Family Guide: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Little ones can explore the natural world at this exciting hands-on museum.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is your child’s gateway to hands-on discovery! Enjoy a day of play and exploring the natural world at this exciting children’s museum in downtown Ann Arbor. 

The museum has 10 engaging exhibit areas for kids of all ages. There’s even a Preschool Gallery where littles can enjoy water tables, dress up and imaginative play.

Quick details about Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays. 
  • Cost: $16/adults and kids, free for children under 2. Financial assistance is available. 
  • Parking: Limited street parking is available. Paid parking structures are located throughout downtown Ann Arbor.  

In addition to its permanent exhibit halls, the Hands-On Museum is always looking to bring interesting new exhibits to families, making it easy to discover something new each time you visit. 

Check out these exhibit highlights and get a few tips for planning your trip to Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. 

Things to do with kids at Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Make waves at H20h!, an interactive water exhibit where kids can crank, spin, pump push and pour water. It’s tons of wet fun for all ages! 
  • Aim lasers, examine a wall of rainbows and more light-bending fun in “Light and Optics.” 
  • Inspire your little scientists at the STEAM PARK. This exhibit has plenty of gadgets, gizmos and interactive mechanical activities that are sure to inspire and baffle your kids.  
  • An exhibit All About You? That’s right! Explore the science of your body and learn a bit about medical science, too. 
  • Take a trip back in time and explore a 1930s store. Kids will love playing shopkeeper at the old-timey Lyons’ Country Store
  • Tired of nagging your kids to brush their teeth? The “Keep Smiling” exhibit makes brushing fun and teaches your kids about the importance of healthy teeth. 
  • Attend a special event! The museum hosts wildlife encounters, birthday parties and seasonal holiday events for families. 

Tips for visiting Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Skip the line by purchasing tickets in advance online
  • Private lockers are available for 50 cents. 
  • Your tickets are good all day! If you need to leave for a lunch break or any other reason, simply show your receipt at the admissions desk. 
  • The H20h! water exhibit can get wet. Consider packing a towel and a change of clothes in the car. 
  • Don’t forget to play! You’ll be surprised by what you and your child can learn when you play together. 
  • Trying to plan your family museum outing on a budget? Find out if you qualify for reduced admission

Other things to do in Ann Arbor


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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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