Museums offer much to see, do and sometimes touch!
The i.d.e.a. Museum provides many art and hands-on learning experiences for children of all ages.
Before you arrive/FYIs
Did you know you can pack a lunch to eat at the museum in our Snackery or Atrium?
You’ll also need to bring socks if you plan to visit ArtVille, our imaginative play space aimed at little ones ages 0-4.
Sensory tips: You may bring your own fidget spinners, noise-canceling headphones or other items to help you have a more pleasant experience.
A few sensory backpacks are available for check out at our Visitor Services desk. Sensory guide signs are located throughout the museum. Additional sensory guide information is found online.
Arriving at the museum
We are located in Downtown Mesa at 150 W. Pepper Place. We’re one block north of the Valley Metro light rail line on Main Street. Our entrance is on Pepper Place.
Parking can be found adjacent to the museum, as well as across the street.
When you get out of the car, be sure to stay close to your family. Other cars will be coming and going in the parking lot.
Before you reach the front entrance, you’ll see a variety of musical instruments.
Guests often explore the sounds they make. Some will make music before starting their indoor adventure.
Note: Our museum is wheelchair accessible, and several parking spots are designated for our physically challenged guests. Additionally, accommodations are available upon request, and guests may request lap desks to checkout.
Sometimes in the morning, this space can be crowded with school groups coming for a visit.
You may call our front desk to find out if school groups will be at the museum on a specific day.
At times, it’s quiet inside the museum. But sometimes there are many enthusiastic museum visitors. Occasionally, you also may see a line to get into the museum.
Inside our lobby
Once inside, it may take a few minutes to check in during busy times.
Our staff works to quickly move the line.
Since everyone shares this space, be sure use your indoor voice, be kind and stay close to your family.
While here, you might also notice a few TV screens with information about museum events. The screens rotate to display a variety of upcoming activities.
We also have a donation box shaped like our i.d.e.a. mascot. Kids are often attracted to it. Donations placed in the box go toward educational programming.
This space is popular with many families, especially those with children 4 and under. There are several play spaces including a vet clinic, library, café, soft building blocks, and more!
There’s also a space designated for babies and crawlers called Tot Square.
We sometimes reach capacity. If we do, you will be given a ticket to come back in a few minutes.
Before entering ArtVille, everyone needs to take off their shoes and wear socks (unless our guest wears a medical device). We do this to keep the space clean and avoid ouchies from shoes.
A convenient shoe storage area is right outside the ArtVille entrance. You can park your stroller here, too!
Older children may enter with their younger siblings as helpers. Caregivers are expected to supervise children under their watch at all times.
Note: Children may be asked to relocate to another area of the museum if they are playing rough or become disruptive to the safe play of others.
Art’s Studio and story time
Inside ArtVille, families can enjoy a variety of art activities that change daily.
At 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday, we read a special story to our ArtVille guests.
Check out our calendar for more information.
ArtVille Sensory FYIs
This space features bright colors and designs. The Wee Design space features colorful lights on some tables and on the pixel wall.
ArtVille can potentially be loud, especially during busier times, as children explore and play.
The library and infant care room, both within the ArtVille space, are areas where families can take a break from the noise and relax when needed.
The infant care room is a private room that also provides a changing table.
This space offers a variety of interactives aimed at nurturing creativity and problem solving.
Create artwork, build, design and explore with your family.
Sometimes this space can be busy with school groups, after they finish their museum tour.
Some activities are electronic, and feature bright lights and sounds.
But some – like Oodles of Doodles and Design Our World – let you create with quiet imagination. Additionally, we offer a new space called the Zen Den, featuring calming sounds.
Here, families can relax and listen to some calming music that interacts with you.
HUB Sensory FYIs
Families can take a break from our museum lights and sounds in the Zen Den, which is inside a large white dome. It’s our designated “quiet space” in the HUB.
Enjoy sitting comfortably and relaxing while listening to soft, melodic sounds. It’s great for anyone practicing mindfulness.
Black Light Room
This space is meant for imaginative play. It’s darker inside than the rest of the museum, and if you wear white, your clothes glow.
Currently, you can experience the look and sounds of the rain forest.
This space often is filled with special activities, such as our Messy Creations class, featuring a variety of art materials and textures.
We post information about these classes online. Registration is required.
Whiteman Family Exhibition Gallery
This space changes art and activities three times a year.
It features artworks from artists living across the United States, and sometimes they are from places around the world.
Currently, visitors can experience the wonder and artistry of weather during the museum’s Weather or Not: Art with Atmosphere exhibition.
This space is dedicated for taking a break and having a snack, since food and drinks aren’t allowed in the gallery spaces.
We have vending machines with snacks and beverages. Or bring your own treat!
This outdoor space is open during the day, unless otherwise noted on the exit door.
During cooler months, the museum staff has fun outdoor activities planned based on the exhibition inside.
Families can eat their lunch or snack outside, too.
You can find bathrooms with changing tables on each end of the museum.
Most bathroom features are manual, but we do have a few automatic faucets and towel dispensers that may startle some visitors.
In ArtVille, the infant care room is a private space where caregivers can diaper change, wash hands, or sit and feed their infant.
We offer a number of school field trip options – for preschoolers and elementary students. It gets busy – and loud – at the museum during these times. We encourage families to call before visiting if noise or crowds are a concern.
Generally these visits are in the morning. The museum quiets down quite a bit after student groups head back to school.
Note: If accommodations are needed for your student(s), please make those requests when booking your group visit.
The museum shop has a variety of toys, books and gifts related to our exhibitions on sale. The shop also sells socks if you forget yours and want to explore ArtVille.
Before you go…
One of the best things about the i.d.e.a. Museum is you can take home all the artworks you create during your visit.
Or you can choose to leave your masterpiece behind to inspire others.