Disneyland and LEGOLAND will no doubt be on the vacation wish list, but we’re here to tell you the following museums are giving amusement parks a serious run for their money. From tiny towns to giant locomotives, your kiddos will be begging to stay another day. Click through the gallery below to learn about our favorite spots from across the country.

Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito

Perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge aside, this hotbed of creative exhibits is a slam-dunk for families looking to immerse themselves in familiar fun. Visit the Ports of San Francisco and Oakland in Bay Hall, which features a Fisherman’s Wharf model where children can fish for crabs, and a shipping dock where kids can lift and lower containers around a vessel, while an underwater tunnel for toddlers and an impressive vintage train set are also fan favorites. Keep your creative kiddos happy with a well-stocked art and crafts room made just for them. But don't stay inside! Acres of outdoor activities abound—including tree houses, a sunken ship filled with sand, and even a rope climbing structure that looks like a spider web.

557 McReynolds Rd.
Sausalito, Ca 94965
415-339-3900
Online: bayareadiscoverymuseum.org

Photo: Jessica Merz via flickr

Do you have an incredible museum to take kids to near you? Tell us about it in the comments section, below!

—Shelley Massey