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.
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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.