The kids may be heading back to school soon, but that doesn't mean learning needs to be confined to the classroom. Whether you're looking for a quick family getaway or just need to stimulate the senses, the U.S. is chockablock with first-rate educational museums that are also (gasp) entertaining and fun! The experts at ShermansTravel.com have paired these venerable institutions with great deals that will get you on the go before the school bell rings. For more travel deals, sign up for ShermansTravel's free Top 25 newsletter.
Photo Credit: National Air and Space Museum photo courtesy Flickr/YoTuT
1. National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
The sky's the limit for an informative and fun-filled experience at this ode to aviation and space flight, whether it's climbing in the cockpit for a simulated flight, handling moon rocks, or walking through a replica of an airport control tower. Equally appealing, it's all absolutely free.
2. American Museum of Natural History, New York City
The world's largest natural science museum in both size and scope, this popular museum bursts at the seams with massive dinosaur skeletons, cool rocks (including a 34-ton meteorite), life-size dioramas, and even a gigantic 94-foot model of a blue whale. Additional attractions include family-friendly special exhibitions, hands-on stations in the Discovery Room, and superb cosmos-centric shows at the Hayden Planetarium.
3. Exploratorium, San Francisco
Learning about science has never been more fun than at this interactive San Francisco playground where curiosity is easily satisfied via on-site lab experiments that study stem cells or fruit flies under microscopes. Kids who love being grossed-out can sign up for even wackier exploits (past experiences have included drinking from a toilet and dissecting a cow's eyeball).
4. Franklin Institute Science Museum, Philadelphia
Known for its 2-story-high, walk-through "Giant Heart" (in place for almost 60 years), the museum's other exhibits, like "Kid Science" (which lets tykes save the planet in the name of science) and "The Train Factory" (where kids are invited to get a working 350-ton train rolling) easily guarantee an action-packed day out.
5. John F. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals
An hour-long drive east from Orlando will transport you to Cape Canaveral, home of NASA's famous rocket launch headquarters, which has witnessed some of mankind's most spectacular technological achievements. Explore a full-size replica of the Explorer space shuttle, touch a moon rock, and enjoy an astronaut-hosted lunch.
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