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5 Quirky Museums for Kids in the U.S.

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Museums don’t have to been stuffy, boring places that make kids groan and moan. In fact, there are many unusual museums devoted to interesting and specific topics that can win over even the most reluctant museum-goer. Add these five quirky museums for kids to your vacation must-see list. (This post is brought to you in partnership with Flights.com, a new booking website for savvy travelers.)

5 Quirky Museums for Kids in the U.S.

1. Mütter Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Do not miss the hundreds of displays in the one-of-a-kind Mütter Museum. This amazing place will fascinate children and adults who are interested in medicine, history, and the anatomy of the human body. The unusual collections of anatomical specimens, skulls, and antique medical devices are not for the faint of heart or stomach. The interested and the curious will enjoy viewing pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain and admiring the tallest human skeleton on public exhibition in the U.S. Families will certainly leave the museum “disturbingly informed,” which is this museum’s unique hope. If you’re planning a family vacation to Philadelphia – Flights.com has some excellent fares.

Compare human skeleton sizes at the Mutter Museum - average, giant and dwarf (Photo from MutterMuseum.org)

Compare human skeleton sizes at the Mutter Museum – average, giant and dwarf (Photo from MutterMuseum.org)

2. The International Banana Museum – Mecca, California

In an enthusiastic celebration of the curved yellow fruit, there are more than 20,000 banana-related items packed into the small, aPEELing International Banana Museum. Yellow is everywhere…on the toys, posters, candles, dishware, clothing, and furniture. The museum also offers banana-related food items including milkshakes, ice cream, and frozen chocolate-dipped bananas on a stick.

The International Banana Museum celebrates all things banana (Photo from the International Banana Museum Facebook page)

The International Banana Museum celebrates all things banana (Photo from the International Banana Museum Facebook page)

3. Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia – Burlingame, California

A museum dedicated to candy and cartoons is sure to be a hit with just about everyone in the family. Opened in the mid-1990s, the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia celebrates everything PEZ, the hard candy packaged in its own custom, keepsake dispenser. While the PEZ dispenser was originally designed to resemble a cigarette lighter (to help people quit smoking), the dispenser became licensed with popular cartoon characters like Popeye and Mickey Mouse in the late 1950s and early 60s. The rest is candy history. The museum’s collection features an example of every PEZ candy dispenser every sold – over 900 different kinds.

PEZ Dispensers at the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia

Colorful PEZ Dispensers on display at the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia (Photo credit: J. Rozier, Flickr Commons)

4. Vent Haven Museum – Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

The one-of-a-kind Vent Haven Museum has been celebrating the art of ventriloquism for over 40 years. It houses historical photographs, books, and more than 800 figures. Perhaps most impressive is a replica of the most famous figure in ventriloquist history, Charlie McCarthy, the sidekick to Edgar Bergen (yes, father of Candice). Some of the figures are the size of small children, and the idea of creating an alter-ego and talking buddy can be very appealing to kids. Through its exhibits and summer tours, the museum educates the public about this unique art form that stills thrives today.

The Vent Haven Museum is the world's only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism (Photo credit: Vent Haven Museum)

The Vent Haven Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism (Photo credit: Vent Haven Museum)

5. Museum of Miniature Houses – Carmel, Indiana

It’s a small world at the Museum of Miniature Houses in Indiana. The museum’s collection features over 600 miniatures, including houses, room boxes, and finely-crafted individual items that will delight historians and dollhouse fans of any age. Fully-furnished miniature houses done in Victorian and Modern Californian style will appeal to budding interior designers and architects. The tiny copies of everyday, familiar items like porcelain, furniture, and foodstuffs showcase the decorative arts in fine detail, and offer children a chance to learn about design, craftsmanship, and architectural scale.

Just one of the numerous miniature houses on display at the Miniature House Museum (Photo credit: Goldie Hollander, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)

Just one of the numerous miniature houses on display at the Miniature House Museum (Photo credit: Goldie Hollander, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)

Which of these five quirky museums for kids would appeal most to your family? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama: This post was sponsored by Flights.com. Powered by Expedia, the site guarantees the best prices available with no booking fees on single-carrier flights. You can find deals on hotels and cars, too. All opinions are my own, as always. 

Top graphic created from the images within the story, which are credited accordingly.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 18 and 20). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

Comments
  1. http://Lisa%20Goodmurphy says

    What a great list! I can’t believe that there’s a museum devoted to bananas! My family would love the Pez museum and the Museum of Miniature Houses.

  2. http://Colleen%20Lanin,%20The%20Travel%20Mama says

    I want to go to that Banana Museum just to eat some of the tasty banana treats!

    • http://Claudia%20Laroye says

      Haha, me too Colleen! The frozen chocolate-covered banana would be perfect on a hot day in that desert location.

  3. http://Jody%20Robbins,%20The%20Saucy%20Travel%20Mama says

    OMG, how did you find these? Some great suggestions here. If I could add one, there is a gopher museum in Torrington, Alberta. Super cute stuffed gophers in all kinds of costumes, if you’re into that…

  4. http://Elaine%20J.%20Masters says

    Should you get to the San Diego region, check out Temecula. There’s a gem of a private kid’s museum, Professor’s place. You make me wish for a little one to share your list with!

  5. http://Dewan%20Singh says

    Great tips and ideas for organizing a family trip, however, a group tour or day tour activity make this tour even more interactive and cozy. Anyway, I liked the capcha for a comment to be a great one.

  6. http://The%20Educational%20Tourist says

    How fun! I couldn’t agree more that museums are fun and fascinating! Even the ‘regular’ ones can be amazing WITH the kids.

    Have never heard of the banana museum! That is such fun I”m adding it to the list of places we WANT to visit!! Thanks for a great post.

    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  7. http://Christian%20from%20Squeeze%20Pod says

    Wow! I must admit I haven’t been bringing my kids to those kinds of places lately since I’m busy with my business travel. Your post gave me some ideas to where I will take my kids during weekends. Thank you for sharing!

    • http://Claudia%20Laroye says

      I’m glad that the post was helpful to you, Christian. Enjoy your family visits to these great spots!

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