Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I heart the Boston Children's Museum

My first experience at the Children's Museum was when Marlo was 2 months old, and she spent the entire time I was there (with friends who had 1 year olds and could enjoy it) snug as a bug in the Moby. It was a Saturday, it was chaos, and I wanted out ASAP. We tried again (with the same group of friends) in December, once she had turned 1, and was able to walk around with me holding her hands. And it was love at first sight.

E & M enjoying the train table
Last week we bought a family membership and we have been 3 times since! For just $125 you and three other people can go to the museum for free. Normally it costs anyone 1 year old and above (which I think is pretty crappy you have to pay for kids that young, but I digress) $12. I figured since we would be going practically every week, the membership would have paid for itself in just 5 visits.

Now, we aren't at the age where we can fully appreciate all the Museum has to offer, but we definitely get our monies worth. Marlo lights up and giggles with excitement as soon as we enter the toddler play area on the second floor. They have a giant train table that is the perfect height for her to sidle up to and ramps and stairs to go up and down. In the back corner they have a craft/project area where there is always something set up for the kids to explore - like sand boxes or water play. I think she just loves the fact that everything is her height!

On the Green Screen in Arthur's World
Peep's World is a place for kids (a little older and taller than Marlo, but we still go in and watch) to play in a flowing water trough, and experiment with shadows and light. They have a whole area dedicated to Arthur & Friends, which she is just starting to recognize from television. There is a "Construction Zone" where you can play with trucks on ramps, and the older kids can climb all sorts of things. In the Explorer's Zone you can play with bubbles, make golf balls go over big ramps and all sorts of other fun things.
J, M & E "driving" a car in
the toddler area

When it is meal time, there is a Lunch Room with large tables, and plenty of high chairs available, and it is attached to an Au Bon Pain that has an extensive children's menu.

And with the Membership you have access to the Museum during exclusive Member's Only hours which are 9-10 AM on Saturday and Sunday. This past weekend we went at 9:15 AM on Sunday and it was pretty empty, but as we were leaving at 10 AM (it was just the two of us and she was ready for a nap) there was a line out the door to get in! If you can avoid going during the weekends, I would, as it gets pretty chaotic pretty quickly.

As far as parking goes, it can be a little tricky. If you go early on the weekends, it is easy to find free street parking (especially on Sunday when you don't have to pay for meters). There are lots of metered spots on Seaport Blvd by the Federal Court House or on Congress St. During the week, and during peak weekend hours, it is a little harder, and much more expensive. If you are lucky enough to find street parking at a meter, remember they just upped the cost to $.25 per 12 minutes, so bring a stack of quarters with you! There are two lots near the museum that charge something like $6 per half hour, and are very tightly packed in. There is a small garage across from Flour (a cafe I highly recommend) that costs $12 for approximately 2 hours. If you can't find anything right near the Museum then there is a lot about 3 blocks away (on the corner of Congress & Boston Warf Rd.) that costs around $11 for 2 hours.

Other things you might want to know...there is a Bank of America ATM right down the street on Congress St., as well as a Dunkin Donuts right nextdoor.

So to sum up, the Children's Museum is a great place to go with your kids, and if you are going more than a couple times a year, a membership is definitely worth it. What you should do (like I did) is have another friend buy a membership to the Aquarium, and another to the Science Museum, and then bring each other to museums!

6 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I purchased the ACM membership and have taken my daughter to the Easton Childrens museum, and the one in Mashpee. It is an awesome deal, and a great thing to do in the winter!

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