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The Top 25 kid-friendly museums in the U.S. includes two in California

The Top 25 kid-friendly museums in the U.S. includes two in California
The California Science Center in Exposition Park received kudos from the Early Childhood Education Zone for its emphasis on interactive educational displays. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the California Science Center in Los Angeles ranked first and second in a list of the top 25 museums for children in the United States.

The Early Childhood Education Zone's picks are perfect for anyone planning a vacation with kids, particularly if you want your next outing to have more science and discovery and less thrill rides.

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In the West, children's museums in cities such as Denver and Lafayette in Colorado, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and Ogden, Utah, received high marks.

Museums were ranked on criteria most parents would want to know: food options (and whether families can bring their own snacks and drinks), price, age-appropriate activities (like whether there are programs for toddlers and preschoolers, for example) and how many hands-on activities the museum offers.

Here are the top 25 museums that made the cut:

2. California Science Center in Exposition Park, Los Angeles

5. Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa, Fla.

7. Kohl Children's Museum in Chicago

9. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania

11. Children's Museum of Denver in Colorado

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12. WOW Children's Museum in Lafayette, Colo.

13. Boston Children's Museum in Massachusetts

14. Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta

15. Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul

16. Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas

17. The Treehouse Museum in Ogden, Utah

18. EdVenture in Columbia, S.C.

19. Discovery Place in Charlotte, N.C.

20. Madison Children's Museum in Wisconsin

21. The Strong in Rochester, N.Y.

22. Exploratorium in San Francisco

24. Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia

25. Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Check out the Early Childhood Education Zone's entire list. The company evaluates content and education degree programs for parents and educators.

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