We are so lucky to have a hands-on museum for kids right here in Santa…
Finally we have a hands-on museum for kids in Sonoma County! We have all been to the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, but now we have the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County right here in our backyard!
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is geared towards children 10 and younger, and offers interactive, hands-on exhibits and experiences focused on art, nature and science. They have operated as the Museum-on-the-Go since 2005 and just opened their permanent location as theChildren’s Museum of Sonoma County in early 2014.
Right when you walk in your kids are immediately going to go to the golf ball rolling wall, the coin catcher, or the money vortex.
If you can get past these activities, head straight outside to Mary’s Garden. Mary’s Garden is named after “Mariposa,” the Spanish word for Butterfly. Mary’s Garden is inspired by places in Sonoma County: wetlands, local farms, the mighty redwoods, and the beautiful Russian River.
In the center of Mary’s Garden is the water play area, obviously the most popular! There is a stream/waterfall right in the middle where the kids can float little wooden boats or catch some fish (with nets).
There is also a pond and a bridge to run across (my 3-year-old son is into bridges so he ran across it about 20 times).
At the bottom of the waterfall there is a large gravel area with toys (trucks, boats, shovels) for the kids to play to their heart’s content.
There are also lots of water play tables that the kids can pump water in and out of, and build water chutes to and from. Hours of fun, right?
The Nelson Family Farm Stand is equipped with pretend fruits & veggies, a scale, semi-edible garden, and a tractor!
Also in Mary’s Garden are large, mesh caterpillar sculptures to run through, foam building blocks, hay bales and tires to play on, and man-powered Butterflies that the kids can operate themselves.
In Ella’s Art Studio the kids can paint and do various art projects. The day we were there, PG&E was doing a special presentation on power safety and they had an elaborate display of a miniature neighborhood complete with power lines, cars, houses, and little people. He demonstrated to the kids (and grown-ups!) how dangerous electricity can be and used real power to show us! Very interesting. We got PG&E hats and workbooks to take home with us.
The museum was loads of fun for my 3-year-old and I. Currently only Phase 1 of the Museum is open and running; Phase 2 is scheduled to be up and running in Spring 2015. Phase 2 looks amazing and includes an indoor 2-story Science and Imagination Gallery featuring: Miniature Sonoma County store & business fronts, TotTopia with sensory activities, AirMaze Wall, Airbot, Air Poppers, Air Cannons, BubbleMania, Spaceship, and a Treehouse, to name a few.
The Museum still needs to raise moneyto complete Phase 2 in Spring 2015. Donations are welcomed to help nurture, maintain, and sustain the museum.If you and your family enjoy the museum, please consider donating to this cause, every little bit counts!
When you visit, don’t forget the sunscreen and hats – Mary’s Garden is outside and there is very little shade. Also pack a lunch – there is currently only a vending machine. Drinking fountains and restrooms are in the lobby.
For more information, visit the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County website.