More than a Museum

by Heligirl on January 17, 2010

in Daily Ramblings,Parenting Tidbits

Here’s a “well, duhhhh” for you. When you have kids, it’s like a whole new world is opened to you. I always planned to go to the zoo and aquarium more when I had kids to share them with. Yet, there are so many more things out there that I was somewhat aware of, but never really noticed until these small creatures popped out of me. It’s kind of like those locked games on the Wii game console that you can’t access until you have enough points. One of those things is the Children’s Museum. I always saw this place when I was at Seattle Center, but never really gave it much thought. I just had no interest whatsoever. Then I had kids.

The Children's Museum

Cuteness "in" Goldilocks.

This year I suddenly became aware of this establishment and all I can say is WOW! I wish I’d had a place like this to hang out and play when I was a kid. There’s a whole section for little ones, Discovery Bay for Birth to 3, so they can feel a little safer to explore things like a water sensory table, a small slide, lots of mirrors and manipulatives, and even a soft climbing area. There are even little nooks in there to nurse in somewhat private. This whole area is contained behind a short door so you can feel safe letting your little one tear around and wreck havoc without fearing he or she will make a run for it.

The rest of the museum of one great big preschool on steroids with all sorts of exploration opportunities from dressing up as a fireman (or woman) to a fully stocked grocery store where kids can put very realistic food into shopping cards and check out (chips in the food cause the food to ring up!), an art room where they can make art projects, and on and on and on. I could write a book about the cool things here. All I can say is it takes a fleet of employees to keep all the stuff where it belongs since there are so many things in each and every exhibit and kids are inherent cleptos.

The first time we went, Sweetness was totally overwhelmed and found the library, filled with books, comfy pillows and chairs, and a beautiful fairy tale mural, to be more her liking. I’m sure I read half the books there to her. The next time she was totally into grocery shopping and has since fallen in love with the car in the international area. Point is, you can take them again, again, and again and they’ll always find something new and interesting.

And there is a rotating exhibit. Right now it’s Sesame Street’s The Body exhibit. Stupid me, I forgot my camera when we went last, but Sweetness found it very cool and she loved stepping into Elmo’s World. And if you’re in the throws of teaching the fine art of potty training, there’s a reather interesting hands-on piece about how food becomes poo. Compelte with sound effects. I’ll leave the rest to you to imagine and see for yourself. This exhibit is traveling so you can check here if it’s coming to a museum near you.

For $75 a year, our whole family gets in, we can list our nanny as an additional adult that can come, and we can bring up to four people free with us. This place was a life saver when the temperature hit 105 this summer and has since been a great rainy-day escape. Never underestimate the word “museum.” Sometimes they can really be hands on.

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