The United States is a fabulous family holiday destination, with plenty of things for kids to experience, from bucket list experiences to a dream holiday in California at Disneyland. Here's a look at a different side of the USA, with five fascinating museums for kids in the U.S. that will keep kids – and their parents! – intrigued for hours.
Conveniently located between the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, California, the Exploratorium offers 600 hands-on exhibits that inspire kids and grown-ups alike. Exhibits are divided among six galleries: Tinkering, Living Systems, Human Phenomena, Seeing and Listening, Outdoor Exhibits and Observing Landscapes. Don’t miss the Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery & Terrace and the Tactile Dome (additional fee; reservations recommended), a maze that visitors walk and bump through in darkness.
The 43,934-sqm Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children’s museum in the world and offers a staggering variety of exhibits and activities, housing over 120,000 artefacts of all shapes and sizes. The Dinosphere, for example, not only lets kids take part in a dino dig and touch real fossils, but it also contains one of the country’s most extensive collections of juvenile and family dinosaur fossils. In National Geographic Treasures of the Earth, visitors explore a pirate shipwreck and see actual objects found on a ship once helmed by the infamous Captain Kidd.
This is one of the largest science museums in the world, home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibitions, which are designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. Whether it's a coalmine, fairy castle, modern farm, or Main Street, this science centre gives people of all ages a fascinating glimpse into it. For kids 10 and under, you'll definitely want to head to the Idea Factory, which caters just to them 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.
The International Spy Museum houses the world’s largest collection of international espionage artefacts.
Through interactive exhibits with state-of-the-art audiovisual effects, film and hands-on components, the International Spy Museum traces the evolution of espionage through the people who practice the profession and provides a context for guests to interpret the role intelligence plays in current events. The Museum's permanent exhibition presents the tradecraft of espionage and showcases the ingenuity and imagination of real-life spies and spymasters.
Who says a trip to the famous Sonoma County wine region can’t be fun for the kids too? Sonoma County was the home of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, and old and new fans of the famous characters can see interesting displays and exhibitions featuring Snoopy and his friends at this museum dedicated to the famous comics and the man behind them. The museum also runs regular events for children of all ages, such as cartooning classes, arts and crafts activities and stories.
See visittheusa.com.au for more great ideas on activities for kids when visiting the USA.