Planning a trip to a children’s museum? Melissa is here with her review of 3 children’s museum she brought her very lucky daughter.
Through a series of fortunate events, my daughter and I ended up visiting three different children’s museums over the recent winter break. Each offered something new for her to explore and had plenty of activities for an almost 2 year old. Here’s our roundup:
We spent Christmas and the week after with my parents on Long Island and my mother suggested the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) in Bridgehampton as a rainy day activity. The museum features a large playroom with padded floors and different equipment (including slides), a dress up room, and then a large room with the main exhibits where kids run between a pirate ship, a fire truck, a Lego station, a play store, and a play farm market, among other things. After pulling Sofi away from the slides, she spent the morning dressed up as a mermaid sorting play fruits and vegetables into grocery baskets. Here’s what I liked:
- Organized and clean. Despite kids running around in myriad costumes, we found everything just where it was supposed to be. Even the puzzles had all their pieces and were neatly stacked!
- Dancing ball pit. One exhibit allowed kids to place whiffle balls into a stream of air, causing the balls to dance in air. I had as much fun as Sofi did.
- Pet bunny by the ticket counter. How do you entertain a toddler while buying tickets and stowing winter coats? By giving them a pet bunny to look at right when you walk in the door. Genius!
The next day we trekked into Manhattan to meet my cousin and her family at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM). And it was crowded! As in, we waited outside in the cold for 20 minutes just to get in, crowded. Yikes. But it was enjoyable regardless. The first thing Sofi did was hit the slides.
The CMOM was much bigger than the CMEE and while we covered several floors, I don’t think we saw nearly all it had to offer. Also, Sofi became overwhelmed after a while.
Luckily, we were there with my cousin who knew the museum and could direct us to the quieter rooms. Her husband also got the inside scoop on story time, which included a craft station. Nice! Here’s what I liked:
- Slides everywhere. Seriously, we found at least three.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas exhibit. So cute. This was where they held story time and Sofi got to color and decorate her own little Who. She also loved running around with her cousins looking at all the drawings.
- Play date with the cousins. In the middle of winter there aren’t many options for toddlers to run wild together. The museum provided the perfect space, even if there were a lot of other people doing the same thing.
The next day we flew home to DC and had a much needed rest. But I was excited that the National Children’s Museum (NCM) had just opened at the National Harbor so I arranged a play date with my friend and her son for the next day.
The museum focuses on world cultures and understanding our world, but honestly, this was a little beyond Sofi and we ended up spending most of our time in the Sesame Workshop playroom, which was a total hit. Here’s what I liked:
- Well stocked: even though it was crowded each exhibit had plenty of supplies and toys. No need to enforce sharing!
- Free show: about 15 minutes after we arrived they announced a play in the theater where the audience participated by making animal sounds. It was low tech, but fun, and included in the price of admission!
- Surprise guest: As Sofi was running around, a life size Grover came into the museum and greeted all the kids with high fives and hugs. Sofi was totally star struck. It was priceless.
All-in-all we had a great week and learned a ton. I highly recommended any of the museums we visited if you’re in those parts of the country. Enjoy!