Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

220 East Ann Street

Mission Statement:

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is to inspire people to discover the wonder of science, math and technology.

Vision Statement:

Our Vision is to be the leader in imaginative and interactive learning experiences.

Our History:

In 1978, with approval from the city of Ann Arbor a group of devoted volunteers began converting the old brick firehouse into an interactive, hands-on museum for children of all ages. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum opened in 1982 with 25 exhibits on two floors, one staff person and ten volunteers.

During the Museum’s first year of operation, it welcomed 25,000 guests. The visitors’ interest and enthusiasm propelled the Museum to accelerate expansion plans. Four years later the museum opened the third and fourth floors of the firehouse with the help of a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant. In 1993, the Museum purchased several adjoining buildings and began a $6.5 million Capital Campaign to fund building and program expansions. Five separate grants, received over several years, from the National Science Foundation totaling 1.7 million, funded the creation of new exhibits and the expanded facility. Through many generous gifts the Museum completed its renovations and introduced its latest facility in October 1999.

The Museum was founded by a group of dedicated volunteers and continues to thrive because of their endless energy and support. Over 100 volunteers donate their time directing visitors, answering questions, building and restoring exhibits, and conducting intriguing experiments on the Museum floor for our guests.


Alfred Brock

Friday, Sep. 8, 2017

Great for adult research and child and young adults. There even things for toddlers to do. The staff is engaged and active in the experience if you want them. Notions and knickknacks are reasonably priced and are useful learning tools. Parking is tight on the street but just a couple of blocks away is a large municipal lot with reasonable rates. Have fun!

David Warnke

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

It's really fun and educational. Young kids get way too excited to actually learn much, but it is still fun. They can touch everything.

Elizabeth Kanous

Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017

Awesome place to take kids of all ages. Everyone can learn something here. It isn't the museum's fault, but when we were there, there were a bunch of school groups that were being totally crazy. They were running over the little kids and none of the camp counselors cared to exercise control over their groups. My daughter still very much enjoyed herself and the water room is always her favorite.

David Ringle

Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017

Great place to have fun and learn about many things. Reasonable price. My girl's (4 and 2) had a blast! Not going to lie, I did too!

Jen of doom

Friday, June 23, 2017

My 3 year old loves going here. He enjoys the preschooler room with the engineers on a roll exhibit. He is also a big fan of the H2 oh! exhibit. We can easily spend 3-5 hours here. The family pass is very affordable and we have gotten more than our money's worth.