If you are looking for a great place to take your young children any day of the year, then I have to suggest the Children’s Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut. This educational museum makes learning fun with hands-on displays meant for littles ones to touch and explore. Allow your child to see, feel, listen to, and smell the interesting exhibits that focus on everything from natural sciences, engineering, math, and problem solving.
Upon arrival, kids will be excited to enter the museum as they’ll see a giant whale that shoots water from its blowhole and a few life-like dinosaurs. Read on to learn about what your kids will encounter inside the museum.
Activities for crawlers
For even the littlest visitors, there is a special room with age-appropriate activities such as a large model tree that can be crawled under and climbed upon, a playhouse with stuffed animals and trucks, and ramps to climb up. A cool feature of this toddler room is the small reptile cages scattered in throughout the room with frogs and turtles.
Activities for all ages
For curious kids age about 6 months and up, you’ll find numerous rooms with a variety of activities that can be tailored to the age of your child. For example, in the room meant to teach about light, bottles full of colored liquid can be illuminated and arranged to make patterns in a lit wall. This is great for little ones who love bright colors and shaking bottles as well as older kids who’d like to make patterns.
For animal lovers, there are enclosures with a wide array of rescued animals on display. Kids will be able to marvel at fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals as they get rehabilitated. Some of these animals also have outdoor enclosures, so they can be seen outdoors as well. In the summer months, there is a large enclosure with butterflies, chrysalides, and caterpillars.
Moreover, there are rooms with train tracks, massive, soft blocks great for building, and a room with challenges meant to help kids succeed with math and problem solving with a focus on real-life examples. There is also a planetarium, but this caters to older children and requires an extra fee if you aren’t a member.
What to do nearby
The Children’s Museum in West Hartford is within walking distance (or a short drive) to Blue Black Square in downtown West Hartford. Lining these beautiful streets, you’ll find shops like Crate & Barrel, the Green Teahouse, REI, and Barnes and Noble.
To sate the appetite you likely worked up at the museum, there are numerous restaurants that cater to families as well as business people. After you enjoy lunch at one of the fine establishments in the area, I urge you to save room for dessert and treat your family to cupcakes at Nora Cupcake. This incredible cupcake bakery serves a mind-boggling array of really amazing cupcakes and other sweets. I’ve tried their coconut and chocolate cupcake and peanut butter cupcake and both were divine and almost too much to eat in one sitting (because they are huge).
Plan your visit
The Children’s Museum of Connecticut has different hours in the summer and winter, but is generally open seven days a week, with limited hours on Sundays. It offers ample free parking. Admission is quite pricy at 14.75 USD for adults, 13.75 USD for children two and older, and 13.75 USD for adults age 63 and older. Membership is available and is worth it if you plan on visiting frequently.
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