Since I thought it was supposed to rain all week, it seemed like the perfect time to take The Monkey to a place I've been hearing about the wonders of for years now. I called up Nicole, and she was game to bring Maya and Sureya Girlfriend along for
Today's New Activity: The Children's Discovery Museum
What a wonderful, wonderful place. As a long-time resident of downtown San Jose, I passed the outside of this building thousands of times. I even used to live about a block and a half away and would go walking around its grounds for exercise. But not being a parent or a teacher, I'd never actually ventured inside until today.
Everyone told me it was a great place for toddler-aged kids to fully explore, but I just couldn't picture it. I am constantly trying to keep my boy OUT of things. I couldn't imagine a place (a museum no less) in which it was appropriate and even encouraged for him to get his hands all up in the mix.
Nicole even mentioned upon entering that she was going to leave her stroller behind and I thought she'd gone insane. I thought, you mean you're just going to let her run free?! In a museum?!
Turned out she was totally right to do so. They have really done the work to make this place tiny-kid-friendly. All the exhibits are safe, fascinating, fun, and easy to use. And since they are ALL like that, you don't have to worry about pulling the kid away from one really cool, say, oh, for example, air vent that floats plastic balls in the air, after he's been playing with it for 15 minutes, in the event another kid might want a turn (I'm just talking hypothetically, of course). You don't have to worry about him being sad when you take him away from that cool exhibit because the next one is guaranteed to be equally cool.
And the next one, too!
By far the most fun part we got to see was the water world, where little canals full of water and more plastic balls and squirting things and vacuum magic could have easily kept these munchkins entertained for the greater part of a day.
Alas, although the museum provides genius little water aprons, all the chiclets managed to get thoroughly soaked, and too long in squishy shoes took its toll. I wasn't prepared with an extra set of clothes, so our museum visit was cut short, but I have already decided to buy a yearlong pass so we can go back again and again. It feels like a magic blessing to have a place just tailor-made for kids their size so nearby.
We were gonna enjoy the sun a while and see if the clothes would dry out, but that was a lost cause, so we headed back to Nicole's, which was probably for the best because it got pretty cold.
If you're a parent in the area and haven't already done so, be sure to take your little ones here at least once. You'll be glad you did. In the middle of the building they have a decently priced cafeteria that actually sells good food. Imagine that. Plus, the giant sprawl of grass on the land surrounding the museum makes for great picnicking and just plain run-around space for any squirrely moments you may encounter. Parking is $5 and admission is $10 for kiddos and adults alike.
We can't wait to go back, and man is he sleeping like a log tonight!