If you’re a parent, guardian, relative, or caretaker, you know how much kids enjoy going to the children’s museum. There’s something hardwired in each child to play, learn, and just have plain ole’ good fun.
We’ve been to several in the U.S., including the Houston Children’s Museum, Austin Children’s Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, and Rota Children’s Museum in Cyprus. But in our hometown, we go to the Grand Rapids’ Children’s Museum (GRCM). Typically, we go about once a year. The first time was on my birthday because I thought it would be fun to celebrate a child-friendly activity as a family. That was back in 2008.
Fast forward to 2013. With some girlfriends and seven kids between us, it made sense to go to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for some educational learning and role-playing entertainment while the mommies squeezed in some time to hang out.
(Photo Above: This mural along the exterior wall of the museum is enough of a reason to come see the GRCM. Couples take portraits here all the time.)
(Photo Above: Once inside, you have a choice of staying on the first floor looking at the fish tank, playing with mega-sized blue building blocks, shopping at a kid-size grocery store, making train tracks, and rummaging through rubberized dirt in the massive construction zone.)
(Photo Above: Huge blue clocks for building play forts and castles to engage your child’s imagination.
(Photo Above: A look at the museum on the first level before the groups come in for the morning.)
One of the best exhibits at GRCM has to be the Giant Bubble Maker. When we’ve gone in the past, the bubble maker didn’t have enough “sudsyness” to make a giant bubble. However, going in the morning turned out to be much better. The bubble maker had just the right amount of suds to make the giant bubble every time. Look at the photos below to see Piano Man’s progression through the Giant Bubble Maker.
(Photo Above: Even Linus wanted first hand experience inside the Giant Bubble Maker.)
You could spend hours at the museum. Take a look at some of the photos below to see what kind of fun you and your little ones can have on your next children’s museum outing.
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(Photo 1. Musical Instruments Section. Photo 2. Metal Magnet Making Section. Photo 3. Grocery Store Section. Photo 4. More building 3D objects section.)
If you really want your kid to let loose, this rock climbing apparatus is the place to do it. Thank goodness, Piano Man took some rock climbing lessons to overcome his fear of heights.
(Photo Above: Piano Man, Linus, and friends making their way to the top.)
(Photo Above: Even riding a stationary horse is enough to make any kid go “ooh and ahhh.”)
If your child likes to make crafts, this section is for you. GR Children’s Museum has volunteers/helpers to help your child make some pretty cool crafts.
But if your kid is too young to make a craft or not at all interested in the craft, then a free construction show is just the break your kid may be seeking. At least mind did. I had a hard time getting him to move onto to another area.
(Photo Above: Here’s a sign informing you of the activity of the day. Your child will never be bored at the GRCM.)
The museum also provides a pretty cool spinning wheel that allows your child to experiment with learning about centrifugal force.
Linus is a bit young, but if big brother is doing it, little brother must try his hand at the spinning wheel as well. This also applies to more bubble making mayhem.
(Photo Above: Linus looked so proud of his achievement.)
Thank you, Grands Rapids Children’s Museum for making our morning a fun-filled adventure. (And thank goodness I got to take this photo in the nick of time.)
Because this is what happens at a children’s museum. One person’s creation is another person’s desire to destroy and rebuild again. It just goes to show you how much fun anyone can have at the children’s museum.
By the way, if you’re looking for community, Grand Rapids has plenty of it. A stranger came up to me while we sat in the local green space by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. He told me that free ice cream was available that day. I asked, “Which organization is providing this service?” Another stranger responded, “Just random people showing acts of kindness every Wednesday during the summer months.” Now how cool is that?