A Day at the Museum of Science
One of the pleasures of having little ones is being able to revisit all the places you loved as kids and see them again through children’s eyes! Natalie and I used to love visiting the Museum of Science when we were small — sometimes with our parents, on field trips (with $10 to spend at the gift shop if we were lucky), or the time Natalie will never forget — she once slept over with her girl scout troop!
So I was pretty excited to spend a day at the museum recently with Serena and my husband. We started off the day in the Discovery Center, an area designed for little ones ages 0-8. There are only a small number of kids allowed in at a time, so we had a little pager to stroll around with as we waited for there to be space. Strollers can be left just outside the zone, which contains a small area for crawlers, a larger area with a ramp, activity table, costumes, and lots of fun little fort-like cubbies for the under-5 set, and then the larger play space for everyone up to age 8.
Serena had so much fun in here! She was running up and down the ramps, inspecting the little forts, checking out some things under a microscope, and making piles of blocks to destroy. We definitely could have spent a lot of time in here, and for a 1-year old, this was absolutely the highlight of the museum.
After leaving the Discovery Center, we took Serena to check out some of the other permanent exhibitions, like the Hall of Human Life. While most of the displays here were above her head (literally and figuratively!), she had a great time pushing lots of buttons, pretending to chat on the little phone-like speakers, and trailing unsuspecting groups of visitors. Just having that many people around and so much activity really got her tired, so we popped her in the stroller and rolled around until she napped.
We were interested in Da Vinci — The Genius (on view through February 26), which was also the darkest and quietest part of the museum, so perfect for nap time! This show was primarily centered on Leonardo Da Vinci’s engineering feats and inventions, of which there are a dizzying array. It is easy to forget that this one person was not only an artistic genius, but also an inventor scientist, architect, and philosopher. Italian artisans have recreated many of his inventions life-size from drawings and descriptions in his notebooks. You can see his version of a scuba suit, car, bicycle, military tank, and more. The exhibition also includes recreations of his artwork, which made me miss being able to see the real thing, but it was still an interesting glimpse into that aspect of his genius as well.
Lastly, we visited the newly-opened Chocolate exhibition (on view through May 7) — a fun exploration of the history of the cocoa bean. Although I thought I knew a lot about chocolate, it was interesting to learn how it had been used in bean form as money under the Aztec empire. Such a fascinating history for this plant!
Spending the morning at the Museum of Science was lots of fun! While definitely crowded, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. We did arrive as the museum opened, and on weekends that might not be a bad way to beat the crowds. Find out more about all the exhibitions and ticket options on the museum website, and keep in mind that lots of local libraries have ticket discounts or passes!
P.S. See more of our kid-friendly Cambridge favorites here!
Image Credit:1-2 Laura Chassaigne; 3-5 Museum of Science