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Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Northeast, USA

Children Museums of America

Children’s Museum Of Manhattan (CMOM), New York City

$11 each, kids under 1 free

The first children’s museum we have ever visited. We went on a weekend and there was a line to get in, as well as being super busy inside. But this is 4 floors of purely adulated fun.

A museum dedicated to learning and a place where “don’t touch” is not a phrase one parent needs to utter. We tackled this place with one parent follows one child.

The bottom floor was all about the body including a slide down a tongue. The second floor was devoted to Dora & Diego (a favourite for Caius). Third floor involved stories, painting, sand-play, a pretend supermarket, vehicles, etc. And the 4th floor was some weird Chinese monkey, which wasn’t really great at all and the floor we spent the least time on.

We spent a good couple of hours here until the kids got tired and whiny. There is a secure free coat check and pram check in. I don’t recommend taking the pram inside. As you can imagine New York space is premium and this is not spread out, but all very much on top of each other.

A fun afternoon or morning to take the kids too. However after doing the other museums, probably my third favourite. 

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Brooklyn’s Children Museum (BCM), Brooklyn

$9 each, kids under 1 free

When we discovered several other travelling families based in New York we knew we wanted to get together with them and we all organized a day at the Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum.

There was 4 families meeting up, unfortunately one could not make it so we ended up with 3 families. Jennifer and her partner came with 3 children that she nannies for. As well as Darcy & her partner with their twin boys. That made 7 kids under 4 and supposedly 6 adults with 6 pairs of eyes.

Why is it then that my son got lost not once, but twice?

This joint has much more ground space then CMOM and is spread out over two floors. I probably enjoyed this one more than CMOM because it wasn’t as busy; we had friends with us and because of the Toddler Tots section.

We spent most of our time on the bottom floor in Toddler Tots. They had a craft area, where Mia got to make a paper spider. It also had a blue sand play area, puppets, dress ups, dinosaurs and the best bit was the water play area.

Caius wet all his clothes thoroughly and had a very “refreshing” trip back to the car semi-nude (in near freezing temperatures).

During lunch was the first time Caius went missing. All 11 of us were sitting in the cafeteria when a woman brought my son to me letting me know he had rode the elevator with her before she brought it back up, returning him.

The same lady was on the way out later when my son, yet again, was stopped at the door by the security guard and she came and got us, again… Not hesitating to give Josh a little lecture on the way to retrieving him. Terrible parenting that day when we were so engrossed in getting to know our new friends.

Upstairs was a museum of sorts with lots of shoes and relics. I don’t remember too much as it was a quick visit before heading back to the Toddler room.

We spent 3 hours there and I would say it was ample time. There is a secure free coat check here as well; we skipped bringing the pram this time.

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Please Touch, Philadelphia

$16 each, kids under 1 free

Our favourite museum. The colonial building was built in the late 1800’s and had a double dome, square from the outside and a circle on the inside. It’s magnificent architecture and impressive upon parking and upon entrance.

There is a parking lot for $8, however street parking is free. We didn’t have any problems getting street parking, I guess all the kids were back at school and it was a Tuesday. The ticket prices were more expensive than all the others, but it is definitely reflected in the time and space and energy you can spend in the museum.

The coat check was to the right, but it is unmanned and you leave your coats there at your own risk.

I cannot begin to describe this place. It is enormous and split over 2 floors. We went right first to the water play area since my son loves water play. They were fascinated for quite awhile with the rubber ducks and toys. You can put on little waterproof smocks and they have silver hand dryers conveniently at child height when finished.

Caius only was pulled from water-play by the giant floor keyboard that lit up and played notes when he ran across it. In fact this was a favourite for everyone.

We discovered so many sections to this place including supermarkets, building concrete, a hospital, Alice in Wonderland, storybook land, science, transport, even made it to a children’s yoga class.

The café had a huge selection of food in comparison to the junk offered at BCM and was reasonably priced as well. Not that we stopped long, just enough for the kids to eat a sandwich and then we kept going.

We spent 3 hours here and it definitely was not enough. The kids wanted to stay longer and so did I, but we had a road trip ahead of us that day and we had to go.

This place is not only for kids. I really enjoyed the glass displays around the museum housing old toys (John Stamous doll!), games and interesting facts. A wonderful museum and one I highly recommend if you are ever in the area.

There are so many more photos for this one then the others, so please visit our photo journal to check them all out. Warning: Showing the kids may turn them into naggers.

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Posted by karin Holmes on
loved these museums for the kids and pictures are great
Posted by jan on
I found the http://travelwithbender.com/travel-blog/eastcoast-usa/children-museums-of-america/very informative.
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