idea Museum

Founded in 1978 as the The Center for Fine Arts and then continuing as the Arizona Museum for Youth until 2014, the i.d.e.a. Museum aims its high-quality exhibits squarely at kids.

Originally, the museum focused entirely on the arts, however, the move and re-launch in 2014 saw it add exhibits on science, engineering and design to its 20,000 square-foot space.

In addition to rotating exhibits and activities that focus on everything from dogs to superheroes, it keeps permanent creative play spaces like ArtVille for kids under 5. Older kids will want to visit the highly interactive HUB where they can build inventions, draw and create other types of artwork, and other fun.

The museum also hosts regular classes that focus on art and science, as well as camps. Check the museum’s calendar for special events like Free Sundays, Family Days, the Southwest Makers Fest and adult-only play nights.

Location: 150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from Noon to 4 p.m.
Cost: $8, Free for infants under age 1

– Justin Ferris,