Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois
Encouraging curiosity and celebrating questions, this is the place to see a German submarine, understand how tornadoes and avalanches happen and explore the structure of the eye in a hands-on lab environment.
Discover the mathematical patterns that surround us every day in the natural world — from the delicate, nested spirals of a sunflower’s seed to the ridges of a majestic mountain range, in a compelling exhibit called Numbers in Nature. Then make your way to the Whispering Gallery to understand how sound travels in different environments. A theater and hands-on exhibits further enhance the experience.
Monterey Bay Aquarium. Monterey, California
Founded in 1984, this world-renowned organization’s mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s oceans. Through a variety of interactive activities and exhibits designed for young children and families, your crew will learn about the delicate balance that exists in our seas today. The youngest visitors will be drawn to the 40-foot-long touch pool for an up-close look at curious creatures like sea stars, urchins, kelp crabs and abalones. You’ll all enjoy the playful antics of southern sea otters, learning about the world of mud flats and marshes, and observing a master of disguise, the Giant Pacific Octopus.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Spreading 29 acres with more than 472,900 feet of exhibit space on five floors, this extraordinary nonprofit institution has been entertaining and educating families since 1925. Considered the largest children’s museum in the world, kids can learn about the day-to-day duties of astronauts and get inspired by the powerful stories of other children including Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, Ryan White and Malala Yousafzai. Families are charmed by a historic carousel and inspired by exhibits that explain how plant science can help the world by cleaning up oil spills and cultivating healthy food.
Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
This unique museum enables families to see and experience more than 3,000 instruments and artifacts from around the world. Live performances, family-friendly festivals and a wide array of lectures and classes are available. Check out the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine” as well as the instruments of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and George Benson. Wireless headsets allow guests to see and hear exhibits throughout the museum. Kids will enjoy the Experience Gallery, where they can touch, play and hear instruments from far away cultures. Check out their extensive and diverse concert schedule.