Family vacations cab be fun if you plan. With so many choices and varieties, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with culture in the United States. In particular, families with teens and kids can become confused about which exhibits are age appropriate and when to go.
Here are eight family friendly museums in the US that you should visit:
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
It can be difficult to pick a Smithsonian to visit with all those great buildings circling DC’s National Mall. However, Air and Space is always a crowd pleaser, featuring life-sized versions of famous aircraft and displays crowded with real memorabilia from outer space.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
You could literally spend days roaming the halls of The Met and with constantly revolving exhibits, it might take you that long to get through everything. For families, though, try one of the programs geared toward children ages 11 through 18 that take them through the halls to draw, search, and create museum based on their favorite artworks.
You absolutely must see The Temple of Dendur, a full-sized temple sitting in the middle of the Egyptian Art Collection. It’s said that any couple that engages in a smooch at the temple goes on together forever.
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Although this chic museum is right smack in the middle of one of the most expensive cities in the United States, entry for the entire family is free! From a permanent collection of early 20th century paintings to revolving exhibits on everything from Belgian manuscripts to modern still life portraits, it’s no wonder it’s named with the best museums in the US.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
You can travel the world in this amazing US museum with collections from Asia, Africa and beyond. However, besides a long list of revolving exhibitions for adults, it features a handful of revolving exhibitions for the entire family. Touch rooms, colorful photography and whimsical paintings make up the offerings that both adults and children will enjoy.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Michigan
is the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. The museum provides learning opportunities, exhibitions, programs and events based on collections and research that explore the diverse history and culture of African Americans and their African origins.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington DC
Even if you’ve decided to visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, our other pick for a top US museum, you need to devote some time to this funky pop culture branch, too. Fun and modern collections deal with themes like transportation, music and sports and bring US history to life for everyone.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ever since Rocky ran up those iconic steps, people everywhere have been captivated by this beautiful museum and its iconic façade. The inside is just as spectacular with plenty of wide-open spaces like the Medieval Cloister and Japanese Ceremonial Teahouse. The Arms and Armor hall is sure to thrill the little (or big) knight in shining armor or princess in your group.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
With such an extensive collection of works, you’d think the Cleveland Museum of Art frowned on bringing young children. However, they couldn’t be happier to host the entire family and feel art can have an effect on children as young as preschool-aged. Strollers to rent are available at the front desk and an in-house café is stocked with fruits and veggies they’ll love to nibble on.