I am an urban-dwelling mama. If a discussion ever comes up about moving to the ‘burbs, my initial reaction is always, "But what would I do without the Boston Children’s Museum?".
I have the luxury of having the museum in my backyard, and let’s just say my toddler and I put our annual pass to good use. Our children’s museum excursions are very predictable. It wasn’t until my most recent trip that I thought I might go batty if we didn’t break up the pattern. So we had a long chat about it. (Ever notice how toddlers need this kind of explanation if a routine is broken? Actually, so do most adults.)
Here’s what we used to do, every time:
Say hi to the turtle in the reptile room
Play with the ping pong balls in the ball track room for 20 minutes
Dance across the floor that lights up
Head to the toddler room (where we spend an hour and somehow manage to play with every possible toy)
Finish in the construction room on the third floor where a hard hat must be worn at all times (as dictated by my two year old.)
And here’s what we discovered on our latest excursion, much to our newfound delight:
The Countdown to Kindergarten Room
This may sound intimidating if you have a 2 year old, but this room actually offers a plethora of activities for many ages. Ride on (or drive) a school bus, sort vegetables in bins, or check out the dramatic play area. It’s never too early to get your little one ready for school.
The Blue Man Group Exhibit
New to the museum, this exhibit features the crazy world inside the Blue Man Group. My daughter was a little hesitant to walk in there since the room is dark with glowing lights. Once we immersed ourselves, neither of us really wanted to leave. Play and learn about the science of sound in a multi-sensory experience featuring drums, flashing lights, and a crawl-through space for tots.
At first I didn’t think forcing a toddler to sit through a show was a great idea, but this was perfectly tailored to young children. Interactive, upbeat 30-minute shows with music, dancing, and comedy. Feel free to get up and leave anytime without causing a disruption.
Arthur & Friends
This was our favorite “new to us” offbeat excursion. Be a co-pilot in a large airplane, make-your-own dish in Arthur’s kitchen, or build a fort in the backyard sleep-over. We did all three, multiple times.
I also learned that a new exhibit is coming this summer called Secrets of Circles, where visitors can climb into a circular boat, play and pretend in a market full of circles from around the globe and make objects spin using colorful gears. That will be next on our list for sure.
I urge you to venture out of your comfort zone if you've never broken routine. If you haven’t yet been to the Boston Children’s Museum, don’t delay. They are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year: That is a hundred impressive years of entertaining, teaching, and building childhood memories that will last a lifetime!
If you are a teacher, you’ll get in for free.
The museum opens at 10 am. If you are like me and show up at 9:30 almost every time, let your child explore the secret passageway in the Nature Walk right outside the entrance.
Au Bon Pain is next to the museum and perfect for lunch after hours of play when your little one won’t want to go far for food. Great options for kids on the menu.
Eat outside by the water only if you’re brave: beware of aggressive seagulls.
Baby Wiggle, Little Groove hosts a free music and movement class on Wednesdays from 11-11:30 am for ages 0-3 in The Common.
Location: 308 Congress St. Boston, MA 02210
Hours: Open every day 10 am-5 pm Fridays 10 am-9 pm
Cost: Adults $14, Children (1-15): $14, Children (0-12 months): FREE, Target Fridays $1 from 5 pm to 9 pm
Contact: http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/ or 617-426-6500