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Boston Children's Museum

An indoor play space and museum for children in Boston, MA

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Amazing indoor playground for kids of all ages!

  • Mar 21, 2010
Rating:
+5

Now, the term 'playground' is used very loosely here. The Boston Children's Museum is not just a physical playground, it is primarily a play place for the mind. There is so much for children to learn and explore, and what better way than hands on! The first time I went here was about five years ago with my little nephew, before they've remodeled. Recently was the first time my husband and I went there with our own then 12 month old. I can tell you the experience is completely different when you are there with your own child! It is so rewarding to see her light up when she is intrigued by something or understands a new concept.  

Location: The Boston Children's Museum is in a prime spot overlooking the harbor. It is an easy drive no matter where you are coming from, by car at least. Public transportation is just a stone's throw away as well. We parked nearby and walked two blocks. The parking was discounted with the validation stamp from the museum.  

Value: For some real bang for your buck, I suggest getting a pass from your local library. Even for our small family, paying $12 for each adult is a bit much. With the passes we only paid $2 per person, our daughter was admitted for free since she was only 12 months. Otherwise seniors and children are $9. In the New England winters you'll pay anything for a great indoor play space with kids. 

How is this place green: This museum is LEED Gold certified, and that means a lot in my world of Interior Design! It is quite a high green building standard applied to both the exterior and interior of the building. Among the many features are storm water reclamation, real time heating and cooling controls, green roof, and efficient lighting. They also used recycled and reclaimed materials as well as those with low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Green cleaning is also on the list, they have a list of approved cleaning products they use (hm, would love to see that list).  

Exhibit Design: This is where the BCM really exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a Chuckee Cheeses type thing, not my cup of tea. The variety of the exhibits is great and all of them are age appropriate for any age really. For the most part, our one year old had something to do and play with in all the exhibits. Her eyes were constantly wondering from one thing to another, she can play with a cup and a spoon for half an hour at home, so this was overwhelming to say the least. My favorite was the water tank with the turtles, you could lay under it and look at them swimming. Our child's favorite was the Curious George exhibit. Why? It's Curious George, that's why! We also loved the PlaySpace designed for babies 0-3. It was great for her to meet other babies her age and to play with toys made for her size. My husband loved the Science Playground, well, so did I. If there is any way to learn science, it is definitely hands on. I can go on and on about the exhibits, but you just have to go there and let your child explore on his/her own!


Tips: We've learned a few things on our trip and you should keep these in mind.

  • We think the best time to be there is on weekdays before 3 pm. I really like that in this time frame the museum is low key, there are no crowds, and our tiny toddler was not stampeded. I try to avoid crowds whenever possible. This also gave us better interaction with kids that were there. Of course this worked because we are a second shift family and this might not work for you.
  • There is an Au Bon Pain on site and a decent dining space. We brought our own lunch and dined there, a lot more economical. In the summer there is also the huge Hood milk bottle in the front that serves ice cream and lunch. I don't see why though you would go to an indoor museum on a nice summer day. Same goes for the outdoor Picnic area. 
  • Unless you plan on wheeling your stroller around with you, I suggest not bringing one. Otherwise the only place to leave it is in the unattended coat room. Not a great spot for any expensive strollers. We just had a backpack and baby carrier, hands free and no need for a stroller. 
  • The restrooms are outfitted with the standard pull down changing 'tables'. If your baby is anything like mine though, she will kick and scream if you try to put her on that thing. Not to mention that you don't know how dirty or clean it is. We changed her 'mid-air' with daddy. If I was with her solo I'm not sure what I would do. Anyhow, just think that through before you go. 
  • It was great to know I can nurse anywhere I want. I did when we were eating lunch. But there is also a nice little room in the PlaySpace with privacy if you feel more comfortable there. 
  • There is cheaper parking across the street from Au Bon Pain, we found out later. It is harder to get a spot there though, it is a small one.
Amazing indoor playground for kids of all ages! Amazing indoor playground for kids of all ages! Amazing indoor playground for kids of all ages! Amazing indoor playground for kids of all ages!

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March 29, 2010
Aw, Eliana is so adorable! Looks like she's having a blast :) Thanks so much for the great review and tips on this awesome-sounding museum.  Makes me want to pay it a visit!
 
March 29, 2010
These museums ought to be subsidized as far as I'm concerned. But with the government so broke, I guess it's a matter of survival for them. Great that you managed to get a pass, I can't imagine the cost of going out for three to such a place!
April 12, 2010
It's not cheap, but reasonable. Adults are $12 each and kids are $9, free if they are under 1 year old. I can't imagine how anyone with more than two kids could afford to come here though, unless of course finances are not an issue. I think charging that much for an adult is odd, it is a children's museum. ;)
 
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About the reviewer
Anastasia B ()
Ranked #21
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Wiki

bostonkids.org

Mission
Boston Children’s Museum exists to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live.  It is a private, non-profit, educational institution that is recognized internationally as a research and development center and pacesetter for children's exhibitions, educational programs and curriculum.  Boston Children’s Museum incorporates two strategies – engaging families and building communities – to impact five outcome areas for children: Creative Kids, Curious Kids, Global Kids, Green Kids and Healthy Kids.

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