The Discovery Center
Located in Springfield, discoverycenter.org
Your Budding Scientist Will Love: The exhilarating high-wire bike, the huge water table, the hair-raising Van de Graaff Generator, the giant hissing cockroaches (sometimes you can even pet them!) and many more hands-on exhibits.
Springfield Art Museum
Located in Springfield, sgfmuseum.org
Your Budding Art Curator Will Love: The colorful outdoor House of Art(s) exhibit, the Family Art Lab and Book Nook interactive spaces and, of course, the permanent collection featuring more than 10,000 works of art.
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts
Located in Joplin, spivaarts.org
Your Budding Artist Will Love: Rotating exhibits featuring local and national artists, and weekly classes and kids’ workshops that take place in the art galleries.
Ralph Foster Museum
Located at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, rfostermuseum.com
Your Budding Ozarks Historian Will Love: The White River Painting Exhibit that runs from November 17 to December 17, the original vehicle from The Beverly Hillbillies and Ozarks-focused artifacts and antiques.
Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum
Located at Top of the Rock in Ridgedale, topoftherock.com
Your Budding Naturalist Will Love: Tons of interesting artifacts and the skeletons of some ancient beasts, like a saber-tooth cat, a woolly mammoth, a prehistoric cave bear and a giant ground sloth.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum
Located in Mansfield, lauraingallswilderhome.com
Your Budding Literature Buff Will Love: Touring the home where the Little House books were written, and learning all about the Wilder family. (Tip: Visit soon; the museum is only open for the season through November 15.)