The 9 Best Children’s Museums in the United States

best children's museums in the US

Need some great ideas for a family vacation?  Head to one of the country’s best children’s museums for a fantastic experience! Whether your children like artifacts, science, or art, there’s plenty to explore.

As more and more public places are opening up after COVID-19, a children’s museum or science center makes for a great vacation destination! Here are nine of the best to inspire your child’s curiosity.

Children’s Discovery Museum Editorial Credit: sestawut aupalanon /

Best Museums for Young Children

If you have toddlers, you may be looking for the kind of museum experience that will be interactive. The following fun museums will give them the opportunity to look, touch, and play to their heart’s content!

  • Betty Brinn Children’s Museum – Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this non-profit museum is perfect for a hands-on experience! Your children will love grocery shopping in the “Home Town” exhibit and playing in a variety of different play spaces.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum – The Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta, Maine provides a fun experience for kids of all ages. It has both indoor and outdoor exhibits, providing visitors great places to play.
  • Please Touch Museum – If your kids are seven or younger, the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia is among the best children’s museums to get them involved! Included in the hands-on exhibits are an Alice in Wonderland play area and a Space Station featuring many Star Wars toys.

Editorial Credit: Wangkun Jia /

Children’s Museums the Whole Family Enjoys

While these museums are more geared towards children, they’re sure to delight the whole family!

  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – With more than 472,900 square feet of space, your kids will get lost visiting this massive museum. This children’s museum features more than 120,000 artifacts from the past to inspire their interest.
  • Boston Children’s Museum – With a focus on ‘the power of play’, the Boston Children’s Museum is a great ‘green’ destination for the family. Museum exhibits include art, music, and science so there’s something for every kind of kid.
  • The Smithsonian Natural History Museum – Our nation’s capital is chock full of fantastic museums (and most are free to the public!), but the Museum of Natural History is a favorite for kids of all ages! You can see everything from dinosaur bones to the Hope Diamond. When you’re finished here, walk across the Mall to see art at the National Gallery.

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Best Science Museums for Kids

If your children have a passion for all things science, there may be plenty at local museums to interest them. Fortunately, there are also some great science-centered children’s museums to travel to!

  • Center of Science and Industry – Located in Columbus, this is among the best children’s museums in Ohio and has been around since 1964. And, luckily for your family, there are more than 300 interactive exhibits that will spark interest for all things science-related!
  • Liberty Science Center – Opened in 1993, the Liberty Science Center was New Jersey’s first state science museum. It has only improved since and is one of the most advanced planetariums in the country! It also features interesting exhibits on everything from skyscrapers to human communications.
  • Exploratorium – This San Francisco destination may not be geared specifically towards kids. But, it’s one of the best children’s museums bay area that you’ll find. Whether you learn about physics outside or explore the lights and mirrors inside, the Exploratorium offers a unique experience.

It can be difficult to know what to center a family vacation around, but these museums are a great choice! Nearly every major metropolitan area has a great children’s museum, aquarium, or art museum with interesting attractions, which can give you a great starting point on your next adventure. So even if you’re not on a holiday, you can see some great exhibits in your own backyard.

Do you have a favorite kids museum in the United States? What did we miss? Share it with all of us in our comments! Whether the family has a passion for art, interaction, or simple science, there are many great museums to explore.

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