Almost Fearless

10 Museums That Will Blow Your Child’s Mind

Museums get a bad rap – at least at my house.  Too educational! So boring! Too much walking! I can draw better paintings myself! These are the outcries I have heard from my kids when I suggest a museum trip.

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Admittedly, some art exhibits can even go over my head, and I like art. But museums are so much more than paintings!  Even the biggest museum haters can be converted if they are dragged to the following 10 exhibits:

Liberty Science Center

My kids are getting so big… Having a blast in Dino Dig…

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Located in Liberty State Park in New Jersey, the Science Center is a 300,000 square foot learning center with exhibits for the whole family, Currently there is a Mythbusters –Explosive Exhibition which is based on the television show of the same name that my 13-year-old son loves.

The Biodome

<3

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We visited the Biodome located in Olympic Park, Montreal last summer and had a blast. The Biodome allows visitors to walk through replicas of four ecosystems in the Americas.  Filled with live animals and fun facts throughout, it’s great for kids of all ages and adults.  My son’s favorite display was the Sub-Antarctic Islands with the penguins. ( He also loved all the signs throughout the museum about animal pooping habits.)

Field Museum

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest mammals found on land. A different type of elephant lives in Asia: they have smaller ears and the females usually have no tusks. Today African elephants are vulnerable, and Asian elephants are endangered. Even though elephants only live in Africa and Asia today, just 12,000 years ago their relatives, like the woolly mammoth, may have roamed your backyard. These fighting African elephants have been a focal point of The Field Museum since 1909. Carl Akeley, considered the father of modern taxidermy, created the mounts. At that time, without nature magazines, videos, or the internet, taxidermied specimens provided one of the only ways for the public to see an elephant up close. In fact, these were the first elephants to be taxidermied in a realistic manner. Here you see the elephants today, and being cleaned in 1952. #WorldElephantDay #Elephants #CarlAkeley #Taxidermy #NaturalHistory #Science #FieldMuseum

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This museum of natural history in Chicago, Illinois is one of the largest of its kind in the USA.  Starting May 26, , 2017 through January 7, 2018 the museum will host the Jurassic World: The Exhibit based on the blockbuster movie about dinosaurs.  Visitors will be able to explore the world of dinosaurs like never before with interactive displays.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

About to take an absurd amount of pictures

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Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum honors musicians, producers, writers, etc. that all had an influence on music industry.  It’s a great way for kids to learn about their parents’ favorite artists and about the history of this genre of music in general.  Currently there is an exhibit honoring the 50 Years of the Rolling Stones that includes interviews with Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz and Taylor Swift.

The Franklin Institute

The Sports Zone, The Science of Sports is a permanent exhibit at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Through many interactive activities kids learn about explain sports, the science of the human body and the laws of motion.

Exploratorium

Tell your kids that Exploratorium in San Francisco, California is not just a museum.  It’s “…an ongoing exploration of science, art and human perception—a vast collection of online experiences that feed your curiosity.”  Sounds pretty cool, right?  The museum is divided into six main galleries including the Osher West Gallery: Human Phenomena that allows visitors to experiment with thoughts, feelings and social behavior.

International Spy Museum

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a spy, this Washington DC museum is a perfect place to find out. In addition to many exhibits focusing on real life spies, there is an Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond exhibit commemorating the 50 years of James Bond movies.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson had hundreds of slaves? This powerful museum puts African American history into context through interactive and dynamic displays at this Washington DC museum. Admission is free but timed tickets are required for entry and are available three months in advance on the museum’s website.

Highmark SportsWorks

This Pittsburgh museum is part of  the Carnegie Science Center. Exhibits teach children of every age level how the laws of science relate to the sports they love to watch and play.  With sport challenges such as Batter Up baseball and Reaction Time Hockey, kids might change their minds about how fun museums are.

Museum of Ice Cream

Seeing the world thru her eyes is probably my favorite thing about #parenthood.

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I had to list this one since it was the hottest ticket last summer in NYC and is now currently in Los Angeles.  It’s a really small pop-up museum devoted to everyone’s favorite frozen dessert.  If it happens to be visiting your area, no kid is going to be disappointed when a museum visit includes “swimming” in a pool of sprinkles and a free ice cream cone at the end.

Runners up:
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis,  Indiana

Smithsonian Institution – Washington, DC

Port Discovery – Baltimore, Maryland

Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Museum – Springfield, Massachusetts

Please Touch Museum – Philadelphia, Philadelphia

The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California

Diggerland USA in West Berlin, New Jersey

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Los Angeles, California

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York

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Randi Mazella

Randi Mazzella is a freelance journalist/blogger and mother of three. She has written extensively about parenting, family life and teen issues. Her work has appeared in many online and print publications including Teen Life, Scary Mommy, About.com and Grown and Flown.

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