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Best Children's Museum (2021)

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Keeping the kids entertained while traveling can be a challenge, especially on days when the weather doesn't cooperate. Luckily these 10 museums, chosen as the best for families in North America, offer engaging, interactive experiences for kids and adults alike. 

  • Children's Museum of Indianapolis

    Children's Museum of Indianapolis
    Indianapolis

    A favorite Indy attraction, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest museum of its kind in the world, encompassing 500,000 square feet of fun-filled experiences. Children and families can explore science, consider career paths with Barbie, snap a selfie with a T-rex or explore outer space through the lens of NASA’s Project Mercury. There’s also a 7.5-acre outdoor sports park to get your game on with basketball, football, hockey, soccer, pedal car racing, golf, baseball and tennis.
    Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Indianapolis

  • The Magic House

    The Magic House
    St. Louis

    The Magic House, St. Louis’s children’s museum, helps visiting kids explore their curiosity, enhance their creativity and develop their problem solving skills. Housed within a Victorian mansion, the museum’s lineup of interactive exhibits include Children’s Village, STEAM Center, Art Studio, Math Path, Bubble Room, Kids Construction Zone and the Waterfall Patio.
    Photo courtesy of The Magic House

  • Children's Museum of Houston

    Children's Museum of Houston
    Houston

    Aimed at kids under the age of 12, the Children’s Museum of Houston features over a dozen interactive galleries where kids can learn about the culture and traditions of the Gullah, construct their own inventions in the Maker Annex, learn about the environment at EcoStation, test their bodies in PowerPlay or explore a pint-sized city known as Kidtropolis. Every Thursday evening, the museum hosts a Free Family Night where admission is free. The museum plans to reopen on June 8.
    Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Houston

  • Kohl Children's Museum

    Kohl Children's Museum
    Chicago

    With a special emphasis on early childhood learning, the Kohl Children's Museum just outside Chicago features 17 interactive exhibits. Kids get creative at Adventures in Art, practice social skills at Cooperation Station, make a splash at Water Works and connect with nature in the outdoor Habitat Park. The museum is designed for children under eight years of age. The museum is currently open for pre-registered VIP sessions.
    Photo courtesy of Kohl Children's Museum

  • City Museum

    City Museum
    St. Louis

    Housed in the 600,000-square-foot former warehouse of the International Shoe Company, the St. Louis City Museum has a bit of everything – the world's largest jungle gym, a 10-story spiral slide and a rooftop garden with stellar views of the city. Entry is currently by advanced reservation.
    Photo courtesy of City Museum

  • Museum of Discovery

    Museum of Discovery
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    The Museum of Discovery debuted 90 new interactive exhibits in 2012, offering kids even more ways to learn, create and explore, all while having fun. Exhibits include a space especially for children under six years of age (Room to Grow), a Tinkering Studio for experiments with new tools and materials, Earth Journeys (home to the second largest living animal collection in Arkansas), the inward-looking Amazing You and hands-on Discovery Hall.
    Photo courtesy of Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Please Touch Museum

    Please Touch Museum
    Philadelphia

    Philadelphia's Please Touch Museum offers two floors of exhibits that kids are actively encouraged to touch. Little ones can safely play in a construction zone or go down the rabbit hole to a Wonderland-inspired play station. A historic and recently refurbished carousel is a great way to end a visit on a high note. The museum also hosts a variety of family-friendly programs, so there's always something new to explore.
    Photo courtesy of J. Fusco for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

  • Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

    Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh

    Inside the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, visitors can explore numerous hands-on, interactive exhibit areas meant to spark curiosity. The Attic explores illusions, perception and phenomena; the Garage is the place to explore things that drive, roll and fly; the Studio allows kids to express their creativity through various art forms and at the Children’s Museum’s new MuseumLab, kids 10 and older can have cutting edge experiences in art, technology and making. The museum is temporarily closed.
    Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

  • The Strong

    The Strong
    Rochester, New York

    The Strong museum is a highly interactive museum in Rochester, NY. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls, games, and video games and is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame and World Video Game Hall of Fame. Kid favorites include Pinball Playfields, Wegmans Super Kids Market, Reading Adventureland, and Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden.
    Photo courtesy of The Strong

  • Children's Museum of Denver

    Children's Museum of Denver
    Denver

    The Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus welcomes more than half a million children per year to their collection of interactive, hands-on exhibits. The museum is divided into four areas – Explore, Imagine, Investigate and Create – each with its own set of one-of-a-kind experiences. Go climbing at Altitude, gear up at Fire Station No. 1, learn about power at Energy or get creative in the Art Studio.
    Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Denver

The top 10 winners in the category Best Children's Museum are as follows:

  1. Children's Museum of Indianapolis - Indianapolis
  2. The Magic House - St. Louis
  3. Children's Museum of Houston - Houston
  4. Kohl Children's Museum - Chicago
  5. City Museum - St. Louis
  6. Museum of Discovery - Little Rock, Arkansas
  7. Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia
  8. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh
  9. The Strong - Rochester, New York
  10. Children's Museum of Denver - Denver

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning children's museums!

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