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Best museum for kids? Readers say The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

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This Indianapolis museum is the world's largest for kids

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

  • The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

    The 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 29 acres of fun-filled exhibits. Kids can star in their own circus, slide down a river of chocolate, fly over the Great Wall of China, snap a selfie with a T-rex or explore outer space through the lens of NASA’s Project Mercury.
    Photo courtesy of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

  • 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. 
    Photo courtesy of City Museum

  • 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

  • Kohl Children's Museum

    Kohl Children's Museum
    Glenview, Ill.

    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.
    Photo courtesy of Kohl Children's Museum

  • 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.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Houston

  • Museum of Discovery

    Museum of Discovery
    Little Rock, Ark.

    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

  • 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.
    Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

  • 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 Strong Museum

    The Strong Museum
    Rochester, N.Y.

    The Strong Museum, a highly interactive museum in Rochester, houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts related to play, a collection that can be explored in the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame and the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Kid favorites include the Pinball Playfields, Wegmans Super Kids Market, Reading Adventureland and Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden.
    Photo courtesy of The Strong Museum

  • Madison Children's Museum

    Madison Children's Museum
    Madison, Wis.

    Play is serious business at the Madison Children's Museum, where custom-crafted exhibits encourage children to explore their creativity and curiosity. Kid favorites include Rooftop Ramble, an outdoor space where visitors can dig for fossils, visit with chickens and homing pigeons, and soak up stellar views of downtown, as well as the Possible-opolis interactive play structure, built from recycled and repurposed materials.
    Photo courtesy of Madison Children's Museum

  • The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
  • City Museum
  • The Magic House
  • Kohl Children's Museum
  • Children's Museum of Houston
  • Museum of Discovery
  • Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
  • Children's Museum of Denver
  • The Strong Museum
  • Madison Children's Museum

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

  1. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis - Indianapolis
  2. City Museum - St. Louis
  3. The Magic House - St. Louis
  4. Kohl Children's Museum - Glenview, Ill.
  5. Children's Museum of Houston - Houston
  6. Museum of Discovery - Little Rock, Ark.
  7. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh
  8. Children's Museum of Denver - Denver
  9. The Strong Museum - Rochester, N.Y.
  10. Madison Children's Museum - Madison, Wis.

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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Brett Barest

Brett Barest

Brett Barest

Beth D'Addono

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Beth D'Addono

Christina Nellemann

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Karon Warren

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