5 Unique Interactive Museums That Will Keep Your Children Busy

June 23, 2014 Updated: March 23, 2015

When going on a family vacation for an extended period of time, you’re probably left wondering what you could do to keep you and your children occupied. With pool, beach, amusement park, and playground choices checked off the list, museums are frequent next options. If you’re a traveler, here are a few suggestions you can take to keep the kids entertained and you feeling relieved.

Penang Interactive Museum (Penang, Malaysia)

Smile for the camera!

Epoch Times Photo
Family poses for a three-dimensional installation at the Made in Penang Interactive Museum. (Courtesy of Rachael Wang)

The Made in Penang Interactive museum in Malaysia is known for its unique gallery of three-dimensional murals and dioramas. Visitors will find fun posing for the colorful, eye-popping murals of Penang’s iconic landmarks, objects, and historical figures.

Epoch Times Photo
Visitors can become a part of the three-dimensional murals at the Made in Penang Interactive Museum. (Courtesy of Rachael Wang)

Some murals extend from the walls to the floors, some have face cutouts, and others have objects visitors can sit on for a more lifelike experience.

Besides the 3D art, the museum’s Diorama Gallery captures more of Penang through its incredibly detailed miniature models. Each diorama captures a specific scene of Penang for visitors to see and interpret the story behind it.

There are also four interactive kiosks visitors can use to add on to their experience. By pointing their entrance ticket to the sensor or by standing near the screen, visitors will find themselves holding three-dimensional images of Penang’s landmarks, or wearing vivid opera masks from Sichuan, China.

You can learn more about Made in Penang Interactive Museum by visiting their website or their Facebook page

Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art (Tokyo, Japan)

Ever wanted to see your child become part of a famous painting? How about seeing a small pair of hands emerging from Mona Lisa’s body and twisting her face? All of this is possible in Torafu Architect’s Haunted House from the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. Under the exhibition entitled, “Ghosts, Underpants and Stars”, the Haunted House is one of five programs aimed towards infants and primary school children.

Epoch Times Photo
A child roams around Haunted House at The Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. (Courtesy of Fuminari Yoshitsugu)

The Haunted House sits in one gallery room where children can venture into a giant cube-shaped structure. Upon entering inside by walking through small secret passageways, the children can manipulate and alter the many paintings they see. 

Epoch Times Photo
A child poses as one of the portraits from the Haunted House at The Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. (Courtesy of Fuminari Yoshitsugu)

 Unfortunately, the “Ghosts, Underpants and Stars” exhibition closed last year on September and another interactive exhibition—entitled “Wonderful World”—will open this summer from July 12 to August 21.

“Wonderful World” is created to offer young children a new way to appreciate art. With the help of five contemporary artists, the exhibition is comprised of familiar and intriguing motifs—such as fruits, trains, mirrors, animals, and building blocks—that are converted into sensory, interactive works for the children to discover.

The exhibit will help “imbue the fresh, young minds of children with numerous, ‘exciting experiences that will move their hearts.'” The museum’s press release states. “This will allow them to discover a new person within themselves and by sharing their experiences with other children around them, they will be able to encounter each other’s worlds.”

“By changing their viewpoint, they will find that they are able to discern a fantastic new world, one that may turn out to be a ‘Wonderful World'”.

You can learn more about Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art by visiting their website

World Museum (Liverpool, England)

If your child likes to discover dinosaurs, touch live insects, and admire the Solar System at the Planetarium, then the World Museum is the right place to visit!

Located in William Brown Street, this family-friendly museum houses many collections of ancient artifacts ranging from Egyptian mummies to Samurai armor.

The museum offers five floors of interactive learning. Children can handle 5000 year old objects at the discovery centre, watch live performances at the theatre, and observe fish swim by at the aquarium. They can also partake in hands-on learning stations and interact with expert staff if they want to learn more. And parents can relax a little because admission is free for all exhibitions!

Epoch Times Photo
An insect expert examines a tarantula at the Liverpool World Museum. (National Museums Liverpool)

Starting Saturday June 21st to Sunday June 29th, the World Museum is hosting a series of events called “Creepy Crawly Week”. For over 9 days, children can engage in learning everything about insects. They can observe live and exotic insects, talk with insect experts, go bug hunting, and learn about edible insects among many other activities planned for the week.

Don’t miss this fun opportunity!

You can learn more about the World Museum by visiting their website.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab (New York, United States)

If you or your children are into technology, then the Sony Wonder Technology Lab is a must-go place to visit in New York City. Located in Madison Avenue, the Lab offers four floors of interactive galleries and 20 exhibitions, including virtual surgery simulators, animation studios, game builders, and robot zones. All of the exhibits are hands-on interactive and child friendly. And best of all, admission is free!

Epoch Times Photo
Children attentively engage in controlling robots at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. (Courtesy of Sony Wonder Technology Lab)

The Sony Wonder Technology Lab (SWTL) is currently hosting a mini exhibit from June 11 through September 2 called Nano. The 400-square-foot traveling exhibit “introduces visitors to the miniscule world of nanoscale science, technology and engineering,” the museum’s press release states.

Nano includes four small but interactive components to “present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce some real world applications, and explore the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology”.

“There are also opportunities for visitors to explore and learn more about tiny solutions for big problems; new technologies inspired by nature; and different perspectives on Nanotechnology throughout the exhibition,” SWTL states.

You can learn more about the Sony Wonder Technology Lab by visiting their website.

Karel Zeman Museum (Prague, Czech Republic)

If you are familiar with 20th century Czech director Karel Zeman and his movies “Journey to the Beginning”, “The Fabulous Jules Verne”, and “The Baron Munchausen”, then you’ve probably heard of this particular film special effects museum.

Epoch Times Photo
Karel Zeman is a world-famous movie director with a knack for special effects. (Courtesy of Karel Zeman Museum)

For those who haven’t, Karel Zeman is a Czech film director known for his cinematic special effects and films from around the world. His works influenced a range of world class filmmakers and made Czech cinematography world famous in the 20th century.

 The museum highlights Zeman’s works and successes during his filmmaking career. The museum also houses Zeman’s unpublished photographs, puppets, and documentaries based on the director’s life and cinematographic career.

The rooms of the museum are built to resemble movie studios so visitors can step into backdrops and shoot their own scenes. Photo and video cameras are encouraged all throughout the museum for best experience.

All of the exhibitions in this museum are children-friendly and filled with pleasant surprises. Children will find many interactive components to partake in such as the flying machine, the walk around the moon, and the submarine among other activities.

Be sure to stop by!

You can learn more about the Karel Zeman Museum by visiting their website.