How to Visit a Children's Museum on the Cheap

How to Visit a Children's Museum on the Cheap

 

They didn’t have Children’s Museums when we were kids. Not by a log shot. We grew up in the days of visiting the “don’t touch” museums. The “no running” museums. The “shhhhh” museums. Well, to paraphrase, they’ve come a long way, baby!

In fact, the modern concept of a children’s museum goes against everything we have come to associate with museums. They are “please touch” places where kids can jump and climb and race and bash all while being as loud or quiet as they want. Perfect for getting out all the pent up silliness of being a kid on a hot day or a rained out one.

Most major metropolitan areas have a children’s museum for your enjoyment. A recent trip to the Phoenix Children’s Museum, one of the top in the world, revealed a three-story indoor climbing structure ready to be called into service at the next X Games should the need arise. Let’s just say that, as a parent, you can skip the gym … this week. They also featured giant rooms filled with just building blocks, race cars that run on tracks suspended above your head and tubes filled with compressed air that you could stick colorful hankies, ping pong balls or fuzzy yarn friends into and watch the physics happen. Then, there was the art room. Paint. Crayons. Scissors. Stickers. Pipe cleaners. All in a room the size of a small gymnasium. Wow. Just wow.

Children's museums generally charge for even the littlest kid so admission can add up fast. Ask if they have any of the traditional free days or, even, if they participate in the Target Free Fridays program. Even if you have to pay full price to get in, you can save money by bringing your own food. That's right, they actually let you do that. It makes sense though for a museum that caters to kids and their parents.