Sunday, March 1, 2020

Favorite Find: Boston Children's Museum

I cannot even put into words how incredible this museum is. We have never been and I feel a bit ashamed to admit that. How could I have denied my child this exceptional experience until he was four years old?! The travesty I tell ya! 

In all seriousness, if you are looking for something to do with your kids or your friend's kids, THIS is the spot. It costs $18 to get in so our family of 3 was $54. I will also add that parking in this area of Boston is a bit pricey. With that being said, we stayed for over 5 hours and we didn't even get to it all and our toddler was sad to leave. 

The museum is 3 floors. So... allow me to share each floor with you and our favorite parts. 

The first floor is KidStage (which we didn't even get to), the Science Playground (which is divided into 3 rooms, Bubble, Investigate, and Raceways), and the KidPower area (which we also didn't even get to). 

We spent a good chunk of time in the Raceways room and the Bubbles room. 

The Raceways room has about a gagillion golf balls to use in a bunch of different ways. Different tracks, different heights, and more. Our toddler was in this room for a solid hour. At least. And we could've left him there all day and he'd have been ecstatic. 

The Bubble room was adorable. I'd say good for smaller kids/toddlers. He enjoyed it and the giant bubble maker was a huge hit. Plus blowing bubbles over and over doesn't stink. 

And bonus points for the museum for having an ample amount of smocks AND a hand washing station with a dryer. 

The second floor has a big PlaySpace for kids 3 and under (our newly 4-year-old enjoyed it immensely though), Peeps World, Countdown to Kindergarten, The Common, Arthur & Friends (which we never got to), and KEVA (which we also never got to). 

PlaySpace was fantastic and so interactive for small children. There's benches and spots for parents to sit in every section which is SO nice. 

They also had quite possibly the coolest train table ever made. 

Peep's World and Countdown to Kindergarten kept our son's interest, especially being able to ride and drive a school bus! The gear shifter works, the buttons work, and there's even a little video screen showing what you see outside of a moving school bus. 

The faux kindergarten classroom was wonderful as well. 

The third floor was our son's favorite. Boston Black (a faux city) and Construction Zone. There's also Japanese house (which we didn't get to) and Explore-a-saurus. 

The faux city was my personal favorite and the pretend grocery store even had a working register with computer. Seriously adorable. 

The construction zone was incredibly popular and our son had a blast running all over, climbing, playing, and experiencing a real-life construction vehicle. 

The dinosaur exhibit was so realistic. There's even a part where the kids can interact with the dinosaur, having it move it's hands and blink, and make sounds. 

And something really interesting happened while we were in this exhibit. Something I've actually never seen in any museum before. An employee was walking around with a checklist and making sure every single exhibit and component of each exhibit worked. If something didn't they were there fixing it immediately. #brilliant 

A few tidbits about the museum.

- You CAN bring your own food from home and eat in their designated areas. BIG plus. Why? Because there is no food for purchase at the museum. So... bring snacks or lunch with you. 

- There IS a coat room so you don't have to worry about dragging all of your coats around the museum. 

- The hallways and pathways are plenty wide so there's ample stroller room. Plus, there's stroller 'parking' on each level. 

- There's plenty to do here from babies up to about age 10. Honestly, once you're over 10 I think it might be a little boring. #sorrybigkids 

- Friday nights from 5-9pm it's only $1 to get in. We have already made note of that for our next visit!

- The museum is located on the water by the seaport so there's plenty to do and see in the area. 

- The museum has an AMAZING outdoor playground connected to it that your kids could spend hours on that alone! 

- They have a family membership but it would take coming 4 times in a year for us to break even on it and we don't go into Boston enough to make it worth it. BUT if we were going into the city for a few days, we'd snag a membership and go for a little bit every day because it's THAT good. 

I saved THE BEST for last. 

Immediately upon entering the museum, you see this GIGANTIC climbing apparatus that goes up to the third floor. There's one way in on the bottom which is also the only way out. THIS. WAS. PHENOMENAL. Our son is small for his age and tends to have difficulty in these indoor playscape and climbing areas. But not this one! He actually made it all the way to the top! 

I seriously cannot recommend this museum enough if you and your family are ever in Boston. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Musical Folk: Our Music Together Experience

Living in the greater New Haven/Waterbury area, we have access to some amazing family-friendly programs. Music Together through Musical Folk is one of them. And it is the best activity we have done for our son, hands down. 

Coming up next month will be FOUR years since we began Music Together classes. We couldn't be more grateful for the impact it has had on our son's life. He is creative, thoughtful, imaginative, and simply LOVES music. He can hold a beat, he has been exposed to numerous types of musical genres and instruments, enjoys the theatre and concerts, and carries a tune better than my husband. And I accredit these characteristics to his time in Music Together program. 

We started when Ness was barely 3 months old in a Music Together babies class. As a parent of a premie, I was very skeptical of taking him out and about but this was the first program I wanted to try and I am so grateful I did. My favorite part of that class? The moms have all become very good friends AND the kids have as well. They're all turning 4 right about now and we're all celebrating their milestones together STILL four years later. Incredible.

Music Together has 9 collections and once you make it through all nine, you can continue and simply repeat. In the 4 years we've been a part of this incredible program, we have participated in 13 full sessions. We have done all 9 collections, repeated 2 of them, done 2 summer sessions (usually a "Best Of" or "Greatest Hits" collection), as well as a few short winter sessions provided by Musical Folk

Music Together is a music AND movement program. So don't you think you're going to just sit back and watch.... NO WAY! This is not a drop off program. You'll be just as involved as your kids, being a role model to them as well as the other kids in the class. And it is marvelous! Research has proven that this involvement helps your child learn and grow developmentally appropriate skills as well as creates an ideal learning environment where it is open and accepting. The children learn and grow together with their parents, other children, and teachers. 

Music is truly priceless and it bring a magic to children's faces that is truly immeasurable. Stop and take a step back in one of their classes. The kids are having FUN. They are enjoying themselves. 

And also, the PARENTS have fun too. 

It is an incredible way to have bonding time with your child as well. You learn songs to share together as well as methods to calm and soothe your little ones. We have often said our Music Together CDs are magic in the car. I know many of my friends can agree on that one too! 

Ness learned to sing and dance right along side learning to walk and talk. It doesn't matter the age of your child to enjoy and learn from this program. You can be a baby up to starting elementary school. It is truly remarkable and the impact it has on children all ages is just astonishing. 

The teachers at Musical Folk are simply THE.BEST. Each and every one of them has a unique talent that transcends into their teaching. While they all teach the same collection, they each have their unique spin and methods to come across and bond with each and every one of the children in the class. 

Spring registration is now open and the session begins the first week of April. I truly cannot recommend this program enough, regardless of how old your child is. 

Want to try out Music Together with Musical Folk in the greater New Haven area? Sign up and use code NAOMI40 to get $40 off your semester!