Which Museum Should I Visit with my Family?

The weather is awfully chilly these days, so 417-land parents are probably on the hunt for indoor, family-friendly activities. We rounded up a few of our favorites and put them together in a handy flow chart to help you decide exactly what to do this we

by Katie Pollock Estes

Nov 2015


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.)