By Jill “MamaBug” Frier

Looking for fun ways to keep you kids interested in educational activities with only a few months left of school? Help foster your kids’ love of learning and interest in science with fun, science-based places to visit for the whole family. Here are some excellent museums that educate and stimulate learning, while also being interesting and highly entertaining for kids and grownups alike.

Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center is, in a word, amazing! We visited the center for the first time recently and were blown away by the fun, larger than life, interactive displays throughout the building. You can easily spend days here, experimenting with hands-on science experiments ranging from biology to physics and astronomy to engineering. This venue is a fantastic way to get kids excited about science in their everyday lives and a fun way to spend time with your family in downtown Phoenix.

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland is America’s largest butterfly conservatory and is a great experience for the whole family. You begin the journey with a 3D movie about the migration cycle of the Monarch butterfly. Next, you can see live chrysalis in the “Emergence Room,” then experience walking through a world beautiful butterflies in the giant Butterfly Pavilion. They are also home to other desert insects and animals, host birthday parties and provide special activities throughout the year. It’s a must see in the East Valley.

OdySea Aquarium

The state of the art OdySea Aquarium is celebrating its one year anniversary this month. The largest aquarium in the southwest, it boasts two million gallons of water, 60 exhibits, and over 30,000 sea creatures. Separate tours and encounters are available for an additional adventure, including a Behind the Scenes tour, an underwater SeaTrek, and a special Penguin Interaction Program. It’s best to buy your tickets online in advance, to get discounts and avoid waiting in long lines. OdySea is worth the visit and a great place to escape the heat of summer.

Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is an unexpected and breathtaking surprise for first time visitors. Also known as the MIM, this two-story, state-of-the-art facility is a showcase of instruments and music from every genre and almost every country in the world. The MIM displays more than 6,500 instruments, allowing visitors to see and hear music and instruments from around the globe. The museum also provides visitors a hands-on experience of playing different instruments.

Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve

The Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, formerly known as the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, if a fascinating glimpse into the world of archeology. The preserve is an archaeology museum located on 47-acres of Sonoran Desert, right off the Agua Fria freeway in Glendale. It is home to the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix area and hosts a museum, as well as a short hike along the side of the Hedgpeth Hills to see the petroglyphs. This is a great spot to visit and learn about archeology and the history of Arizona and the Phoenix area.

These are just a few of the fun and adventurous educational activities you and your kids can enjoy in the Phoenix area. Watch Ladybug’s Blog for more ideas in the future!