Arkansas has three really great hands-on science museums that concentrate on STEM learning and entertaining education. These museums have exhibits that are like games, where kids build structures, solve problems, jump and run and play to learn math, physics, biology and more. Most of them have theaters or educational shows, special events and you can even rent them out for a special event or birthday party.
Take your kids to explore one of Arkansas' fun museums today, or go yourself. Even adults can learn some basic science facts with a fun visit.
The Museum of Discovery is located in downtown Little Rock. This museum has received some national attention because Kevin Delaney, the director of visitor experience at the Museum of Discovery, appears on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with some regularity. The museum has many fun, hands-on exhibits with a focus on STEM learning. They have the one of the world's largest bi-polar Tesla coils (it's tied with another in TN), a "tornado ally" experience and hands-on looks at geology, anatomy, and math. It's a great museum for kids and adults.
Museum of Discovery has special "Science After Dark" events for grownups each month. The museum also offers traveling exhibits occasionally, several special events throughout the year including Tinkerfest (where kids can learn some basic maker skills), and Wiggle Worm Discovery days for small children. The museum is located at 500 President Clinton Ave., Suite 150.
Mid-America Science Museum is located in Hot Springs and recently (2015) underwent massive renovations. It still contains many of the exhibits Arkansans remember from their childhood, but they've been updated. They also added about 75 new interactive exhibits or works of art. They were one of 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
They have the world’s largest conical Tesla coil (clearly, Arkansans love Tesla coils) along with over 100 other hands-on science installations.
They have an exhibit on wave phenomenon (physics), motion and music. They introduced a skywalk that extends over the forest surrounding the museum, letting people take in the beauty of Hot Springs. The SkyWalk is filled with exhibits about water, air, light and other elements in nature. It also has a treehouse, underground caves, and more fun stuff. They added a state-of-the-art digital theater with 180-degree viewing of science-based, fun films, underground caves and playgrounds, workshops about motion and movies and more, tinkering and a Tesla theater so you can learn more about their Guinness World Record coil. The electrical show is pretty neat. They have a traveling or special exhibit occasionally.
Mid-America Science Museum is located at 500 Mid America Blvd, Hot Springs, AR.
The Scott Family Amazeum is the newest Arkansas entry into the children's museum world. It's located in northwest Arkansas in Bentonville, and named after former CEO of Walmart Stores Inc. Lee Scott, in honor of his contributions. Wal-Mart's national headquarters are in the Bentonville area and many former CEOs (and Waltons) call the area their home.
The Amazeum is 50,000 square feet and houses over 90 hands-on exhibits, including the only Hershey's Lab outside of Hershey headquarters. They have a tinkering lab to teach STEM skills and an art studio, a cool canopy themed playground with caves that teach about our state geology, and of course, a Wal-Mart sponsored marketplace where kids can learn more about how a store works. Their Homestead Farm and Cabin exhibit will teach kids how a farm works. Kids will love the Nickelodeon Play Lab where they can control SpongeBob, learn about animation and music and more.
They have a calming, "cloud theater" area for kids to think and daydream, lots of hands-on nature exhibits to teach about the natural state. They have quite a few really big sponsors, like Nature Valley water and their amazing water exhibits. Bentonville is the perfect place to kids about nature. The museum uses their natural setting for many outdoor experiences too. The Scott Family Amazeum is located at 1009 Museum Way in Bentonville, AR.