What do astronauts, butterflies, and electricity all have in common? Science! And these science museums for kids are some of the best in the bunch for hands-on learning in a stimulating and welcoming environment. So if you’ve got a budding explorer, geologist or doctor, heading out to one of these epic science museums can be a trip the whole family will never forget. Click through the gallery to see our favorites and see if your top museums made the list.

Science Museum of Minnesota—St. Paul, MN

From the moment you walk in the door of this multi-story building located on a bluff above the Mississippi, the fun (and science begins). Kids can amuse themselves with a massive pressurized ball display while you wait in line for the tickets. Once inside, project your image on a giant astronaut, catch an iMax show, explore dinosaur fossils, navigate the river and listen to the sounds of the earth’s many quakes on the seismophone—a spiney wind-chime like sculpture that projects notes based on a seismograph. Bring a few natural treasures from your travels to trade in the collector’s corner. Rotating exhibits and amazing summer camp programs that teach coding, scientific concepts and creative thinking make this a gem of the Midwest.

120 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN
Online: smm.org

photo: Science Museum of Minnesota 

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Is your favorite science museum on this list? Tell us in a comment below!

—Amber Guetebier

with Wendy Altschuler, Meghan Rose, Gabby Cullen & Jennifer Massoni Pardini