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10 USA Science Museums That Will Completely Blow Your Mind

The best vacation memories aren’t automatically made when you’re doing nothing all day or visiting amusement parks. For the upcoming family vacation, why don’t you give a chance to some of the best science museums in the United States? Sometimes, an educational approach can bring exactly the kind of fun you’ve wished for.

There are so many things to see and learn all over America that it would be a shame to visit any of these places without learning something new. One of the most efficient ways in which you can integrate fun and learning into your travel itinerary is to stop at science museums.

After all, every major city in America has at least one science museum of some kind. We’ve decided to ease your job and made a list with some of the best you can find. Have fun!

science museum
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Museum of Science, Boston

If you’re currently visiting Boston and you google “science museum near me”, you will definitely find the Museum of Science at the top of the list. You’re probably wondering what makes Boston’s Museum of Science such a good choice.

Well, it has more than 700 interactive exhibits and all kinds of live presentations at its Charles Hayden Planetarium. It also has the only IMAX screen with a dome in New England. Another great thing about this museum is that the education and fun don’t stop when you leave their site.

You can access all kinds of digital experiences with their podcasts, virtual projects, and activities. This Museum of Science is definitely one of the best science museums in America.

Exploratorium, San Francisco

Another great museum of science in America is the Exploratorium in San Francisco, located at Pier 15 Street. Founded by the one and only Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium is definitely no ordinary science museum.

Dr. Oppenheimer founded this place due to his ongoing concern about the lack of scientific knowledge among the general public. That’s the main reason why this place has a ton of interesting stuff about education, discovery, and science.

If you’ve already been to the Exploratorium and are a big fan, you can even become a member or a donor. By doing so, you might receive exclusive access to different kinds of exhibits on Sunday. If you’re not a big fan of crowds (honestly, I don’t know who is), then check out what the Exploratorium offers from 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday.

National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

You must have heard about the science museum in D.C. from “Night at the Museum 2”. However, it’s worth mentioning that there’s a lot more to unpack for this Smithsonian treasure than the few exhibits that were featured in the film.

This is probably one of the most visited museums in the world, to be honest. It has various important pieces of aerospace history, such as the Wright brothers’ plane and some parts of Apollo 11. And if you were wondering if you could see the Tuskegee Airmen, yes, you can. However, we can’t really promise that they’ll come to life and start talking to you.

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

This super interesting scientific collection is housed in a wonderful Romanesque building in the Windy City. The Museum of Science and Industry has a wide range of interesting scientific items, which also include German U-boats, trains, a genetics exhibition, and many other fascinating things.

It’s definitely worth checking out the FarmTech exhibit, as you’ll see all kinds of modern farmers ply their best inventions and solutions in a technology-driven world.

COSI: The Center of Science and Industry, Columbus

This absolutely astounding Ohio museum has more than 300 exhibits. You could even spend all day here and still miss some of the things that are on display. There’s truly a lot to do! You can visit the Ocean exhibit and learn about both the natural and technological sides of our planet’s water system.

Or, you could head to Space to tour the well-known replica space station. Trust me, you will learn how space exploration works! If you’re a technology aficionado, there’s even a gadget area where you can play with different mechanical elements and learn how they function.

In fact, it should not come as a surprise that COSI is seen as one of the best science museums in the United States, especially if you’re going on a family trip.

science museum
Photo by Kit Leong from Shutterstock

California Science Center, Los Angeles

California is the home of not just one, but two great science museums in the United States. In Los Angeles, there’s the California Science Center, or as the locals like to call it, “ScienCenter”. This is one of the biggest science museums in the country.

It has a wide range of permanent exhibits, such as ecosystems, the creative world (such as architecture, energy, and many others), the world of life, and air and space. It’s a great place for children and adults to spend the afternoon and learn new things.

Franklin Institute, Philadelphia

This place serves as both a research facility and a family-friendly museum experience. Of course, as one of the biggest science attractions in Philadelphia, it is named after the city’s most inventive resident: Benjamin Franklin.

Naturally, it also has a display of Franklin’s discovery of electricity, among its other exhibitions. Other great exhibitions include the Giant Heart, an aviation display, and a sports zone. Even if the museum is preferred by a modern audience more than anything else, it’s actually one of the oldest science museums in the United States. It was founded exactly 200 years ago, in 1824.

Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul

The Minnesota Science Museum has been efficiently educating northerners for more than 100 years. The museum has a wide variety of displays. The little ones will definitely love the dinosaur exhibit, including the triceratops skeleton.

Besides other exhibits, the museum also has the Mississippi River Gallery, where you can learn more about the river and visit the closest national park. Probably the most innovative display in the museum is something called “Race: Are We So Different?”

This is part of the museum where some of the most important topics in the cultural, historical, and biological aspects of race and identity are discussed.

Discovery Place Science, Charlotte

Next time you’re visiting North Carolina, you have to make sure you make a trip to Discover Place Science Center. It’s a super interesting, fun, and kid-friendly place, which is amazing for a rainy day. There’s the main building, where you’ll find the most interesting attractions, but there are also three other branches of the museum.

The first one is Discovery Place Nature, which also has a butterfly pavilion, live animals, and super interesting interactive exhibits. The second one is Discovery Place Kids, which has a learn-through-play experience, and the third one is Discovery Place Education Studio, which focuses on professional development for educators.

Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock

The STEM-focused museum in Little Rock is a wonderful science museum where families can explore and learn many things. If you’re passionate about science, technology, engineering, and math and you want to share this passion with the little ones, then this is the perfect place to go.

You will interact with all kinds of various displays in the museum, from foam architecture to ball mazes and physical activities. Your kids will have a lot of fun, and even better, they might even discover that learning is actually fun!

You might not have access to any science museum at the moment. However, all this talk made you “hungry” for knowledge, and if that’s so, then you can learn just as many things at home. We recommend this documentary for a good start!

If you’re interested in reading more, here’s what we recommend: 5 Incredible Theories About Immortality That May Become Reality


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