She Says… Museum Mania

Even if museums for kids are super duper fun, the whole “waiting in line”, “buying expensive tickets for an hour of fun” and “have to get home before naptime” things put such a damper on the experience for me that we haven’t really tried it much with Owen (aside from a little “exploration museum” a few towns away and going to Storyland in New Hampshire). I know, I know. I’m such a party pooper. But I know we will have plenty of time when he’s older (and can actually remember/fully experience) places like aquariums and children’s museums and theme parks, so I don’t feel pressure to go right now. Plus, the kid is equally, if not more, happy on a playground, which is free, close by our house and lets him get his energy out. That wins every time in my book.

However, Owen is so interactive and thirsty for new information these days that I figured he was at a perfect age to try it out. And, bonus, the Boston Children’s Museum is conveniently located between my house and my friend Mary Kate‘s. She has a daughter 2 months younger than Owen and we knew they’d have a blast.

If you’ve ever been to a Children’s museum (in any city, I’m going to guess), they probably have one of these gigantic, multi-story climbers. Benjamin, who grew up around Boston, said it was the only thing from the museum that he remembered from going as a kid.

It’s 3 stories tall and only has entrances/exits on the bottom level. At first I thought, “Genuis! Nobody gets lost!”.

That is, until my daredevil child climbed up past the 2nd floor, lost one shoe (which Benjamin eventually convinced him to drop through the wire wall so we could catch it, since he can’t put it back on himself and we couldn’t climb up to get it for him) and bonked his head so hard he cried. He wailed, “I NEED A HUUUUUUG” while I almost used my super-mommy strength to rip that stupid climber open and get him out. When I realized that wouldn’t work, I quickly became “that mom” who was shouting instructions at the top of my lungs to guide Owen down to the 1st floor. Oy.

Nothing like a little panic to start the day off right!

After we convinced him that there were fun things to do other than get stuck in a 40 foot climber, he had a ball running around and exploring the various rooms.

We even caught a live performance that involved singing and playing with shakers, drums and puppets. Despite the glazed look in Owen’s eyes due to a very active morning, he was in heaven.

We made it home only a little late for naptime and Owen has been buzzing ever since about the things he saw (most notably, the “big milk bottle” that is right outside the building).

Minus the climber fiasco, super fun for everyone.

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8 responses to “She Says… Museum Mania

  1. We’ve gone a few times- even have a membership- but are scared to let our 2 year old into the climber. He has selective listening, so I think it would be pretty difficult to get him to leave the climber.

    Old Sturbridge Village is another place where we have a membership. We probably go there about twice a month. Bennett LOVES seeing all of the animals. And it changes a bit with each visit due to the seasonal nature of the place. Although there will probably be fewer changes now that we’re getting into winter.

  2. We’ve been taking Simon to the Hall of Science here since he was 10 months old. He LOVES the preschool place with blocks and a store and kitchen. We try to go to one additional room each time we are there. And we’ve been using the reciprocal membership to hit up museums whenever we travel (Chicago, Albuquerque, others around NYC). It’s been a great way to let him explore. At only 16 months I know he doesn’t really “get it”. I’m looking forward to a year or so from now when he’s really verbal.

  3. We took Cameron to our local Discovery Centre one rainy Sunday about a month ago and he enjoyed himself too. The main attraction at that time was a robot exhibit which was really for the older kids, but he had lots of fun at the bubble section that looked just like the photos you have here. There was a Nitric Oxide demonstration so we went into an auditorium and I was shocked at how much he loved sitting and watching it. You always assume toddler activities are better on the move, but he did not take his eye off the scientist for a single minute – totally floored that he was able to make clouds in the room πŸ™‚

  4. Bah. You’re not “that mom”! And jeez I have a visceral reaction to your description of how it feels to be at the bottom when your kid hits his head and starts calling for you.

    At least it doesn’t sound like a lot of other parents were sitting around giving you stink-eye for letting your kid go on the climber. As I’m sure I’ve said before, Miss A is adventurous for her age (like your guy) and small for her age. Other adults are always passing judgement on me for letting her do stuff that I, as an adult who knows her and is responsible for her, know she can handle. Ten bucks for every time I’ve heard someone say out loud, “where is that girl’s parents; she shouldn’t be doing that” when she’s on a climbing structure of some kind and I’ve been within swooping distance would have bought me a number of nice date dinners (and maybe a dress!).

    I think you’re awesome. And that museum is definitely awesome.

  5. I remember climbing in that thing when I was little, too! Glad Owen got out OK.
    A couple of years ago, my (then) 3-year-old got stuck in a similar thing once and he blocked a tunnel that LOTS of other kids were trying to crawl through. Mine just sat there and cried, too scared to try to crawl out. Needless to say, we haven’t been back to try that again.

    Cute pics – I’m glad Owen has such a good time!

  6. Oops – the above comment was mine. I forgot to enter my name.

  7. Sorry, I had to laugh just a bit. I too, remember having a day like that all too well, a few short yrs. ago! It’s probably why we haven’t been back to THAT particular part of the Children’s Museum here in town. Believe me, it does get better! At times, and in certain situations, we would have to call in help of the other children that we’re around/near our child! And it worked, since we were too big Or couldn’t get to him in certain areas.
    I’m jealous of that 3 story, 40ft tall climber! Looks like he enjoyed his visit!

  8. @Chris, Ha! “Selective listening”. You got that right. I’ve never been to Sturbridge Village — great suggestion.

    @Kasey, Those reciprocal memberships are brilliant. So glad he likes exploring!

    @Angie, It’s so amazing what catches their attention. Maybe you have a little scientist on your hands!

    @Jamie, I hear you on feeling the judgment from other parents. I actually have no idea if others were giving me the stink-eye… I was too concerned with getting Owen down. And you’re right — so what if they were! He had an awesome time and was very proud of how high he got (despite my heart attack).

    @Julie, Oh man, I can totally picture that happening. Traumatic, to say the least!

    @Jo, I love the idea of recruiting other kids to help! I’ll have to remember that for next time. Because I’m SURE there will be next time πŸ™‚

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