Saturday, 26 January 2013

Bay Area Kids Museum

Another Kid friendly, Budget friendly trip in The SF Bay Area - Bay Area Kids Museum

It looked like it was going to be a warm day, so we decided to step out for an exploratory trip. Still on our resolve to spend more carefully, we decided to look first at Discover & Go options. We quickly decided on The Bay Area Kids museum, printed out our pass, packed a small picnic and set off.

From the Peninsula was about a 45 minute drive, through some lovely scenery on a great day. We drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, and luckily for all the people walking on the bridge, there was a clear view. Once past the bridge we drove down into Sausalito, and very quickly reached the museum. Parking is free, and it’s next to the marina and just under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Inside, there are lots of play areas - indoors and out, all meant for kids. Imagination Playground is a small lot full of blue giant foam blocks, noodles and balls with kids busily putting them together. Meant to encourage kids to be creative and build, it was fun even to watch. From there we moved on to the next play area - the Lookout Cove. This is a couple of acres of playground with lots of features. Our 2 yo's favorite was the construction site (complete with helmets, shovels and dump trucks), representative of the Golden Gate construction scenario. There’s also a shipwreck, where kids can search for treasure (that friendly volunteers help along by secreting pennies in the sand) - coins, porcelain and even a sword.

Next we stopped at the TotSpot. There's a height restriction so not for kids above 42 inches. Outdoors there was a meandering stream that kids can splash in and play with toy fish and frogs. There are aprons for kids, to avoid getting wet, but it may be best to bring along a change. Indoors there are 2 areas - the woodlands and wetlands. Wood lands have meadow to roll in and tunnel to crawl through. The woodlands have ponds (water beds)  where kids can jump and hear ducks and frogs. The Cafe didn’t have too many vegetarian options and they were out of a lot of things - so may be best to bring your picnic along. Picnic tables and restrooms, with diaper changing areas are plenty, so you can plan to spend a day.

There was a lot more to see and play - Art Studios, Bay Hall, Discovery Hall, Wave Workshop - but our 2 yo was all played out so we headed out. As the emphasis is on unstructured play and the play areas have been designed to be kid safe - it was a relaxing and fun day for all of us.  Next time, I'm going to take a book.

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