So far, I’ve taken Alex to the Seattle Children’s Museum twice. The first time, he was about a year and a half old. It was a wet, cold, winter weekend day. And – no surprise! – the Children’s Museum was packed on a wet weekend day. Alex was also too young to participate in many of the activities there. It left a bit of an icky taste in my mouth.
We had our second exposure to the Children’s Museum when my mom was in town. One of Alex’s classmates had her birthday party there. Unlike our last visit, it was a sunny day outside. One of the first sunny days of spring, in fact, so the crowds stayed away. And now that he’s three years old, Alex could do a lot more of the activites at the museum.
On my first trip there, I didn’t even realize that there was an arts & crafts room at the museum that has all sorts of cool things that are too big or make too much of a mess in the house: An easel and paints, a light table, real clay (not Play-Doh), markers/scissors/paper… Alex had a great time painting and exploring all of the items there.
The arts & crafts room is what really changed my mind about the Children’s Museum. I now think it’s a great place to go if you’ve got a kid old enough and you can avoid the worst of the crowds. I don’t know of another place that has so many hands-on, creative activities. It’s quite a different experience from going to a playground or to one of our standard kid places (the zoo, the aquarium, or the science center).
Here are some photos from the party. You’ll get an idea of the hands-on activities that exist for the kids there. (Plus what a great place it is to have a birthday party!)