Information on:

Ann Arbor - 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.


Garrett Cheney

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Lots of fun for kids. We love this place. It's a great place for kids to explore and play. As an engineer I especially love the ball run in the preschool area. Some tips though: 1. The worse the weather the bigger the crowds. If its rainy or snowy it tends to get crowded quickly. 2. Go during nap time. It tends to calm down during the 12:00-1:00 hour, giving your little one the most freedom to play. 3. Keep an eye on your kid. This is a happening place, with lots of kids running around and lots of fun play to be had. It's not a place to drop your kid off and hop on your phone for an hour. I'm there with my family to have fun, not watch your child terrorize other kids. 4. You can bring in outside food if you eat it in the back cafeteria area. They don't really advertise this, but its a good way to grab a quick snack. 5. Parking can be challenging. Be prepared for a bit of a walk by parking at either the Ann street deck ($3) or one of the surface lots. Just be prepared to walk 1 or two blocks. They have lots of fun programs and activities throughout the day that are good for older (3-6) kids. Overall its a fun place to play and explore. We'll definitely be going back many times in the future.

Lindsay Weaver

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
We have 4 kids, ages 1 to 12, and everyone finds something interesting here. Great exhibits, occasionally special events & children's entertainment. There is sometimes metered on-street parking nearby, but we usually park in the Ann-Ashley structure for 1.30/hr. A membership is a great deal at around$70/year. Bring food for the snack room and plan to stay most of the day!


Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
This might be the best place for kids ever. There are fun activities and exhibits for all ages. They have so much fun and learn at the same time. I take my daughter there once a week and wish it could be more. There are always new things to do and see. Pack a lunch. They have a small area that you can eat in, but the vending machines can't provide a decent lunch.

Asma Zahoor

Saturday, March 17, 2018
Perfect place to hangout with kids. Finding parking was difficult but worth it. Not over expensive. Peaceful place with plenty of room anf fun filled activities. Easy to learn and quick to follow.

Aditi Kumar

Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018
I highly recommend this place for any kid in the range 3 months to 12 years. If you are into science and want your kids to learn "by experience" then this is a must place for your kids. The museum has a fantastic affordable yearly membership that includes parents, kid & grand parents. We took my 2.5 yr old toddler and she played for 2 hours and loved it. very educative and learn by play method that is adopted all through.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media