Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cheap Fun for Kids: My Museum

I am always on the look out for inexpensive family fun. My kids have a lot of energy, they run all over the place, and may not be the quietest. At the end of the work week, I really want to enjoy the company of my kids. I hate it when Saturday finally comes and we end up in a place where I am having to chase my children all over the place trying to get them to be quiet, keep still  or occupy them  because whatever we are doing is boring to them. Or worse, yelling at them. Sometimes, these circumstances are inevitable. And I'm not being a lazy parent who doesn't want to keep an eye on my kids or discipline them, I just know its perfectly normal that they want to let loose and have fun, and don't want to spend my first free day with my kids harassing them. Plus, it's ideal for a mother of two boys to find some place that kids can be their naturally noisy selves and run around (read: burn off wild boy energy until they pass out for a very, long, time).

San Francisco Bay Area Kid Fun
I don't know why I had never heard of My Museum in Monterey, CA. I have a cousin who lives nearby who is invited to a birthday party there, and one of her daughters has been there on a field trip. We took our kids, ages 2, 4, 3, 6, and 10 there one morning when it opened at 10 a.m. I was in awe of how perfectly awesome it is for my kids age group!

There are all these different stations: a toddler area that was an ocean theme, complete with a boat, "sand castle" building with large foam blocks, and a slide. There was also a golfing area with a golf cart, mini clubs, and balls. After going into the cup, the balls go down to an underground crawl space and end up in a bin. There was also a tractor, a "Farmer's Market" and "vegetable garden"where the kids could pick fake vegetables, stomp grapes, play "store" at the market and sell fake food. There was so much more - an ambulance with an injured person on a stretcher, a hospital with a life size game of Operation, a stage complete with themes and sound effects where children can choose from hundreds of costumes they can put on over their clothes in a dressing room. There was also a construction area with tools and building materials, a Dr. Seuss house with a loft and a kitchen...a tree house with a bridge leading to the golf course, a giant bubble maker that basically engulfs your body in a giant bubble with the pull of a rope...and a large craft area full of supplies for your child to make whatever they want. FOR $7. I couldn't believe it. Under 2 is free.

Your $7 admission is for all day, so you can leave and come back, which you may want to do as they do not sell food. I brought snacks for my kids which they nibbled on here and there, but there wasn't anywhere to really sit down and eat. This place is really for the 10 and under set, there is plenty to do and space for your kids to run around and enjoy the place, but not so big or crowded that you get stressed out. Most people seemed to be out of there after a couple hours (probably for lunch and naps). If we lived closer a membership would probably be the way to go. Memberships are only $90 for a family of 4, and you get one complimentary pass each time you vist, say if Grandma wants to tag along. Plus, membership includes invitations to special events and other discounts. Since we are an hour away that won't work for us, however, we will be back and looking forward to it!

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