The Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, and Technology (95 Lee Blvd., Richland, 509/943-900, www.crehst.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun., $3.50 adults, $2.75 seniors, $2.50 children) best illustrates the Tri-Cities ’ split personality with agricultural and natural displays on one side, and nuclear exhibits on the other. Try out a “hot cell” manipulator arm or check out the scale models of the reactors, samples of radioactive waste containment tanks, and a Geiger counter to check your radiation level.
Just a few steps from CREHST, Three Rivers Children’s Museum (650 George Washington Way, 509/946-5437, www.childrensmuseumtr.org , 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–5 p.m. Sun., $2.50) offers fun, hands-on exhibits that are a bit more accessible to the kiddies.
Kennewick’s  East Benton County Historical Museum (205 Keewaydin Dr., 509/582-7704, http://ebchs.org , noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $2 adults, $0.50 seniors and kids) and Pasco’s  Franklin County Museum (305 N. 4th Ave., 509/547-3714, noon–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., donation requested) display a hodgepodge of pioneer relics, old Indian artifacts, and agricultural objects.
The Washington State Railroads Historical Society Museum (122 N. Tacoma Ave., 509/543-4159, www.wsrhs.org , 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat., donation requested) sits across from the dilapidated old Pasco train station as a testament to its better days, with its railroad memorabilia inside and display of antique locomotives and railcars outside.