Mesa, Arizona is rich in history and culture. There are numerous museums to visit in the city that offer interesting exhibits for all ages. Most of them also provide hands-on education programs for children from the ages of toddlers to teens.
I.D.E.A. (Imagination, Design, Experience, Art) Museum, formerly known as the Arizona Museum for Youth until February 2014, offers exhibits, classes and interactive activities in fine arts, science and technology. Visitors enjoy three main exhibits and an outdoor area. Kids are encouraged through various activities to be creative and use their imagination in activities such as acting out their favorite fairy tale with costumes and props. Artville is located inside of the I.D.E.A. Museum and is specially designed for children under the age of five. This play space utilizes toys and educational items in different colors, shapes, lines and textures to get them excited about art, science, math and more. The Hub is a gallery for kids to get involved in art, music, dance and science projects. This museum is highly interactive and provides a lot of family fun and discovery. The Arizona Museum of Natural History offers cultural and historical exhibits of central Arizona and the greater Southwest. Displays include fossils of dinosaurs, bears, fish, birds, turtles, horses, camels and reptiles. Centuries old ceramic pieces, jewelry, maps, historical photographs, planes and trains are also available for viewing. Interesting minerals and gems as well as various types of arts and crafts are also on display and create a rich timeline of Arizona’s natural history. The Commemorative Air Force Museum is filled with numerous aircraft displays from World War II to the Vietnam War. On site are actual vintage bombers, sub hunters, fighters, escorts, attackers, trainers, gliders and cargo planes. There are also exhibits of military service people and artifacts. The Mesa Historical Museum includes two displays depicting the many years of Arizona's Cactus League and spring training memorabilia. Baseball spring training is a huge attraction in Mesa due to the area’s mild spring weather. There are also many displays that span the rich history of Mesa. For additional information on Mesa’s many museums and a complete listing to the businesses and fun events in Mesa, visit www.mesa.com.