Planning your next trip? There are plenty of destinations in each state where family fun and learning meet! Please be sure to follow all state and local public health guidance while visiting. We also suggest researching Covid related restrictions and closings at all locations before you travel.  

Arizona  

One-mile deep, 277-miles long, visible from outer space and home to a small community of California condors – one of the rarest birds in the world. What kid wouldn’t think the Grand Canyon is cool? “Meet the Canyon” on a kid-friendly (six and older) South Rim guided hike with the Grand Canyon Field Institute. The hike starts at the top of Bright Angel Trail. Along the way, the guide gives short geology and history lessons, the latter of which is “illustrated” by trailside rock paintings from the canyon’s early inhabitants. 

Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center provides attendees numerous interactive experiences, along with daily demonstrations throughout the Center. Aside from the permanent exhibitions, Arizona Science Center features several nationally traveling exhibitions. Also providing shows in the Dorrance Planetarium and their IMAX Theater. 

New Mexico  

Experience your ancestors’ lifestyle in the living history area of the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. Watch blacksmiths forge iron or visit the barns to see sheep shearing and cow milking up close. Kids can ride a pony, pet a goat, or even look a longhorn in the eye. Be sure to check the museum calendar for workshops and festivals held throughout the year.  

All aboard! Chama is home to the nation’s highest narrow-gauge train, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. From late May through mid-October, the railroad offers daily excursions north through the Chama Valley and over the 10,022 foot Cumbres Pass. It’s the region’s most well-known attraction, and a hit with kids and adults alike.  

Oklahoma  

A working ranch, museum, and wildlife preserve, the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve is an educational and entertainment hub located in Bartlesville. Tour the 50,000 square foot museum featuring the cultural heritage and lifestyles of early Western residents. American bison continue to roam the property alongside North European fallor deer, water buffalo, llamas, pygmy goats, and more. 

Come try your hand at mining for jewels, fossils, and artifacts at Beavers Bend Mining Company in Broken Bow. This unique attraction welcomes children of all ages to search through the 66-foot sluice to score beautiful gems like emeralds, garnets, rose quartz, and more. Once you’ve found treasure, you’ll learn what type of stone it is and where it was discovered. You’ll also want to explore the Dino Dig Adventure, an interactive museum where you can dust for fossils and eventually ride a T-Rex. 

Bring the whole family to Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center for a fun and educational experience. This unique eco-tourism attraction has over 90 native and non-native fish, reptile, amphibian, bird, and mammal species on exhibit. Interact with marine creatures in the tide pool and touch tank and take a selfie with Moby, the largest blue catfish in captivity. The center also includes a seven-acre botanical garden featuring many plants native to the area. 

Texas – Learn more at https://www.traveltexas.com/ 

The Natural Bridge Caverns in New Braunfels are awe-inducing every month of the year and perfect for a visit no matter the outdoor weather conditions. Seven of the state’s 3,000 documented cave networks are open to the public daily and are a can’t-miss experience if you’re traveling with kids—ideal for all ages. The well-lit limestone formations and pools connected by footpaths will wow everyone in the family. 

Learning about space will be no problem at Space Center Houstonthe home of NASA’s Historic Mission Control. It is one of the only places kids can get hands-on experiences with the astronauts and engineers who spearhead American space exploration. Interactive exhibits, educational in-theater films, and the original Mission Control that monitored Apollo 11’s trip to the moon are just the beginning of what families can discover. 

If a sea dinosaur and a 14-foot mammoth skeleton sound like they’d captivate your kids, the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg is certainly worth a stop. This museum has artifacts and exhibits that cover prehistoric times all the way up to 20th-century Texas. Learn about forming the nearby Rio Grande, industrialization-era locomotives, and a 100-year-old jail that’s now part of the museum’s structure. 

Nevada 

Learn about the wonders of hydroelectricity at the Hoover Dam in Clark County. It is a depression-era public works project that created the largest human-made reservoir in the nation: Lake Meade. Truly a wonder of engineering, the Hoover Dam is 726 ft. tall and thick (660 ft.) as two football fields measured end-to-end at its base. During peak electricity periods, enough water runs through the generators to fill 15 average-sized swimming pools (20,000 gallons each) in 1 second.  

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring a mansion riddled with mysteries or designing your own spacecraft, then a visit to The Discovery in Reno, Nevada’s largest science center, is a perfect place to visit. A visitor favorite, be sure to ascend the Cloud Climber, a three-story structure that teaches important lessons about the water cycle. The Discovery offers 67,000 square feet of ever-changing, hands-on science experiences for learners of all ages.