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The original Children’s museum opened up in La Jolla, Ca in 1983 and was later relocated to a warehouse in Downtown, San Diego. It was designed by the award-winning architect, Rob Wellington Quigley, and reopened as the New Children’s Museum in 2008.
Upon entering, you walk across a bridge with a bright and welcoming mural that runs across it. You get a glimpse of all the creativity, imagination and innovation as you step foot into the opening space of the lobby. Heck, there was even a small glass window on the bridge floor to get a view of what’s below. They offer paid admission and membership plans to accommodate any family size. They also have a pop up shop area for local vendors or cause-driven businesses. You can view the available merchandise as you await for admission. Speaking of which, they change it as a way to continuously try to improve the admission process. I thought that was neat.
The New Children’s Museum has three levels of fun for all ages, from toddlers to preteens. Even parents can get in on the fun as you guide your children through the various rooms and exhibits designed for hands on creativity. Areas of the museum are marked with signs noting the appropriate ages allowed to explore.
First we went to the lower level to explore the ocean room. We glanced at the coloring pages of choice—a seahorse, a fish or a shark. Adam chose a shark. So we made our way to an available table with crayons and table lamos already set up. I watched as Adam colored alongside his cousins. I also helped him fill out the shark, too. I couldn’t help myself. Then we waiting in line as kids got their colored sea animal scanned. Here’s the kicker: once the image was scanned, the animal came to life in a life-sized ocean that was projected across an entire wall. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. All the kids lit up as they watched their fish or shark swim across the screen—just as they colored it!
We climbed the stairway back up to the second floor where we split the kids up by age group so they could explore their age appropriated areas. Adam and his younger cousin shared fits of smiles and laughter as they jumped around on a pile of mattresses and cushions. They even got to put colored scarfs through a wind pipe and watch as it floated up and shot out of the top.
There were so many more different areas to explore. An art area to build small clay models, paint contemporary art wall, a magnetic wall with shapes and a blackboard wall. A sandbox room. An entire area for children under four that consisted of learning to trace and cut paper, build blocks and explore different heights and textures. My favorite was a room with animal and quoted art everywhere. And so much more!
This place is definitely high on my list of places you should definitely visit maybe once or twice. It’s pretty much everything I could ever want for Adam. It peaks his interests and keeps him motivated and inspired to participate in a creative, imaginative and innovative environment.
Just visiting San Diego or looking for a new spot to enjoy with your littles? Check out the New Children’s Museum!
Leave a comment below telling me all about your experience! What was your favorite area? Also, don’t forget to subscribe + follow us on social media!