Top Ten Museum Picks for Kids

Written by Laura Touhey (The Museum Scout) on Monday, February 25, 2013 - Read 2355 times
1. The New Children's Museum

With tons of interactive exhibits and art you can touch, the New Children's Museum downtown is a fun and educational hands-on art museum for kids. Their exhibit TRASH will challenge the way you and your family looks at what we throw away.

2. Living Coast Discovery Center

During the month of February, the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista is "Wild About Love!" This exhibit focus on courtship and mating habits of animals in the wild. Spend a morning or even a whole day exploring the Center whose mission is to "inspire care and exploration of the living Earth by connecting people with coastal animals, plants and habitats."

3. San Diego Botanic Garden

The Children's Garden at the San Diego Botanic Garden has a treehouse, a waterfall, four miles of trails, and a big dose of nature. They offer free docent-led tours every Saturday at 10:30am. Here's a fun fact: The banana "trees" that grow in the garden aren't trees at all but massive herbs. Don't forget to bring lunch!

4. San Diego Children's Discovery Center

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum in Escondido is a hands-on, interactive space that actively encourages children's creativity. Don't miss their Children's Discovery Garden, a fun outdoor learning environment where your kids can experience the joys of gardening and see what a worm farm looks like.

5. Birch Aquarium at Scripps

It is one thing to learn about the animals that inhabit our world, and quite another to see them in person. The Birch Aquarium in La Jolla offers guests this opportunity. Their jellyfish and seahorse exhibits are a must see!

6. San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Boasting one of the largest indoor model railroad displays in the world, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park is a hidden gem. Learn the history behind our American railroads and the popular toys they inspired. Just in case you needed another excuse to visit, kids under 14 are free!

7. Tijuana River Visitor Center

If your child is a bird lover, then take a drive to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center, it is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am until 5:00pm. It is the perfect place to see and learn more about shorebirds native to our area. They offer free guided nature walks on the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 11:00am until noon.

8. San Diego Chinese Historical Museum

Located in the heart of downtown San Diego, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum allows guests to get up close and personal with their exhibits. Ask one of the friendly docents for a Mission Hunt scavenger hunt. It's the perfect thing to keep your 6- to 11-year-old occupied while you explore. And don't miss their Koi pond!

9. Mingei International Museum

Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Art at Mingei International Museum highlights the work of one of the most highly-esteemed American artists from the South. Traylor's style and powerful story will also appeal to a younger audience.

10. San Diego Natural History Museum

The San Diego Natural History Museum just unveiled their latest exhibit, Dr. Entomo's Palace of Exotic Wonders. Modeled after an old-fashioned circus sideshow, the exhibit features exotic insects including native species from our own backyards! This is just one of many fascinating exhibits at theNAT.