A rainy spring day is the perfect time to take a family trip to a museum! It will provide hours of educational entertainment while it’s raining and pouring outside. Not everyone lives near the Guggenheim but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden museum gems in your area! If you visit a site like www.museumsusa.org you can search for one in your area and even narrow it down by what kind of museum you’re looking for.

Before heading out for a day trip consider what your kids are interested in. If dinosaurs are their thing try to find a museum that will peak their interest. If it seems like everyone has a different passion shoot for a larger museum that will have a variety of subjects. If your children are older consider following a guide through a larger museum. He’ll be able to explain every painting and diorama to you and also have facts that you might never have heard before. It will also make navigating a large museum less overwhelming. For little ones there are plenty of science and interactive museums where they can play and explore. Many of these centers focus on interacting with kids and offer activities for them to do so you don’t have to keep them entertained the whole time.

Most museums offer discount rates for kids, and will let toddlers and babies in for free. Decide what your budget is before heading over, some museums offer IMAX movies and of course there is the souvenir shop. Make a decision about what you want to spend and where so you can be certain the moment you walk in.

Visit the museum website with your kids so they can get a sneak peak at what’s in store. You’ll be able to decide which exhibits are a priority and if there are any specials going on.

Aim to go either early or late on the weekend so you won’t be overwhelmed by crowds and can get up close to everything. During the week try to go around 3, when school field trips aren’t there anymore.

Don’t feel like you have to see everything. Little ones can get tired and bored and the last thing you want is a tantrum on the museum floor! Go at a leisurely pace and don’t feel stressed if you haven’t reached every exhibit on your list. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks too.

You’ll want to remember these family trips forever but some museums don’t allow flash photography or any cameras at all. Check the policy so you can be prepared and ready to capture the moment.

Don’t let the fun end at the museum door. If your trip has the creative juices flowing in your kids then check out books at the library about the subjects they loved. Once you see how much fun museums can be they’ll become a rainy day staple!