Something to Celebrate!
The Olympian Best of South Sound
- Best Family Entertainment & Best Museum in Thurston County, 2017, 2018, 2019.
- Best Museum in Thurston County, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, 2019.
- Best Kid-Friendly Entertainment in Thurston County, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- In 2020, Hands on received 1st place for Best Family Fun Destination. Hands On was a top 5 finalist 2018, 2019 for Best Family Fun Destination.
- Traveler’s Choice Award 2020
- TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019 based on its reviews on the travel site.
- FlipKey by TripAdvisor announced in February 2016 that based on industry research and traveler feedback, Hands On was the no. 1 most loved and most talked about attraction in Washington State. The museum was honored as a Top Family Attraction Worth Traveling For in Washington for 2016.
- Best Staycation, Best of Olympia 2020
- Best Museum, Best of Olympia 2017
- Best Children’s Museum in WA, in Best Children’s Museums in Every State 2018.
King 5 & Evening Magazine
- In 2018, Hands On was a top 5 finalist for Best Family-Friendly Experience.
- In 2017, Hands On received 1st place for Best Kid-Friendly Fun! Also nominated for Best Museum & Best Event – Summer Splash.
- In 2016, Hands On was in the top five for Best Kid-Friendly Fun and Best Outdoor Play Space.
South Sound Magazine
- South Sound Magazine named Hands On the Best Kids Birthday Place in 2014 & 2017.
- The magazine honored the museum with four regional awards in 2015: Best Northwest Travel Destination, Best Kid-Friendly Destination, Best Museum and Best Kids Birthday Place.
Institute of Museum & Library Services
- In September 2015, the museum earned a significant Museums for America federal grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services to support its innovative Young Makers program for two years.
- The museum earned LEED GOLD for its sustainable building in late 2014 and it was the first children’s museum in the Western United States to do so.
- The museum won the Noyce Foundation’s Bright Lights Community Engagement Award in June 2014 for its efforts to bring art and science education to under-served and at-risk populations in its community.