Making Museums Fun For Kids

For a lot of kids, a trip to the museum is as appealing as a trip to the dentist. Wandering aimlessly from weird-looking art to even weirder-looking art as you are constantly “shushed” by adults is no fun. But museum visits don’t have to be somber and boring; in fact many museums cater to kids with special exhibits and programs that make learning more fun.

When planning museum trips for kids, first think about what your kids like. If you have a child who actually is really interested in art or history, by all means, enjoy a visit to one of the best modern art museums or museum that showcases the local history. But if you’re child isn’t quite captivated by artistic expression or the French Revolution, don’t expect them to enjoy a few hours spent in the museum.

Instead take them to a museum that better fits their interests. As a child who loved horses, I’m sure I would have been enraptured with Lisbon’s Coach Museum, a collection of ornate carriages and coaches. Kids who love dinosaurs would flip for Chicago’s Field Museum, where a full T-Rex skeleton is on display.

And don’t forget some of the lesser-known and slightly odder museums around the world. There are several unusual food museums
that would fascinate children, as well as museums centered on space exploration (always a favorite with kids) and natural science. Any museum that offers hands-on exhibits and interactive experiences can be good for kids.

Many more adult-oriented museums also have special exhibits for kids that help make the information more accessible and entertaining. No matter which museum you choose, there are ways to make the experience a bit more interesting for kids of any ages.

First off, try to schedule your visit when there are less people there. Come early in the morning or later, before the museum closes, and limit the amount of time based on your kid’s attention span and interests. Some kids might be happy to scamper around a museum all day while others would get bored after an hour. If you want to see several sections of a large museum, consider breaking your visit up into two days. If the kids bet bored or hungry before the parents want to go home, consider having one parent take them to the food court while the other gets their art fix, and then switching off.

Visiting a museum with your kids doesn’t have to be a whiny “are we done yet?”-filled experience. If you pick museums that offer something for kids and plan your visit with your child’s personality in mind, a visit to a museum can be a rewarding and entertaining educational experience for the whole family.

Photo by Txgeek