A few months ago, our family spent the morning at the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. It was a fun day and a place I definitely recommend visiting. We plan to go back again and may even take our out of town relatives there the next time they visit.
Each room of the museum is designed around a different theme, and provides many opportunities for fun and learning.
Big Red Barn
The farm was an exciting exhibit for my son as he’s fascinated with anything associated with tractors and farming. The room contains a two story barn, silo, cornfield and apple orchard. My children spent their time “picking” the apples from the trees, “harvesting” the corn field and putting the corn into the silo. There were also a number of hands-on educational activities.
Bridges to Our Community
After the farm, we visited the neighborhood themed area. This area consists of a large room with different sections including a two story house, hospital, grocery store, bank, vehicles and a bridge.
My kids immediately ran over to the huge bus and took turns driving it. They then made their way to the car that was set up to show the proper use of seat belts and car seats. I especially liked this area because it incorporated various items to teach kids about safety around cars including descriptions of traffic signal colors and road signs.
Our next stop was the house, where my kids prepared us lunch. The museum has a huge selection of plastic foods, some of which my children had never seen before (i.e. sushi). The house also has a small table and chairs, refrigerator and grill for children to play with.
My daughter’s favorite part of the neighborhood was the grocery store. I’m not sure if it was because of the little carts or the fact that she could “buy” whatever she wanted. Either way, we spent a long time in the store as she loaded up her cart and I pretended to be the cashier ringing her out. It was a lot of fun.
Splish! Splash! Water Exhibit
We finished our day at the water exhibit. My children have a tendency to get messy. What child doesn’t?! So I was thrilled that the museum had aprons for them to wear while they played in the water. My kids both enjoyed racing boats and using the various tubes and makeshift dams to divert the water. They had a great time, and thankfully didn’t get too wet in the process!
Learning through Play
Aside from being a place where kids can have a lot of fun, the museum offers a wonderful learning experience. Each exhibit incorporates various educational activities which include:
- Building and creating architectural structures
- Matching like colors of crops on the farm
- Collecting and counting Apples
- Understanding the different food groups
- Organizing food in the grocery store by category (i.e. fruits, vegetables, grains)
- Counting money in the bank
- Learning seat belt safety and traffic safety rules
- Observing how dams and various objects affect water flow
The museum also offers daily educational programs led by the museum staff. Recent topics include, Messy Art, Nifty Numbers, The Sound of Music, and Island Explorers. These programs provide yet another way to enrich your overall experience.
Planning your trip
- The museum is designed for children 8 and under.
- There is a lot to explore, so be sure to allocation a good amount of time for your visit. We stayed for 3 hours, and my children could have easily been entertained for 1-2 more.
- Bring along snack or lunch and enjoy a picnic in University Circle. There is also food available for purchase at the museum.
- Engage your child in the various activities, ask them questions or roll play with them. It’s much more fun and rewarding than just sitting and watching them play.
- If you plan to visit multiple times throughout the year, save some money by purchasing a museum membership.
- Have Fun!
You may also be interested in: Museums & Science Centers across Northeast Ohio