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The Arizona Science Center features the futuristic architecture of Antoine Predock and aims to turn science into something fun for kids. Permanent exhibits include Evans Family Skycycle, Forces of Nature, Get Charged Up, My Digital World and Solarville. Take in the clear night sky or the fantastic laser light show under the dome of the Dorrance Planetarium or if that doesn't work for you, watch a film in the Irene P. Flinn Theater with its five-story-high IMAX screen. It's not all for kids though as the many interactive exhibits have grown-ups asking questions too. Drop by for a fun, family day out.
The Children's Museum of Phoenix is a favorite destination for families with especially curious young ones. This museum provides a well-rounded educational experience, with hundreds of interactive exhibits and activities to encourage children to examine their environments in a new way. There is a range of activities to pique the interest of children of all ages.
Founded in 1981, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society protects and promotes the history of the Jewish people in Arizona. Run by the society, the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center houses a museum gallery that displays the contributions of the Jewish people to various industries as well as agriculture and commerce. The museum houses an extensive archive including voice and video recordings of the locals. The Society also conducts regular programs and discussions that encourage dialog between generations and rental spaces available for corporate and social functions.
One of the largest in the Southwest, the Phoenix Art Museum includes a staggering collection of exhibits from the world over. Permanent displays in this facility include miniature interiors as well as 20th-century art. Featured pieces cover contemporary art and fashion design with international exhibits from Europe, Asia, Latin America as well as Western America. Interactive, hands-on activities are featured for kids at the PhxArtKids space. Traveling displays are often included in the museum's highlights. Exhibits include popular works by Ubertini, Nicolas Lepicie, Max Beckmann, Robert Henri, Eugène Boudin and many more.
Founded in 1929 by Dwight B. and Marie Bartlett Heard, this museum houses tributes to American Indian art and culture. At the Heard Museum, permanent displays are showcased along with traveling exhibits displaying the rich heritage of the people. Home of approximately 40,000 artifacts, the museum has on display American Indian jewelry and more than four hundred Hopi katsina dolls. Heard Museum also has an exhibition that narrates the stories of Native Americans in 19th-century boarding schools.
Officially operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, the museum exhibits preserved items and artifacts on the history of Arizona's military. The facility is housed in a historical adobe building, which was built in 1936 and used as a shop by German prisoners during World War II. On display are vehicles, uniforms, mementos and artillery items spanning time periods from the Spanish conquerors to the more current Desert Storm. Included are exhibits from the Korean conflict, Vietnam and the Spanish-American Wars. Interesting ones include a diorama depicting an underground escape by German prisoners of war and an army helicopter used during the Vietnam War. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.
Children and adults alike will adore this museum that explores the past and present of firefighting. Marvel at restored firefighting equipment, including artifacts from the 1700s and fully restored firefighting trucks. Pose for a photo by the horse-drawn fire engine then check out old firefighting helmets. Kids will love the parts of the museum that allow you to interact with the displays, including trying on a uniform and climbing aboard a firetruck. Although the museum mainly focuses on firefighting in the United States, it also has international artifacts. A must-visit museum for people interested in something unique.
Music lovers should head to the Musical Instrument Museum which has a collection of 15,000 musical instruments as well as multimedia exhibits. The collection of musical instruments comes from every corner of the world. Many so strange, they are exhibited along with an instructional video. Visitors get the opportunity to learn diverse music styles that exist around the globe. The museum also has live performances held at its theater.
Penske Racing Museum is a two-story building dedicated to the Penske Racing Team. The team was formed in the late 1960s and has since bagged a number of titles and trophies. The collection includes maintained race cars as well as memorabilia that would make any fan go weak in the knees. The 1963 Pontiac Catalina that had Roger Penske himself behind the wheel is just one of the killer machines on display. Take in a bit of the magic by either picking up custom merchandise from the boutique or organizing your event at one of the museum's rental spaces.
Visit the traditional home of the ancient Hohokam and Patayan peoples who left traces of petroglyphs (rock art) in the Hedgpeth Hills. View more than 1500 of these on a quarter-mile trail. Different interpretations of the designs can be studied at the indoor exhibits. Remember to carry a cap, sunblock, binoculars and plenty of water during your visit. It would be advisable to carry along a notepad to jot down points. Children get an opportunity to create their own petroglyphs out of clay.