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KIWI magazine

green museums

Spending a day at the museum has never been more fun—or eco-friendly! An increasing number of children’s museums are not only featuring innovative exhibits for families, but also focusing on their own impact on the environment. These six LEED-certified museums around the country provide tons of opportunities for hands-on fun for the whole family:

green children's museumsBoston Children’s Museum
(Boston, MA)

Collecting and reusing rainwater for irrigation and installing dual flush toilets are just two of the eco-accomplishments that earned the Boston Children’s Museum a LEED-gold certification. Kids can get their own green certification with the “Our Green Trail” exhibit, which features different stations that offer tips on how to be more eco-friendly. For more information:

green children's museumsChildren’s Discovery Museum
(Normal, IL)

Solar panels and the use of upcycled materials helped this museum earn a LEED-silver certification. We especially love the “You’ve Got the Power Energy Challenge,” which invites kids to find a way to create enough power to illuminate community landmark buildings. The challenge? Creating sufficient energy without causing too much pollution to the environment. For more information:

green children's museumsThe Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
(Pittsburgh, PA)

In addition to using salvaged materials and composting in the community cafe, this LEED-silver certified museum practices water conservation, waste management, and recycling. “Waterplay,” a newly renovated favorite at the museum, is an exhibit where children can learn more about this precious resource. Kids can play architect while building a dam or fountain or get in touch with their creative side at the water painting station. For more information:

green children's museumsChildren’s Museum of South Dakota
(Brookings, SD)

Designed to reflect a middle American Main Street, the four-acre LEED-silver-certified museum lets children change tires at the “Under the Hood” mechanic shop and enjoy the view from the top of the “Climb a Cloud” exhibit. For more information:


green children's museumsHands On Children’s Museum
(Olympia, WA)

This LEED-gold-certified museum is focused on teaching about wildlife and plant species native to Washington state. The “Fabulous Forest” exhibit, for example, features indigenous flora and fauna, a woodland animal rescue center, a tree house, and a campsite that kids can explore. For more information:


green children's museumsMadison Children’s Museum
(Madison, WI)

Helping kids learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle is one of this LEED-gold certified museum’s biggest goals. The facility’s green initiatives include reducing the use of artificial light and using composting to fertilize the rooftop garden, which produces more than 300 varieties of vegetables and herbs. For more information:

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