Visiting a children’s museum can be a conflicting experience. Sure, your kids love it, but unless you’re gunning for world’s best parent, it’s probably not how you want to spend a family vacation.
Instead, we offer up a top list of family-friendly museums around the globe, with stimulating exhibits to satisfy all members of your tribe.
Not that there aren’t children’s museums that are a cut above, like MoMath NYC (we love your square-wheeled trikes) and Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (all 472,900 square feet of it). But in picking the best museums for families, we’re interested in the places that educate, excite, and entertain all ages—from five to 50.
From pickled oddities at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia to a parade of animals in Paris, it’s a museum’s ability to capture the imagination that matters most. That could mean explosive chemistry experiments in Chicago or trucks and trains (and bikes and boats) at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum, as well as art in situ at a Brazilian botanical garden. Bonus points if you learn something along the way.
This spring break, we can’t promise argument-free vacations. But make a plan to visit the best museums for families—it will be an experience everyone can agree on.