Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Family Friendly Boston - What to Know About Visiting Boston's Children's Museum with a Toddler

Winters are long and cold here in Boston and it's easy to start feeling locked in and going a little crazy.  One place I kept hearing that we needed to check out to assuage these winter blues was the Boston Children's Museum.

Boston's Children's Museum with a Toddler

I wanted to go check it out for a while but felt like it was ridiculously expensive for a one time visit ($14 per person, including young children) but not awful for a year long family membership ($150/year). I needed to get out to stay sane so I decided it was worth it and that we may as well just get a membership.

We waited for a warmish day and walked the 2 miles to get there, but there are lots of other transportation options to get you their more easily, I'll list them below.

Boston's Children's Museum with a Toddler
The Boston's Children's Museum is tall and laid out with a bunch of different themed rooms, like a music room, a community room (where they have a small grocery store, a barber shop, and a dress up station), a construction room where kids can build things or climb in crazy tunnels and most importantly for us at the time, a little kid room where you were only allowed if you were under... I want to say two...  This room had books, puzzles, a climbing area, and bubbles.

We made it to the museum and let our son go wild.  He loved it... and I've never seen him throw so many tantrums so he also might have been a little over stimulated... :/   I mean there were about a million-billion kids there going crazy and so many new things to see and do.

Boston's Children's Museum with a Toddler
After having a membership for a while I realized that the Children's Museum is always crowded, even during week days during the school year.  My son really loved it, but I felt like at a 1.5 years old he was constantly getting plowed over by other, bigger kids, and when our membership expired I decided not to renew it until my son is a little older and more able to enjoy the bigger exhibits.

Things to Note:

1) Price
I think it's fairly expensive for a single visit.  $16/person for anyone over 12 months or $150 for a four person family year long membership.  Also if you want to try it out before you commit, and you don't mind large crowds, you can check out the museum for $1/person on Friday nights between 5-9pm.

2) Getting There
There are tons of options for getting there including buses, trains, and a parking garage, you can learn more about those options here:

3) Stroller Friendliness
Surprisingly not very stroller friendly for such a child centric place.  We always ended up there with a stroller and had to drag it around room to room with us.  There is a little bit of stroller parking near the toddler area and you can leave your stroller at the end of a couple of corridors, but there really isn't a place to check them in and some of the room spaces are too tight to accommodate them. The museum suggests leaving them behind or bring a smaller umbrella stroller that can fit in a storage locker.

Boston's Children's Museum with a Toddler
4) Lots of Kids, Always
This places is a mad house of kids during the weekends, but I found it to also be quite busy during the week with field trips and the like, and the toy and exhibits are all fairly well loved/used.

Summary and Rating ★★★★☆

Four Stars.  This place has a lot to offer, but I think it's fairly expensive and much better suited to children older than two years.  I felt like my little son ended up getting run over by less well accompanied older children and the baby/toddler room didn't hold our interest super long.  We'll try going back when he's a little bit older, but for now we're going to stick with the Boston Museum of Science.

Have you been here before?  If so I'd love to know more about your experience and any tips or tricks you have in the comments section below.

Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210

Phone: 617.426.6500

Hours: Saturday-Thursday 10am-5pm
Fridays 10am-9pm

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