nostalgia of their massive toy collection, where you’re sure to find relics from your own childhood. (Photo via Please Touch Museum)
4. The Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA: Located at San Francisco’s Pier 15, this museum touts itself as a “public learning lab” for curious minds of all ages. A whopping 650 hands-on experiences await parents and children at this amazing space, which features exhibits on Seeing & Listening (where colored shadows and giant mirrors collide), Tinkering (where you can learn about Rube Goldberg machines), Living Systems (think plankton and beyond), and more. (Photo via Exploratorium Facebook Page)
5. Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston, TX: Houston has one of the largest populations of children in the nation, so it makes sense that their kids’ museum is top notch. For the STEM-savvy, there’s the Coding Hangout and Maker’s Annex (complete with 3D printers, puzzles, and robotics). Little ones that need to get energy out can go wild in the Ropes Challenge Course and Power Play exhibits (where a 40-foot climbing tower and other fun obstacles await). Add cultural exhibits, an eco station, areas for babies, and more, and you’ll see why this one is faring so well. (Photo via Children’s Museum of Houston)
6. Children’s Museum of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA): This spot began as a “virtual museum” back in the late 1980s and finally found its brick-and-mortar home in 2003, boasting 200,000 visitors per year. There are exhibits dedicated to everything from food to travel to art. The museum also features Sensory Saturdays for kids on the spectrum or who have a sensory processing disorder, plus year-round programs that include story time, cultural explorations, a sewing studio, building labs, and more. (Photo via Children’s Museum of Atlanta)
What are some of your favorite children’s museums? Tweet us about them @BritandCo!