16 Children’s Museums in Wisconsin to Visit with your Family!

Sheboygan

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.

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!

READ MORE: Everything To Know For Your Next Visit To The Building for Kids

Building for Kids Appleton Children's Museum
Building for Kids, Appleton

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.

READ MORE: Plan a Visit to the Children’s Museum in Green Bay

The Children’s Museum of Green Bay

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! 

READ MORE: What to Expect at the Children’s Museum in Fond du Lac

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.

READ MORE: Explore the Above & Beyond Children’s Museum in Sheboygan 

Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Sheboygan

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.

READ MORE: Day Trip – Art, Nature and Fun at Stevens Point Sculpture Park!

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! 

READ MORE: Fabulous Family Fun: Things to Do with Kids in Wausau

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!

READ MORE: Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Milwaukee Family Day Trip

Betty Brinn Childrens Museum Milwaukee
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Milwaukee

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!

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!

READ MORE: Join us on a Day Trip to Sun Prairie: Explore Children’s Museum & The Sassy Cow Creamery

Globe at Sun Prairie Childrens Museum
Explore Children’s Museum, Sun Prairie

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!

READ MORE: Explore & Wonder Together at the Madison Children’s Museum

Wonderground Outside Play Area in Winter at Madison Childrens Museum
Madison Children’s Museum

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.

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!

READ MORE: Explore the Beauty of the Mississippi River & Historic Downtown LaCrosse!

Eau Claire Children's Museum
Children’s Museum of Eau Claire

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.

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.

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!

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!

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 govalleykids@gmail.com.

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