The children's museum is laid out as in one long, open building. Following the model of many current children's museums it is all about experiential learning. Multiple rooms flow from one room to another. The opportunities to explore are endless! I'm going to highlight as many as I can, but I'm sure there are some things we missed.
The first area for exploration is filled with all things science. Microscopes, models, skeletons, books...so many things to touch and explore! My girls love science so they were very happy here for quite some time!
The girls loved the dentist and doctor areas located in the science section. Beth especially loved playing nurse because she has decided this is what she wants to when she grows up. I can see her being a very good nurse as she is caring and gentle, but also has a mind for memorization!
The next area is for arts and crafts. My girls were in heaven! We didn't get spend as much time here as they would have liked because a couple of large school groups were there and so it was a little crowded. They did get a chance to enjoy the giant clear-walled room for painting. After donning their smocks they eagerly painted all over the walls! When they get too much paint on them museum workers spray them down with an water hose installed in the ceiling and squeegee the walls. The water goes down a drain in the center of the room which in and of itself is fun to watch!
Right beside the painting room is a large climbing structure which goes from floor to ceiling. Rose loved this and made it all the way to the top. Grace and Beth were a bit more timid, but went partway up. We experienced a structure like this earlier this year at another children's museum, but it was so large it intimidated my younger two to the point they didn't want anything to do with it. This one wasn't as frightening to them and even though they didn't make it all the way to the top, they did make it farther than the last one.
Next came the cafe. The girls took orders, cooked, worked the cash register, and made change with replicas of the real thing. Beth loves to play like this at home all the time, so to have a full-size version of a restaurant made her day!
The train room awaited the girls in the next section. What a room! While they have played with a train set like this before, never have they played in such a beautifully painted area! A wall mural of a days-of-old train filled the room. Like every other room, themed books were available for kids at all times. I love how literature is a part of every exhibit. My girls weren't as drawn to this because we read together all the time, but I observed many children from the school groups enjoying the books with their adult chaperones and it made me happy to see this!
The last indoor section was a farm. This was my favorite part! Model raised beds lined with brown felt for dirt had holes in rows so kids could plant and harvest their produce. Also in this area was an adorable little farm house, which was filled with children almost the entire time we were there. Beth collected chicken eggs and Rose enjoyed driving the delivery truck. Grace planted veggies in the garden, but never got to harvest any because other kids kept coming up to do the job. She still had fun though.
Just outside this building is a courtyard filled with fun! A flowing creek with a small waterfall was Rose and Grace's favorite part outside. They floated boats and enjoyed the water. Beth loves to dig so she spent most of her time in the sand! There are also lots of outdoor toys for kids to play with, but our girls preferred these two areas.
I commented to my husband as we left that all of the things the girls experienced today are what we think of as typical childhood fun, yet most kids don't get to experience them on a regular basis. Our girls already do many of these activities, just on a smaller scale. I wondered how many of the children visiting may have been experiencing this type of exploration for the first time or the first time in a long time. I loved watching my girls play in the man-made creek as I recalled playing in creeks myself as a little girl. We don't have one on our property, but they do love exploring the woods behind my parents house which has a small swampy area.
The Children's Museum of Alamance County was a joy to visit and the price is a bargain at only $5 per person! The girls could have stayed from open to close and I imagine they could visit repeatedly without ever getting board. If you are able to make it to Alamance County, North Carolina make sure you take time to visit this museum. Your kids will thank you!
Family Friendly: 10
Kids Engagement: 10 (geared towards elementary)
Likelihood to return: 10
We received admission for our family to the Children's Museum of Alamance County in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received.