Museums

Hands On Children's Museum Olympia

Where is it at?

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Hands On Children's Museum
106 11th Ave SW
Olympia
WA
98501
Tel: 360 956 0818

Directions

From Southbound I-5: Take Exit 105-A. Follow 14th Ave. through tunnel to Capitol Way. Turn right onto Capitol. At the next light, turn left onto 11th Ave. From Northbound I-5: Take Exit 105. Stay left, following signs to State Capitol. Follow 14th Ave. through tunnel to Capitol. Turn right on Capitol. At the next light, turn left onto 11th Ave.

Where are we going today?

The Hands On Children's Museum stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children, families and school groups. At Hands On, we believe that all children deserve respect and the opportunity to learn and that families are important as children's first teachers and as their partners in learning. Our programs and participatory exhibits are designed specifically to encourage interaction and inquiry, as well as participation from the entire family. We believe that learning occurs in a variety of ways, and that experiential learning is essential for proper brain development. At Hands On, we know that communities are enriched when diverse groups work creatively together to educate our children. We actively partner with social service agencies, public schools, service clubs, public libraries, and other community organizations to bring interactive education to the community.

Email attraction

How much does it cost?

  • Adults$9.95
  • Children$6.95
  • Free Under: 11 months
LAST UPDATED 2013

When can we go?

Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday and Monday 12 noon to 5pm.

Teachers corner

Field Trips: Hands On exhibits and workshops are designed to support the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EARLs) and the Full Option Science System (FOSS). For a complete list, call Hands On at (360) 956-0818 or download our Field Trip Guide. .

I'm Hungry!

Drinks and snacks available in our gift shop. Visitors are also welcome to bring in their own food and enjoy it in designated snack areas..

Baby Facilities

The Tot Spot is an exhibit for 4 and under..

Can I get one of those?

!Check out our gift shop.

What people are saying?

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    The Hands On Children's Museum is an awesome place for kids, engaging and interactive exhibits but the staff seems to be completely oblivious or perhaps they're simply not adequately staffed whenever we have visited. I don't feel as if my 18 month old daughter is safe even under my constant supervision and we stay only in the baby/toddler area. For example, today some blonde girl around 4-5 came running into the baby/toddler area with scissors, two pairs, which she proceeded to bring down the tree fort slide, completely unaccompanied by a parent...Read More

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    wonderful experience for children great place for the wet months

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    JUST EXCELLENT BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPEN FOR THE KIDS VERY GOOD TIME FOR YOUNG KIDS & OLDER KIDS AT HEART THE CHILDREN WILL JUST LOVE IT

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    So fun for the kids - and free on the first Friday of every month? Nice!

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    My wife and I took our 3 year old grand-son and had a WONDERFUL time! There is more than enough to keep kids busy and interested. I appreciate how they have included activities for such a nice range of children ages; I should think 8 to 2 yrs and it's all very interactive. The facilities were very clean if not a bit cramped. I expect that some of the parking issues (not enough) will be addressed after some of the construction is completed. The museum is well staffed by some very efficent people. Though it is a bit of a drive for us up in Pierce...Read More

Submit a review

by Katrina Thiessen

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The Hands On Children's Museum is an awesome place for kids, engaging and interactive exhibits but the staff seems to be completely oblivious or perhaps they're simply not adequately staffed whenever we have visited. I don't feel as if my 18 month old daughter is safe even under my constant supervision and we stay only in the baby/toddler area. For example, today some blonde girl around 4-5 came running into the baby/toddler area with scissors, two pairs, which she proceeded to bring down the tree fort slide, completely unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. She tore around the area for about 10 minutes with her scissors then discarded them on the train table. We stayed a few more minutes after this and then left, taking the scissors with us and dropping them with a staff member in the Art Studio. Not once did a staff member come in the area to do a check the entire hour we were there.

Overall I'm incredibly disappointed by the lack of staff supervision over children in the exhibits, children run wild, uncontrolled by their parents or staff, putting other children at risk. I know it is a place for children to play but that free play should have certain limits and boundaries that don't infringe upon the safety and well being of other visitors. A few months ago we visited and teenagers were running in and out of the toddler/baby area throwing balls and almost knocking over small children. On that particular visit the gates in the toddler/baby area were left open constantly, I must've closed them half a dozen times in less than a hour. Rules are clearly stated, for instance, shut the gates, take shoes off, this area is for x age group, etc, but I don't see the point of posting rules if staff at the Museum doesn't make any effort to enforce them. We will gave the Museum another chance since I already bought a membership but I don't think we will be renewing next year. It's always over crowded and the undisciplined older children being rowdy in the toddler/baby area really irritate me.

by Jim Plantenberg

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My wife and I took our 3 year old grand-son and had a WONDERFUL time! There is more than enough to keep kids busy and interested. I appreciate how they have included activities for such a nice range of children ages; I should think 8 to 2 yrs and it's all very interactive. The facilities were very clean if not a bit cramped. I expect that some of the parking issues (not enough) will be addressed after some of the construction is completed. The museum is well staffed by some very efficent people. Though it is a bit of a drive for us up in Pierce county, we will be back again, often.

The Weather

Tuesday

Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 68° F / 20° C
Humidity: 63 %
Wind: NE - 9 MPH

Wednesday

Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 71° F / 22° C
Humidity: 64 %
Wind: NE - 6 MPH

Thursday

Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 69° F / 21° C
Humidity: 64 %
Wind: SW - 5 MPH

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