As a kid, I always loved our trips to the Boston Museum of Science. I just loved the hands on activities, and enjoyed exploring the different exhibits. Although I lived in Rhode Island, I looked forward to my class trips and family outings to the museum. Now that I have my own children, I always try to expose them to as many science activities as possible – both at home and on vacation. If you are the same way, here are some science activities for kids on vacation. Did we include your favorite?
Disclosure: We experienced some of these at no cost for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Science Activities for Kids on Vacation
Boston Museum of Science
Of course, I have to mention my original favorite – the Boston Museum of Science. Located right near Cambridge, the Boston Museum of Science features multiple floors of hands-on exhibits that kids absolutely love. It’s almost impossible to see everything in one day, especially with a planetarium and an IMAX theater. Standout exhibits include the Hall of Human Life and Science in the Park. Go early, because it definitely gets busy in the afternoons.
Virginia Art and Space Center, Hampton, VA
The Virginia Air & Space Center is the official visitor center of NASA Langley Research Center. It’s located in Hampton, Virginia, which is the birthplace of America’s space program. Kids will love learning about the space program by exploring space capsules, a lunar module habitat, and other exhibits. Before you go, check out their online self-guided tour.
Four Seasons Jackson Hole, WY
Star lovers can join the Four Season’s dedicated astronomer on a quest to see stars. Guests can stargaze on property or off property, and can enjoy the resort’s professional grade telescope to view everything. The resort also provides delicious treats for adults and children to enjoy.
Nashville Adventure Science Center
We spent most of our Nashville vacation exploring the music attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Museum Hall of Fame. But, before we left, we stopped at the Nashville Adventure Science Center. In addition to the science exhibits, they also offer a planetarium. Pressed for time, we decided to just get tickets for the museum.
My kids’ favorite part of the museum was the Moonwalker and EVA Experience in the Space Chace section of the museum. Height and weight restrictions apply, so only my daughter was able to participate in the EVA Experience (pictured above). My son wasn’t big enough. It’s a fun way for kids to learn and experience how astronauts deal with zero gravity. During our stay, we also enjoyed the Body Quest section and the three-story Adventure tower.
The Pittsburgh Carnegie Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center, located adjacent to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, includes a Planetarium, SportsWorks, an Omnimax Theater, and the USS Requin Submarine. In the main building, we loved the roboworld room and the Miniature Railroad & Village. It’s also worth it to head outside to do a self-guided tour of the USS Requin submarine.
Admission to the Highmark SportsWorks facility is also included with admission to the museum. It offers motion simulator rides, trampolines, and much more.
See more things to do in Pittsburgh here.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the largest children’s museum in the world, features a number of science activities for kids. Among the other fun exhibits, you’ll find the Dow AgroSciences ScienceWorks, Beyond Spaceship Earth, and DinoSphere.
The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont
The Montshire Museum is a hands-on museum with over 140 exhibits that are great for younger kids. In addition to the indoors museum, there’s a large outdoor play area with family-friendly exhibits. In the warmer weather, I’d definitely recommend packing swimsuits, as there is a big water play area.
Read more about The Montshire Museum of Science here.
US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama
The US Space and Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Institute affiliate, is located in Huntsville, Alabama. It includes a number of fun science attractions for kids, including a large collection of space artifacts and rockets. In addition to the permanent, hands-on exhibits for kids, there are also several traveling exhibits that come through the center. There’s also an IMAX theater and a 52-foot HD National Geographic Theater.