I finally took advantage of a FREE entrance day at the New Children’s Museum of San Diego! My little family and I went not too long ago and checked the whole place out. So I thought I should share our experience and some tips for anyone planning a visit soon.
Ok I will say my kids had a good time there but they are very easy going kids. There was quite a bit to keep them busy there. The building looks quite large from the outside. Once inside though there wasn’t as much to do as I was expecting. There is a fair amount of exhibits but not something I would plan spending a whole day at. You enter the Museum on the second level which features a recycled playground, wind tunnel, toddler push cars, music room and the arts area.
My son was right at home in the music room. Plus this wasn’t just any music room all the instruments were made out of items typically found in a kitchen. Oh and there is headphones available for those who want to enjoy the room without ending up with a headache.
The art area has some fun activities for even toddlers to enjoy. The was a large chalkboard wall, stamps, and a special art area that unfortunately was closed on my visit so I can’t say too much about that. The outdoor area had large equipment that kids are encouraged to paint and an area to sculpt a little piece of Art to take home. I would suggest visiting this area first so you can let your clay creation dry while playing in the rest of the Museum.
The lowest level of the Museum didn’t feature too much and since the elevator stopped working only my daughter and I went down to explore it. The chicken coop is located down there which is visible from the bridge when you first enter the building. One of the workers brought out one of the hens from the coop to talk to the kids and let them pet her. Also down there was tons of shelving with some books and bean bag pillows. There was a tent type area that had some video being displayed inside. But there wasn’t too much on that level.
The top floor has the larger play areas, so naturally it was the most popular area. Even though there was a larger amount of people on this level we were still able to check each section out. My daughter had a blast jumping around in the veggie bounce. While my son couldn’t get enough of the bubbles on the terrace. It was really warm the day of our visit so we weren’t upstairs very long. Crowds, kids running around and on top of it the Museum has no central air, it wasn’t very long before we were needing to get some relief.
I have to say our favorite part of our visit was actually playing at the outdoor play area and walking the Museums garden. Both of which are located just across the street from the museum. The play equipment is all shaded so we didn’t have to worry about touching hot metal. The edible garden is so quant and lush. While the jungle gym is such a unique design a great change up from our normal parks.
Overall this is a cute children’s museum and we had a nice time during our visit. I would advise to not go on a hot day since there is no air conditioning in the building. Also it can be fairly crowded on FREE Entrance Days which are the 2nd Sunday of every month presented by Target. Though I do think this is the best day to visit as the pricing can add up for families on a budget. I wouldn’t recommend doing a membership if you are not local, there are some fun weekday programs offered which make the membership worth it but if you only plan on visiting once and awhile then FREE days or a paid visit here and there would be more ideal. Also a stroller is not very practical in this museum, as worker informed me that the elevator tends to have issues on days when there is larger crowds which did happen during my family’s visit. There is adequate parking near the Museum, one lot is a cost of $10. But Sundays the metered parking is free, it can take a bit to find an open spot but saving on the cost of parking is a bonus.
So check the museum out for yourself and tell me what you think.