Top Kids’ Attractions in the U.S.

San Francisco Exploratorium

Few museums can mix fun and learning in the same way as the San Francisco Exploratorium. With over 1000 exhibits on site – not to mention 60 more at Pier 15 – a hands-on nature propels the exciting environment that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Whether your student group’s interest is in astronomy, culture, natural science, the brain or the body, there is something for you. Visit the East Gallery to explore the living world, the West Gallery for social behavior experiments, the Central Gallery for a journey into the senses, and the South Gallery to think with your hands.

 

St. Louis City Museum

Have you ever imagined what it’d be like to explore one of the world’s largest playgrounds, built inside a 600,000 square foot old shoe factory? How about one made almost entirely of found objects from urban Saint Louis? Two abandoned planes, old chimneys, miles of aluminum, salvaged bridges and so much more make up the City Museum, located in the heart of downtown Saint Louis. Internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly and his team of 20 sculptors opened this one-of-a-kind museum’s doors in 1997, showcasing Enchanted Caves filled with creatures of the imagination, a firetruck seemingly suspended in mid-air, a whale just begging for you to climb inside and hundreds of secret tunnels for visitors to excavate. This destination will have your student tour learning, creating and discovering magic of their own.

 

Legoland

In Carlsbad, CA, there are over 128 acres of land covered with attractions built with and based off America’s favorite toy. Greet Bronte, the 9-foot-tall dino made completely of Legos, when entering the park, and head over to Dino Island for more Jurassic sights. If prehistory doesn’t interest your student group, take a safari through Duplo village for life-sized Lego giraffes, lions, zebras and more. Feeling more like a scallywag? Sail over to Pirate Shores for a high-seas Lego adventure. If your group is full of little prince and princess, march your way to Castle Hill. Whatever your students’ favor, Legoland has it.

 

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Your little wizards have dreamed all their life of Hogwarts, Hogsmead, Diagon Alley and defeating He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named – and now they can. Grab your broomstick and fly to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando Studios for the most magical trip of a lifetime. In summer 2014, you can ride along with Harry on his Escape From Gringott’s, buy some tricks at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, or a new wand at Ollivander’s. For those who didn’t receive that letter from Hogwart’s at age 11 – a trip to the Wizarding World in Orlando Studios will make up for it.

 

Hersheypark

Are you a Jolly Rancher, a Twizzler’s, Hershey Kiss, Reese’s, or a Miniatures? Find out on your trip to this super-sweet theme park. For the high-thrill seekers, try one of 12 intense roller-coasters, or take it easy on 60 other easier-to-chew rides. Hang out on the Boardwalk for wet-n’wild fun, or relax with excellent shopping and dining opportunities.

 

 

Beluga Whale

via sheddaquarium.org

Shedd Aquarium

More than 5 million gallons of water fill this massive oceanic aquarium in the heart of Chicago.  Try the Waters of the World exhibit for creatures massive and small, from giant octopus to tiny starfish. For eels, sharks and other creepy swimmers, swim over to the Carribean Reef, or keep it tame with penguins and puffins in the Polar Play Zone. Whatever aquatic animal your student group fawns over, Shedd houses the best.

 

Discovery Cove

Seeing sea animals behind glass not enough for your student group? Splash your way to Discovery Cove in Orlando, FL for an interactive aquatic experience unlike any other! Swim with bottlenose dolphins during a one-on-one swim of a lifetime, walk through Explorer’s Aviary to greet tropical birds landing on your shoulder, or take a SeaVenture, complete with a scuba helmet, below the surface for an underwater walking tour. Any ocean enthusiast will have the time of their life.