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.
NOTE: We will be updating this information regularly, as we make updates to exhibitions. Please feel free to call the museum at 480-644-2468 if you have additional questions.
Before you arrive/FYIs
We recommend purchasing/reserving your tickets online prior to coming to the museum, as we are operating at limited capacity Thursday through Sunday. Additionally, guests enter during select times – 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. Read about timed ticket reservations.
You’ll also need to bring socks if you plan to visit ArtVille, our imaginative play space aimed at little ones ages 0-4.
The museum features automated doors and is wheel-chair accessible.
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.
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.
Be sure you have your mask. We require our guests ages 6 and older to cover nose and mouth. We strongly encourage little ones older than 2 years old to wear masks, too. Check out our reopening FAQs for general questions.
Before you reach the front entrance, you’ll see a variety of musical instruments.
Guests often explore the sounds the instruments make. Some will try making music before starting their indoor adventure. The sounds can be loud at times.
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.
We’re currently limiting capacity at the museum and have implemented timed tickets for entries at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Some families line up prior to their timed entry. We ask you to please follow the social distancing markers.
If your child has difficulty waiting quietly in line, you may want to bring a fidget spinner, music headphones, or a manipulative toy. You may also return to the musical instruments outside until the line shortens.
Due to our limited capacity at this time, the museum tends to be on the quieter side – particularly in the afternoon. But sometimes there are many enthusiastic museum visitors, especially visiting our imaginative play space – ArtVille (learn more below), which can make the museum a little loud.
During normal business operations, the front entry space can be crowded with school groups coming for a visit during the morning. Group tours are currently on a pause. If interested in virtual school tours, please check out the City of Mesa Arts & Culture Department’s Learning ReimaginED virtual programs.
Inside our lobby
Once inside, it may take a few minutes to check in during busy times. Here you’ll be asked to make sure to mask up. A touchless temperature reading is also taken. Learn more about our admission policy.
Our staff works to quickly move the line. Please take note of the social-distancing markers and one-way routing through the museum.
Since everyone shares this space, be sure use your indoor voice, be kind and stay close to your family.
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.
Note: When you approach the desk with plexiglass partition, you’ll be asked about your museum plans. If you are heading to ArtVille (a socks-only space aimed at families with children ages 4 and younger), you will be directed to your right.
If you head to the HUB Gallery or Whiteman Family Exhibition Gallery for our current exhibit (Art of the Story), you will go straight ahead to pick up a basket with art supplies to do activities in those spaces. In this area, you might also notice a few TV screens. When they are on, they will rotate colorful images with information about the museum.
This space is popular with many families, especially those with children 4 and under. There are several play spaces that promote imagination and early learning, including a library, café, farm, RV, color trail, and more!
There’s also a space designated for babies and crawlers called Tot Square.
Please be aware that only one family/group may occupy each of our themed “rooms” within ArtVille at this time to promote social distancing. Additionally, families will find individual baskets of clean toys/materials in the ArtVille Café and Wee Design rooms. We ask families to place those materials in the red “yuck buckets” for cleaning after playing and moving to the next activity.
Bathrooms, as well as an infant care room, are located adjacent to this space. Hand sanitizer and wipes are located throughout the space.
Note: The Art Studio – featuring art activities – is currently closed. Story time also is on a pause. We’ll keep you posted when these return.
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.
Individuals who need to use the bathroom will find booties next to the gate leading into bathroom space. Please wear these and then remove/dispose of them after returning to ArtVille.
After you leave ArtVille, you may pick up a basket of art materials for your family to enjoy more creative activities in the HUB Gallery and Whiteman Family Exhibition Gallery (featuring a fun rotating exhibition). Learn about the current exhibit here.
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.
ArtVille Sensory FYIs
This space features bright colors and designs. The Wee Design space features colorful lights on the 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.
Some activities are electronic – such as Urban Art, Tech Table, iArt, Genetic Poetry and Animation Station. These may include some bright, colorful screens and sounds.
But some – like Oodles of Doodles, Magnetic Wall and Upcycle Challenge – let you create with quiet imagination.
Please be aware that only one family/group may occupy each table or space within the HUB Gallery at this time to promote social distancing. Additionally, families will find individual baskets of clean materials by the Magnetic Wall and Animation Station sections. We ask families to place those materials in the red “yuck buckets” for cleaning after playing and moving to the next activity.
Hand sanitizer and wipes are located throughout the space.
Black Light Room – currently on a pause
We’ll keep you posted when this space – meant for imaginative play – reopens. The room currently is painted to look like a rain forest. It features sounds and is darker inside than the rest of the museum; and, if you wear white, your clothes glow.
Whiteman Family Exhibition Gallery
This space changes art and activities 2 or 3 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 storytelling during the museum’s Art of the Story exhibition.
Families visiting can pick up individually packaged materials for activities related to the art on display. Kids tend to like the stamps used on the exhibition guide. Note: Hand sanitizer and wipes are located throughout this space.
This outdoor space features a rock painting activity and chalk art. More activities are planned, so check back for details.
This space also acts as the museum exit, where families return the art supply baskets before leaving.
During cooler months, additional outdoor activities are presented based on the exhibition inside.
Hand sanitizer and wipes are found in the center of this space.
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.
School groups – currently on a pause
Please learn about our virtual options on our Groups page.
During normal operations, we offer a number of school field trip options at the museum for preschoolers and elementary students. We’ll keep you posted when these return.
Note: If accommodations are needed for your student(s), please make those requests when booking your group visit.
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.