Our family has been to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix twice. On both occasions we were celebrating our sons birthdays. This review is to serve as a guide for what to expect in general from the museum itself.
Before going I recommend bringing a stroller if you have kids under 3. That way you don’t have to carry the diaper bag the whole time and you can pack your lunch too. Be sure to wear comfy shoes and bring socks for the sock only areas and water so you don’t have to stop playing and go find a water fountain. The best time of day to go is when they first open. Everything is calmer and easier to manage without a ton of people already there. Okay that is about it for what to bring to the museum. Now the review!
OUR REVIEW OF THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX:
As soon as I stepped into the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, I felt excited and amazed at the large three story maze structure that welcomes you at the front door. It’s a gigantic metal jungle gym complete with a flying bathtub! Ok it doesn’t really fly, but it has wings (which is the same in my book).
As we explored the museum we found SO many areas to PLAY. There’s a noodle forest! Say what? Yes a forest of noodles. Like heavy duty pool noodles that are suspended from the ceiling. I recommend holding your child’s hand while walking through because its easy to get lost.
There is a entire room dedicated to a play grocery store with working registers and toddler sized shopping carts. There’s another room where they can cook and bake with fabric and other textures. The museum even has a art room where kids can color and even paint an actual castle! My son’s favorite was this machine powered by air which you shoot scarfs through.
With three levels of displays and attractions there is something to enjoy around every corner. I honestly love this museum and so do my kids. Another one of my son’s favorite features is the car wash you can pedal through on a tricycle. Below my husband is trying to help our oldest (2 years at the time) on a tricycle.
You really have to plan to stay the day or at least 3 hours to see and play with everything. This place is every kids dream, if only they could live here. They actually have made the exhibits to capture the kid in us adults as well. So don’t go thinking you’ll be bored. This museum is for us big kids at heart too!
Kids 3 + can enjoy every aspect of the children’s museum of Phoenix. I’ll admit I played with this ping pong ball machine as much as he did. It is definitely a hot spot for the 3 and under crowd. One thing I absolutely think was brilliant and I give big kudos to the interior designer is the infant play areas.
BABIES LESS THAN A YEAR OLD CAN PLAY TOO!
If you have a baby under 12 months old you can rest assured there is a place for them in practically every “big kid” area. They all have signs designated as a area for infants. They have soft play toys and pillows and it is partitioned off so they don’t get ran over by the bigger kids. The small wall is wide enough so you can sit and watch your older kids play while your next to your baby having the time of his or her life in the comfort of the baby zone.
What I really love about the baby areas is that they have a basket to put toys that went in another child’s mouth that will get sanitized later in the day. So you don’t have to stress about germs and grimy toys. The whole museum itself is very clean and immaculate. It completely passes my approval for cleanliness in a public place (I have VERY high standards). Below are photos of another area with soft blocks. We spent a lot of time here as well.
A PLACE FOR THREE’S AND UNDER
They have a whole room dedicated and designed for babies and kids under 3 which to be honest is where my kids spend the most time. So many things have been packed into this little room including a mini house they can play make believe and a fake garden they can plant flowers in. Seriously it’s like I was walking through the imagination of a child. There are spots that blow air up when you walk over. Crawling places reveal hidden places to explore and there’s a reading nook in the room too. The best feature of the baby room is the gate. Your walkers won’t wander off and as long as they are in that room, you should have no fear all is well.
What’s crazy about this baby room is Ive spent about 3 hours in there total (split between the two times I’ve gone) and I have never heard a baby cry or throw a tantrum in there! It is so calming and relaxing as a parent of three boys under three to know you can let your guard down and just sit and watch your kids play. There’s just enough toys and mini exhibits to allow everyone to play and not be overwhelmed. I honestly wish I had this room in my house! If you have a child under 3 years old paying the admission to just sit in this room alone is worth it! Here is an excerpt from the Children’s Museum of Phoenix Webpage about the idea behind this room:
“We all understand by now that children’s minds, especially in the 0-5 age range, are extraordinarily open to learning experiences. Here at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, we concentrate on these critical years of a child’s development with exhibits and programs that focus on early childhood education and school-readiness.”
Isn’t that awesome! They have seriously thought of everything and take it from me, this “place for under threes” really does captivate children and it’s very rewarding to watch them explore learn and play.
BRING YOUR LUNCH OR EAT AT THE MUSEUM CAFE
You are allowed to bring food and drinks into the museum, you just have to eat them in the designated eating area. I always bring a sack lunch when we come here (because my kids are so picky). They have a cafe you can also buy food from and a small cafeteria so you can sit down and eat. The cafe is called SpoonZ Express they sell fresh and healthy options like salads, paninis, pizzas, sandwiches and snacks. The cafe is open during lunch from 10:30am to 3pm.
After lunch you have to head outside, they have even more exhibits right outside the cafe doors. I was amazed the first time we went at the crawling tubes and cactus barrels they have out there. They have little nooks to explore and places to play hide and seek. They also regularly have chalk to draw with and bubbles for blowing. If they weather is decent it is a very nice place to play.
WINDING DOWN BEFORE YOU LEAVE:
Your kids are sure to get tired after all the exploring and playtime. Thoughtfully the museum has a lovely area called the book loft. It is perfect for spending time reading to your child. I highly suggest doing this in the beginning or very end of your visit.
I tried doing this halfway through and my kids didn’t want to sit (of course I don’t blame them there was so much to see). When we went a second time we did this at the end and it was much more relaxing to read and then take them home after that. It winds them down to get ready for a nap or bedtime depending on what time of day you’re there.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX INFORMATION
If you are planning a trip to the museum I have great news for you! Children under the age of 1 are completely free! The admission for Non-members is $12.00 per person, and you can click here to Purchase Tickets
If you plan to make this place a regular destination (and I suggest you do! It’s a great way to beat the heat) you should consider becoming a member. Admission for members is FREE (which is awesome!) if you click this link you can Become a Member!
IF YOU LOVE THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX AS MUCH AS ME, LEAVE A COMMENT.