Did you know we have 16 different Children’s Museums in Wisconsin? And, these are the perfect first public playgrounds for children and their families! Each museum is unique in its specific exhibits, but they all offer loads of age-appropriate, creative play-based learning opportunities for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and beyond! A children’s museum is the perfect place to bond with your child and dive into the wonderful world of learning together. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about Wisconsin’s 16 children’s museums right here, so you can get out there and learn together today!
What is a Children’s Museum?
According to the Association of Children’s Museums, children’s museums are unique community institutions where…
- Children are valued citizens with the right to developmentally appropriate and high-quality learning experiences.
- Play is learning, and it is critical to the healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development of children.
- Family, culture, environment, and society are recognized as critical factors in all children’s lives to effectively serve them.
- Pursuing equity and inclusion is a best practice that reflects a commitment to serving all children and families and advancing the growth of our field.
- What is a Children’s Museum?
- Building for Kids, Appleton
- The Children’s Museum of Green Bay
- Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac*
- Above & Beyond Children’s Museum*, Sheboygan
- Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, Stevens Point
- Greater Wausau Children’s Museum*
- Betty Brinn Children’s Museum*, Milwaukee
- The Children’s Play Gallery, Oconomowoc
- Explore Children’s Museum, Sun Prairie
- Madison Children’s Museum*
- Phillips Children’s Museum
- Children’s Museum of La Crosse*
- Children’s Museum of Eau Claire*
- Northwoods Children’s Museum*, Eagle River
- Black Earth Children’s Museum
- Children’s Museum of Rock County, Janesville
- ACM Reciprocal Network as of April 2022
- ASTC Travel Passport Program as of April 2022
Building for Kids, Appleton
There is so much to explore in the 31,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space that spans two floors and includes a real fire truck, water room, doll hospital, semi-truck depot, art studio, STEM innovation lab, and more here at the Building for Kids!
- 100 W College Ave
- (920) 734-3226
The Children’s Museum of Green Bay
The Children’s Museum of Green Bay recently moved to its new home located conveniently right across the street from Bay Beach Amusement Park & Wildlife Sanctuary! Some of our favorite exhibits include the Farmer’s Market, the 1950’s-style diner, garden and chicken coop care in the Backyard Experience, the Digestive System Climber (crawl into a mouth and learn the body’s pathway of nutrient intake!), and the Outdoor Discovery Center.
- 1230 Bay Beach Rd
- (920) 432-4397
Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac*
Real-life learning through play shines at the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac. Your child will get hands deep in a variety of career-oriented play exhibits, such as creating a radio broadcast, stocks trading, auto repairs, pizza-making, dairy farming, firefighting, and more!
- 75 W Scott St
- (920) 929-0707
Above & Beyond Children’s Museum*, Sheboygan
You won’t want to miss a trip to Above & Beyond Children’s Museum! According to the museum, they have the largest nettled crawl tunnel set up in the country! There’s also a 1900s-era schoolhouse, a firetruck & station, and an amazing 15-foot long PVC pipe organ to try. Other great accessible amenities here include special hours for those with sensory sensitivities and The Purple Octopus Playground, a fully accessible playground including a wheelchair transfer platform and other ADA-compliant accessible fun.
- 902 N 8th St
- (920) 458-4263
Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, Stevens Point
Each children’s museum offers unique learning opportunities for your child, and the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum is no different! Come join in the fun in the dental clinic, learn all about simple machines, or put on your best performance in the Lights, Camera, Action! exhibit. Families with babies will find an exceptional baby care area here complete with a comfy rocker for nursing mothers, a changing table, and other soft toys and baby-friendly books. This quiet nook is a perfect place for baby to nod off during your visit to the museum.
- 1100 Main St
- (715) 344-2003
Greater Wausau Children’s Museum*
The Greater Wausau Children’s Museum offers plenty of water, art, and building fun to keep your child engaged in learning through play. This museum hosts some great annual events and weekly programs, such as a Mother-Son Dance, STEAM Saturdays, Preschool Science, and Kids in the Kitchen!
- (608) 408-4668
- 10101 Market Street Suite D70, Rothschild
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum*, Milwaukee
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum has lots of space to run around and explore from the classic grocery store in the Our Town market exhibit to a multi-level indoor play structure and STEM exhibits. This one is definitely worth your while on your next family day trip to Milwaukee!
- 929 E Wisconsin Ave
- (414) 390-5437
The Children’s Play Gallery, Oconomowoc
The Children’s Play Gallery is a perfect place to play if your child enjoys ships & pirates, a play stage, and art & science discovery. Make sure to check out their rotating exhibits in the Tree House, such as Santa’s Workshops, Easter House, Mexican Restaurant, Post Office, Vet Clinic, and more!
- 126 E Wisconsin Ave, Oconomowoc
- (262) 354-0819
Explore Children’s Museum, Sun Prairie
There is truly something for every little explorer at Explore Children’s Museum. From Lego brick building to arts & crafts creativity, to an area for tots, to a giant train table, to a large sand area, to a slide & imaginative play kitchen, to vehicle repair, your kiddos will certainly find plenty to do and to learn while playing here!
- 1433 W Main St
- (608) 478-5456
Madison Children’s Museum*
The Madison Children’s Museum, nestled just off of the capitol square in downtown Madison, is bursting with indoor and outdoor fun. Make sure to visit the amazing new Wonderground where the playground gets elevated to a whole new level, or enjoy a visit to their rooftop animals and adventures with an amazing view of the Capitol City!
- 100 N Hamilton St
- (608) 256-6445
Phillips Children’s Museum
The Phillips Children’s Museum is a creative combination of a traveling museum with children’s learning exhibits and future plans to build a free-standing museum location in the near future. The museum currently travels all throughout Price County. Follow them on Facebook for their upcoming events & locations.
- (715) 820-2767
Children’s Museum of La Crosse*
Come test out your skills as a firefighter, weave through the giant dino maze, or deliver your first weather forecast from their real TV studio set right here at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse!
- 207 5th Ave S, La Crosse
- (608) 784-2652
Children’s Museum of Eau Claire*
Exploring in a moon rover and playing lifesize games of chess are just some of the fun to be had while learning at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire! Be sure to check their website before you visit as they’ve moved some exhibits into temporary Play Spaces throughout the region while their main museum is remodeled.
- 220 S Barstow St, Eau Claire
- (715) 832-5437
Northwoods Children’s Museum*, Eagle River
Come check out 24 amazing exhibits of childhood learning and fun at the Northwoods Children’s Museum! Check out the ranger station, pioneer cabin, Grandma’s attic, giant loom, and much more here in the beauty of the Northwoods.
- 346 W Division St, Eagle River
- (715) 479-4623
Black Earth Children’s Museum
Small town charm and Wisconsin’s natural history & resources shine at the Black Earth Children’s Museum! Come play in the Driftless Den where you can learn all about Wisconsin’s glacial history or enjoy the toddler farmyard with your littlest visitors. The Forest Tree House and Wetland Wonders exhibits are also well worth the visit!
- 1131 Mills Street, Black Earth
- (608) 888-2017
Children’s Museum of Rock County, Janesville
The Children’s Museum of Rock County is coming soon to uptown Janesville. We’re keeping our eyes peeled to see what all this new museum has to offer!
- 2500 Milton Avenue Suite 104
- (608) 352-3349
Insider Tip: Purchase an Explorer Membership for $140 at the Building for Kids in Appleton. This membership includes 2 adults and their children under 18 and ASTC/ACM reciprocal membership. This membership includes 50% off or FREE admission to participating Children’s Museums.
ACM Reciprocal Network as of April 2022
50% off general admission for up to six (6) people including the cardholder.
The Building for Kids, Appleton, Above and Beyond Children’s Museum, Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Milwaukee, Children’s Museum of Eau Claire, Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, Children’s Museum of La Crosse, Madison Children’s Museum, Northwoods Children’s Museum, Greater Wausau Children’s Museum
ASTC Travel Passport Program as of April 2022
FREE or reduced general admission
- Building for Kids – Up to six people get 50% off general admission.
- Madison Children’s Museum – Up to six individuals listed on the membership. Photo ID required for cardholder.
Which is your favorite Wisconsin Children’s Museum? Have tips? Pictures to share? Comment below or email us at email@example.com.