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’re open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday. Read about online ticket reservations.
We recommend purchasing/reserving your tickets online prior to coming to the museum, as we gradually increase capacity. You also may buy tickets at the door. Note: During school breaks and summer months, the museum attracts a larger number of visitors and may reach capacity at times. Guests without a reservation may be asked to return at a later time.
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.
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.
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.
Musical instruments/Big Pink Chair
Before you reach the front entrance, you’ll see a variety of musical instruments and an oversized pink chair.
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, and children may be excited running to try each one out.
The Big Pink Chair is a favorite spot for family pictures. Use caution when climbing on it. It can be hot on bare skin, particularly during summer months.
We currently use an online advanced ticket reservation system, as we slowly increase museum capacity. Advanced admission ticket holders and museum members can move past the purchase line to check in. Some lines can form in the lobby when we are busy.
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.
The museum tends to be on the quieter side 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.
The front entry space can be crowded with school groups coming for a visit during the morning. At this time, most school groups tend to be smaller in size..
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. 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.
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 (Robo Art , you will go straight and then take a left. 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! The Performing Arts Center – a room where you can sing, dance and act – features music, instruments and costumes.
There’s also a space designated for babies and crawlers called Tot Square.
The space includes a large hand sanitizing station with disinfecting wipes for your convenience, and red “yuck buckets” where you may place toys that need to be cleaned.
Bathrooms, as well as an infant care room, are located on the east side of this space.
Note: The Art Studio – featuring art activities – is currently closed. Story time is taking place only on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in the Whiteman Family Exhibition Gallery, in the Robo Art book nook. We’ll keep you posted when these return to ArtVille.
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.
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 lighted tables for building. .
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. Learn more about all our activities in this space on our HUB page.
But some – like Oodles of Doodles, Magnetic Wall and Upcycle Challenge – let you create with quiet imagination. But the space may be bustling with energetic children who can’t wait to create.
A floor game – in the center of the gallery – is surrounded by activity. Costumes provided. Additionally, there are puppets for the Puppet Theater.
We ask families to place materials that require cleaning in the red “yuck buckets” located around this space.
Hand sanitizer and wipes are located throughout the space.
Sensory FYI: The Zen Den offers a space where families can take a break from the noise and relax when needed.
Black Light Room – recently reopened
This room is painted in a way that makes it glow and is aimed at nurturing imaginative play.
You enter the enclosed space through a door with a heavy black curtain. The room is currently 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. Costumes provided.
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 world of robotics in the museum’s Robo Art exhibition.
Families visiting will find art supplies and instructions at various tables in the gallery space. These activities are 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.
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.
Groups may be seen wandering through the museum during your visit, as we offer a number of school field trip options at the museum for preschoolers and elementary students.
During these visits – typically in the morning – the museum may be a little louder than normal.
Please learn about our in-person and virtual options on our Groups page. 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.