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CNN: The 15 best places to keep your kids happy

April 07, 2014|By Jay Jones

if you're looking for places that will delight children, consider San Francisco's Exploratorium, Legoland California and the Twirl Toy Store and Play Space in Taos, N.M., Those are among the 15 attractions that CNN says will keep kids—and their parents— happy.

CNN created its "15 Best Spots for Kids" list from the Travelers’ Favorites list compiled by travel site Gogobot.

No. 1 on the list: San Francisco’s Exploratorium. You'll see nearly as many adults as you will kids in this "learning lab" that's now at Pier 15. Its exhibits deal with sound, color, biology—really the gamut of life, including the quirky toothpick sculpture above by Scott Weaver, a 37-years-in-the-making creation that consists of more than 105,000 toothpicks. 

Legoland California in Carlsbad ranks eighth. Legos are so popular that they inspired "The Lego Movie," released in February. A sequel has already been announced.

Besides four museums, the list also features some offbeat attractions, including:

The Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin, Texas (No. 5). The bridge is home to the nation’s largest urban bat colony, and during the summer millions of the flying mammals put on a nightly show.

Sea Turtle Inc., South Padre Island, Texas (No. 6). People of all ages learn about the center’s efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and ultimately release injured sea turtles.

Twirl Toy Store and Play Space, Taos, N.M. (No. 14), in a historic adobe building. The toy store has four rooms full of toys and games. Two specially designed courtyards out back provide a variety of safe, recreational activities.

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