ROCKFORD – The best children’s museums pique curiosity, encourage imagination, help develop crucial skills, foster creativity and spark a life-long passion for our world. The goal is for kids to learn — and have fun doing it — so that they may lead richer and fuller lives.
Discovery Center in Rockford recently learned they were named one of the top destinations in the US to visit with toddlers.
Family Vacation Critic, launched in 2008, features reviews of family-friendly hotels, resorts, destinations and attractions. The site highlights the best family travel deals and provides advice for traveling with kids of all ages.
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Discovery Center Museum
Not only does this Rockford children’s museum boast over 250 hands-on, science-based exhibits, its Rock River Discovery Park is the nation’s first community-built science park. Kids learn the geometry and physics behind sports from baseball to tennis; fly an airplane in a cockpit simulator; explore the wonders of electricity, color, weather, the human body and the planetary system; learn how farming impacts our daily lives by doing things like studying a beehive and milking cows; and participate in live news broadcasts. Outdoors, they dig for dinosaur bones, send whispered messages by satellite dish and operate a water wheel.
During frequent themed family fun days, you can watch a volcanic eruption and eat at a luau during the Hawaii day, or explore bubbles, healthy eating and astronomy on other days.
Other museums selected included Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind.; The Strong National Museum of Play, Rochester, N.Y.; Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, Mass.; Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview, Ill.; Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, Pa.; Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium, New Orleans, La.; Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul, Minn.; Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston, Texas; EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia, S.C.; Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa, Fla.; Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, Ga.; The DoSeum, San Antonio, Texas; and Crayola Experience, Easton, Pa.
For descriptions and links of the other museums, visit: https://www.familyvacationcritic.com/best-museums-for-toddlers/art/