6 Fun And Inspiring Children's Museums

Taking the family out to a prestigious art museum can be fun and fulfilling, but young kids don't always have the patience to spend hours in an environment where they're expected to stay still and be quiet. Luckily, there are plenty of children's museums where little ones can get a more hands-on experience. At the six institutions listed here, kids can learn about science, art, and more, all while having fun. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Children's Museums In The United States

Organization Location
Children's Museum of La Crosse La Crosse, WI
The New Children's Museum San Diego, CA
Children's Museum of the Arts New York, NY
Children's Creativity Museum San Francisco, CA
Chicago Children's Museum Chicago, IL
Glazer Children's Museum Tampa, FL

8 Great Educational TV Shows For Kids

  1. Sesame Street
  2. Carmen Sandiego
  3. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  4. Sid the Science Kid
  5. The Magic School Bus Rides Again
  6. Reading Rainbow
  7. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
  8. Square One Television

How to Encourage Kids to Read

A great way to start is to get a bookshelf for your child's room. If they have access to their own collection of books, it'll be easy for them to read at their own pace. And if they're looking at the shelf everyday, reading will always be on their mind. It's also important to give your kids a comfortable place to sit. This can be anything from a rocking chair to a couch to a dedicated reading nook. If they have a space that's just for them, it makes reading time all the more special. As they grow, your young ones will start to read more challenging books with words they don't know. Encourage them to look up unfamiliar terms in the dictionary so they can expand their vocabulary. Finally, if you're having trouble getting your kid interested in books in the first place, try bridging the gap between visual media and literature with graphic novels.

Toys & Games That Can Help Kids Learn

Why Museums Should Activate Multiple Senses

In Depth

Children's museums, with their stimulating and educational environments, are vital cultural institutions that help kids develop foundational life skills while learning about the world. Especially innovative and exciting, the ones included on this list provide immersive experiences that are made to encourage creativity, exploration, and discovery. They also foster and promote play, an essential ingredient in healthy child development that too often goes overlooked. Offering a wide array of creative exhibits and programs, here are, in no particular order, six fun and inspiring museums that are perfect for cultivating children's burgeoning curiosities.

Coming in at #1 is the Children's Museum of La Crosse. Established in 1999, this Wisconsin-based museum operates with the mission of motivating young people to learn through dynamic, interactive play. With three floors of hands-on exhibits designed for children between the ages of one and ten, as well as a host of special programs and events, it provides kids and their families opportunities to be active, engaged, and immersed in the moment. Among its bountiful exhibits are a dino maze, a real fire truck, and a climber that spans all three stories of the building.

Other offerings at the museum include holiday events, summer camps, fitness classes, and musical performances. Year-round programs include overnighters and badge workshops for girl and boy scouts, while weekly programs are available for preschoolers. The museum also hosts an annual adult recess to remind visitors that you're never too old to have fun. To help keep opportunities open for children to learn and play, make a tax-detuctible donation through the museum's website, or give a gift of appreciated stock. You can also make a purchase from its Fun Shop, where all proceeds help support its mission.

You can also make a purchase from its Fun Shop, where all proceeds help support its mission.

For #2 we get The New Children's Museum. Driven by a belief in the ability of the arts to spark both imagination and critical thinking, this museum located in San Diego empowers kids by engaging them in exciting aesthetic experiences. Integral to this are its unique, interactive room-size installations, made in collaboration with contemporary artists and housed in the museum's environmentally sustainable, 50,000 square-foot facility. The museum also offers a variety of art studios and workshops, as well as access and outreach programs that provide education, professional development, and disability support.

Dedicated to facilitating creative opportunities for those who might not have them, the Mass Creativity initiative brings artist-led workshops to communities throughout the San Diego area. The museum is particularly committed to helping children who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and partners with a variety of organizations to give them the resources to partake in creating and learning. Other programs include classes for toddlers, a free, annual evening event for educators, and year-round camps for kids from four to twelve. Ensure children have continued opportunities by donating to the camp scholarship fund on the museum's website.

Arriving at #3 is the Children's Museum of the Arts. Located in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood since its founding in 1988, CMA is focused on teaching kids and their families the power of art by giving them hands-on art-making opportunities alongside professional creators. The museum's programs, which are designed for children from ten months to fifteen years old, include a diversity of studios, classes, workshops, and day camps. CMA also features exhibitions of contemporary art that visitors of all ages can enjoy, as well as a permanent collection comprised of thousands of works made by kids.

The museum's programs, which are designed for children from ten months to fifteen years old, include a diversity of studios, classes, workshops, and day camps.

To fulfill its goal of making art accessible to everyone, CMA runs free community programs that are built to reinforce family bonds and bolster child development. These entail personalized museum visits for schools, professional workshops for parents and educators, and weekend art classes for kids with disabilities. A significant initiative, meanwhile, provides art therapy to families negotiating the child welfare system. Further advancing its community focus, the museum partners with organizations to offer free workshops at myriad outposts throughout New York City. You can help keep CMA's year-round education going by joining at your chosen membership level.

For #4 we have the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco. With the philosophy that creative expression is imperative in nurturing future generations, this museum offers interactive, multimedia exhibits made to inspire confidence and creativity in kids from two to twelve. Among these are a stop-motion animation studio, imaginative building labs, augmented reality sandboxes, and a studio for creating musical instruments and recordings. All of the museum's exhibits are designed to cultivate critical thinking and experimentation by encouraging kids to engage in tactile play.

The Children's Creativity Museum maintains a particular emphasis on the creative possibilities of technology. Focused on computer coding, the Tech Lab allows kids to program robots to perform a variety of tasks. Merging analog drawing with digital display, the Sketch Town exhibit gives kids the ability to scan their artwork and interact with it on a digitally-projected surface. The youngest visitors, meanwhile, have access to the museum's virtual sandboxes, where they can construct habitats populated by an assortment of computer-generated creatures. Support the museum's capacity to offer thousands of visitors free admission by making a gift through its website.

Focused on computer coding, the Tech Lab allows kids to program robots to perform a variety of tasks.

At #5 is the Chicago Children's Museum. Housed in the iconic Navy Pier, CCM strives to better children's lives by fostering an environment where learning and play come together. Spanning age groups, its multi-sensory exhibits encompass crawling areas for infants, a studio for building skyscrapers, and a tinkering lab that lets older children use a plethora of tools to make unique contraptions. A water playground, a dinosaur excavation site, and a child-size cityscape further provide kids with spaces in which they can play, discover, and learn in imaginative ways.

CCM's calendar of offerings includes game nights and arts and culture programs. Workshops give children the opportunity to experiment with a variety of materials such as paint, wood, and clay. The Sound Playground, which accommodates all ages, allows visitors to explore the science and sensations of acoustics by playing with a six-foot-tall drum and a giant stringed instrument, among other sound-makers. On the second Saturday of each month, the Play For All events bring together children with disabilities, with the first 250 registered guests receiving free admission. Give to CCM's annual fund campaign to keep the museum accessible to all families.

Finally, for #6 we come to the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa, Florida. Encouraging kids to engage in purposeful play, this museum offers a litany of exhibits and programs in an educational, innovative, and interactive learning environment. It seeks to nurture a healthy and inclusive community by empowering children to connect with and explore the world around them, building core skills that will lead to a thriving future. GCM emphasizes accessibility and personalization, and ensures that all its visitors are given an equal chance to take part in a fun learning experience.

Encouraging kids to engage in purposeful play, this museum offers a litany of exhibits and programs in an educational, innovative, and interactive learning environment.

With a focus on imaginative play, many of GCM's exhibits entail role-playing in a variety of child-scaled environments. From a pizza place to a firehouse, a cruise ship to a vet clinic, they allow kids to assume different identities by becoming chefs, firefighters, sailors, and more. Oriented toward technology, the Light Cloud exhibit features touch sensors that generate colorful light, while the SMALLab offers a unique motion-capture experience. Tugboat Tots, meanwhile, lets toddlers three and under explore a cozy maritime setting. Get involved by donating through GCM's Social Responsibility Initiative, which provides educational programs to families in need.