The i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa is an absolutely fantastic experience for young children. My wife has visited with our 3 year old daughter numerous times, and I visited for the first time today.
So, I captured a bunch of photos and thought I’d share my take on the various play rooms and what we enjoyed the most.
I described the museum as an indoor playground, but without the usual slides and swings. The museum is really a children’s museum with many interactive exhibits, crafts, and play areas designed for different ages and interests.
The ArtVille exhibit is the playground portion of the museum, and features the following play activities (designed for kids under age 4):
- Play with big blocks and stack them to make towers
- A theater area with costumes and hats where kids can walk behind a curtain and give an unscripted show
- A kitchen with lots of plastic food, with cooking preparation areas and tables
- A home, next door to the kitchen, where you can sit and read books, or play with toys
- Art studio where you can draw and paint on easels
- A baby and toddler area for the little kids
- An area with cool light tables where kids can play with refracted light
This section is the arts and crafts section of the museum, and includes 11 different interactive areas where you can play with different materials, to create your own item.
- A place where you can decorate real glasses with glitter glue, stickers, and a variety of glued on accessories – you can also decorate paper glasses, and cut them out to wear
- Use recycled papers, streamers, bottles, and cups from Mesa Recycling and build your own crafts using your imagination
- Build a paper house
- Draw on the wall using pens
- The camping room is an entirely sealed off room with blacklight – the experience is that of outdoor night time camping, and there are tents, a fake fire, and camping tables and fake food to play with
- There’s another separate room with tons of huge bean bags, and vending machines
- Various other crafts and art exhibits on display, on a rotating schedule
The day we visited
We visited on a Saturday morning in September and when we arrived, it was sunny outside, but when we left it was raining really hard! Halfway through our day at the museum we decided to go out for lunch and walked to the nearby Urban Picnic which is a small sandwich and wrap shop only two blocks away on Main Street. Highly recommended, if you are looking for lunch options nearby.
If you are looking for coffee shop recommendations nearby, you can’t go wrong with Lost Dutchman Coffee on Main Street (one block to the south).
The staff at i.d.e.a. Museum are super friendly. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back again.
The i.d.e.a. Museum is located near downtown Mesa, AZ. There’s a light rail stop nearby, too, in case you want to arrive in style.
Admission is $8 per person, and free for those under age 1.
There are memberships, and occasionally you can purchase them online.
150 W. Pepper Place
Mesa, AZ 85201
Phone: (480) 644-2468
You might able be interested in checking out the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, another great museum for kids!