I’ve pretty much lived in San Diego my whole life and I never knew we had a children’s museum here!  Granted, I only had my first child six years ago and I didn’t really pay attention to kid friendly things, but still.  How could I have never heard of it?  Why didn’t my mom ever take me?  Mom?

He’s being a “bird” in a birdcage no less…

Originally established in 1983 in La Jolla, the Museum has moved around a bit and changed it’s name a time or two, finally landing as The New Children’s Museum in the downtown marina district of San Diego.

The Museum is FABULOUS!

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Located at 200 West Island, San Diego CA, the Museum is a huge building full of fun.  Giant windows and skylights allow lots of natural light.  Colorful exhibits delight children from toddler to teens.  My boys wanted to do everything…first.  Each boy wanted to do something other than their brother (of course) and half way to that destination, something else would catch their eye.  It was quite amusing, and annoying, all at the same time.

is it paint or goop?  He didn’t care

There were things to paint, mold, hear and climb.  They had scheduled workshops for building birdhouses and keepsake boxes.  There was a lesson on thunder and lightening in the Rain Room, a bubble machine working double time on the balcony.

Sensory overload.  But in a good way.

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Kids are not told to “shush” in this Museum.  Exploration and touching are encouraged.

When we arrived around 11am, it was very crowded.  I could tell that there were school groups touring the facility.  Little kids in white shirts were everywhere!  The boys participated in a birdhouse collage workshop and it was hard to hear the instructor.  Of course, it didn’t really matter.  They were so good with the kids.  Nobody got left out or forgotten.  We created masterpieces!

We left at lunch to find some food.  You can bring your own lunch to the Museum, which is awesome!  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until it was too late.  The Museum does have a little cafe serving sandwich’s and snacks, but lunch time was pretty full so I asked the front desk what was kid friendly and nearby for lunch.   She quickly produced a sheet with several delicious options.  We headed two blocks down and ate at the famous Cafe 222.

When we returned from lunch, the Museum was much quieter.  I was mentioning it to Bob and an employee overheard me.  She told me that they do not have school groups after 1pm.  This is a good thing to note!  The afternoon was much less chaotic and a lot more manageable.  It was easier to hear and keep track of three wild and crazy boys.  We will definitely plan our next visit for after lunch.

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Summer Camp at The New Children’s Museum

The New Children’s Museum has launched an extended series of summer camps in San Diego for children entering grades one through six. Focusing on inspiring imagination and cultivating creativity through project-based learning, kids have the opportunity to explore traditional and contemporary forms of art making hand-in-hand with seasoned artists. In small groups, an active and personal relationship with each instructor enables children to ask questions and experiment with new ways of thinking.

Here is a printable pdf file with more information!

I would love to get Anthony into a summer camp at this Museum, but I just can’t imagine driving an hour to downtown every single day.  I don’t know how people who work downtown do it!  But perhaps if you live closer to the downtown area, this would be a great activity for your kids.  They have several different camp curriculum’s to choose from.

Become a Member

The New Children’s Museum is regularly priced at $10.00 per person (kids and adults).  Our one visit would have cost us $50.00 since we are a family of five (whoa, look at Rhea doing math!).  Well, for just $85.00 we can purchase a Family Membership and have unlimited visits for all of us year round!  That costs less than two visits paid for at the regular price and The New Children’s Museum is definitely worth visiting more than once!  The Museum offers three different membership packages, check them out and decide what is best for your family.

I am so excited to have discovered The New Children’s Museum.  It was AMAZING!  The boys are already asking to go back!   Do you have a cool Children’s Museum like this near you?  Have you visited?