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5 Science Museums in the Midwest Great for Kids

by Barbara Rogers

Sep 28, 2023

Museum of Science and Industry © Cafebeanz Company | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Science museums are sure kid-pleasers, so it’s good for family travelers to have a few in mind when they travel. While you’ll find science exhibits and activities in most children’s museums, these are usually aimed at younger children. Here are five you should know about in the Midwest.


Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois

Interactive experiences at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry encourage (and allow) kids to get hands on with science in ways not usually available to the public. Kids can use flight simulators and step into a real dissection lab. Plenty of other science experiences appeal to children of different ages, exploring topics such as extreme weather, genetics and the connections between body and mind.


Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

Focusing heavily on climate change, the Science Museum of Minnesota not only educates visitors about the effects of climate change, but also explores the ways we can turn awareness into actions for change. A five-story-high Giant Astronaut, dinosaur exhibits, fossils and exhibits on subjects from the solar system to the human body appeal to kids of various ages.


Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock’s Museum of Discovery focuses on interactive learning experiences, with more than 90 hands-on exhibits. Everyone’s favorite is the Tornado Alley Theater, where you can experience a simulation of the 1999 tornado that hit downtown Little Rock. Earth Journeys, Tesla Coil, Tinkering Studio, and Amazing You also prove popular with kids.


Center of Science and Industry, Columbus, Ohio

For younger kids, the highlight of the Center of Science and Industry is the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery, while older kids love being able to lift a 2,437-pound car in the Big Science Park. On the High Wire Unicycle, little explorers can ride across a cable suspended two stories above.


St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Along with its own planetarium and OMNIMAX theatre, the St Louis Science Center features an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex in the Earth Sciences display. The wide-ranging exhibits and hands-on experiences cover space science, plants, animals, physics, aviation, food, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, engineering and creativity. Admission to the museum is free.


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