Unique and Unusual Museums


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educational museum , Museums , museums , science museum , museum exhibits
Family Fun 101
Author: Scott McCullough
Who says learning must be confined to textbooks and lectures? In Missouri, our museums contain fun, fascinating exhibits. No matter what sparks your imagination, you're certain to find it in a Show-Me State museum.

Go back centuries at the Museum of Anthropology, on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. Discover amazing artifacts from American Indian cultures and the history of Missouri from 9,200 B.C. to current day.

You'll find a family friendly, fascinating museum in Cape Girardeau, at the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum. The museum houses an excellent permanent collection of fine art, historic items and archaeological finds.

In Marble Hill, exhibits at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History reach back 500 million years. Known as the “Home of the Missouri Dinosaur,” this museum houses a life-size model of the hypsibema missouriense, a variety of dinosaur called a Hadrosaur or "duck billed" dinosaur, with jaws that contained more than 1,000 teeth. The dinosaur was discovered in 1942; in 2004 it was designated Missouri's official dinosaur. Young paleontologists love seeing dinosaur fossils and artifacts and the working fossil-preparation lab. The museum contains American Indian artifacts; items from the wreck of the Steamboat Montana; Ozark fossils; Civil War ballistics; a Lewis & Clark Exhibit; and historic photographs. Be sure to check out the room specifically dedicated to educational fun for kids.

Have an adventure at the Missouri History Museum, in St. Louis. Check-out the hands-on interactive displays, life-size models, fossil tusks, skulls and touchable teeth. Since 1866, the Missouri History Museum, located in Forest Park, has held various exhibitions for the purpose of saving the early history of the city and state.

How about museums featuring an outlaw? Anyone interested in Missouri's rich history won't want to miss the Jesse James Bank Museum, on the square in Liberty. See the bank as it was in 1866, when the notorious Jesse James and his gang rode into town and committed the nation’s first successful daylight peacetime bank robbery. Period furnishings include a rare Seth Thomas clock, showing the precise time and date of that robbery. Visit the museum’s store to purchase historical books as well as period-style toys and games.

Travel to Kearney (10 miles north of Liberty) and visit the the Jesse James Birthplace, where Jesse was born in 1847. Explores what life was like in the time of the infamous outlaw. The museum displays the world’s largest collection of James family artifacts.

Along that same subject, in St. Joseph (47 miles northwest of Kearney) you can tour the Jesse James Home, where the legend ended when Bob Ford murdered Jesse James in 1882.

The little ones in your life probably think all toys beep and require batteries; they’ll learn that is not so when you treat them to an afternoon at the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City. This museum is devoted to the art of play. Marvel at what might be the world's largest collection of marbles, miniatures and antique toys. Comprising 38 rooms chock-full of toys and fun objects, this museum truly contains something to delight everyone.

While you’re in Kansas City, be sure to visit the Money Museum, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This unique experience offers a free, up-close look of the nation's financial system in action. Learn about the Fed through fun and interactive exhibits that explore banking, the economy and how monetary policy decisions impact your family's bottom line. Test your strength and lift a solid gold bar; place your photo in the center of custom designed currency; peek into a four-story cash vault; view the automated robots that move the money; try to detect counterfeit currency.

Also in Kansas City, spend time at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. Housing more than 55,000 items, this is the only American museum dedicated solely to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of World War I. The fascinating and mesmerizing museum is located beneath the iconic Liberty Memorial Tower.

In Ste. Genevieve, the gorgeous Bolduc House Museum is a National Historic Landmark. The complex incorporates three historic homes, transporting visitors back to the 18th century. Begin your visit at the 1820s Linden House, which holds the ticket office, children's games, French-themed items, and a library full of rare books. Across the street, the Bolduc House, built around 1792, features French Colonial furnishings and artifacts. Step next door to visit the art gallery in the 1820 LeMeilleur House, with a room fully-decorated in 1830s fashion.

  Museum of Anthropology
The Museum is now in our new location, Mizzou North (115 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia, MO 65203). The ...

  Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum
The museum features the Crossroads Gallery, which includes exhibits and interactive kiosks highlighting ...

  Bollinger County Museum of Natural History
The "Home of the Missouri Dinosaur." Our exhibits include a life-size model of the Hypsibema ...

  Missouri History Museum
Originally built as the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson, the Missouri History Museum looks ...

  The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
See the world's largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the nation's largest collections ...

  Bolduc House Museum
The Louis Bolduc House was built in the first town in Missouri, around 1792, by one of the wealthiest ...

  The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is a unique experience offering a free, ...

  Jesse James Birthplace
Jesse James, son of a Baptist minister, was born at the family home in Kearney, in 1847. Barely 16, ...

  Jesse James Home
Jesse James was murdered in this house on April 3, 1882, by fellow gang member Bob Ford. The home includes ...

  National World War I Museum and Memorial
This is the only American museum dedicated solely to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences ...

  The Jesse James Bank Museum
It was a cold and snowy February afternoon when a group of horsemen rode into Liberty. After a short ...