San Diego, California: Horizontal view of a mother and her two children going to the Natural History Museum entrance, Balboa Park

Conchi Martínez/Getty

San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego

The 'Nat' houses 7.5 million specimens, including rocks, minerals, fossils and taxidermied animals, as well as an impressive dinosaur skeleton and an eye-opening exhibit on how climate change affects California's water supply, all in beautiful spaces. Kids love the 2-D and 3-D movies about the natural world in the giant-screen cinema and the fun and educational programs held most weekends.

Special exhibits (some with an extra charge) mix things up several times a year. The museum also arranges field trips and nature walks in Balboa Park and further afield.

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