arizona attractions, community, friends, silas, toddler

Exploration and Discovery

While there aren’t many outdoor options for entertainment during desert summers, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix was offering a “Beat the Heat” weekday admission price during the month of August. I was excited to see that the cost was only $6 per person instead of the usual $11!

Silas and I planned a trip with two friends from church and their kids. None of us had ever been to the Phoenix children’s museum, so it was exciting for all seven of us!

The first exhibit was overwhelming and probably the favorite of most kids who go. It was a HUGE three-story climbing play place that had lots of creative elements. There was a bathtub with wings, a boat with legs sticking out the bottom, a dog house, a rocket, a car, and lots of pathways–all enclosed in a cage to keep little people (and mommies and daddies) from falling out. Silas and I explored the first two levels, but there were some things that my six-month-pregnant self couldn’t/shouldn’t do.

On the ground floor was a contraption made of tubing with compressed air blowing through it. The kids could stuff scarves into the tubes and watch them work their way through the maze of pipes until they were eventually blown out into the air. Levers allowed the children to change the direction of the air blowing through the maze.

Off to the side was a ping-pong ball and PVC pipe station. Again, compressed air was blowing up through holes in the table where the kids could direct it by building PVC pipe mazes. The ping-pong balls were held in mid-air at the top of the pipes. Silas loved this part best of all. He was like a chipmunk, storing up ping-pong balls for the winter! It was fun to see his concentration as he connected pipes, gathered balls, and put the balls through the pipes he had built.

On the second floor we found a sandbox with lights shining up through the bottom. It made the sand twice as interesting as the light made patterns in the sand while the kids played. Silas liked playing the xylophone. We also tried out the tricycle car wash and played in the fort-building room for a good while.The wooden clamps were fascinating to Silas!

In the art studio Silas painted for all of two seconds before deciding he didn’t want to wear the huge gray paint smock. He was adorable though! After that, he played with an ice cream play set and puzzles instead of painting.

We took a break for lunch before heading to the top floor. The museum sells some lunch items, but they also allow you to bring your own food and eat in their cafeteria. I kept turning around to see who the laughing baby was, but instead, it was piped in laughter. Interesting idea for keeping kids happy, I guess.

The third floor was extra cool with the Noodle Forest. There were hundreds of pool noodles hanging from the ceiling to create the “forest.” How fun to push your way through the noodles to get to the other side. And what was on the other side? A plush room with velcro words and velcro tails, noses, eyes, and such to stick on the walls. Silas loved the Paint-With-Water station and ice cream cart in front of the Noodle Forest.

We explored the make-believe kitchen and grocery store. Silas Clark fell in love with the bucket of dried split peas. He spent a long time scooping them up and spilling them out. Maybe I’ll have to make my own bean bin at home?

The third floor also boasted a race car track and several different modes of transportation for the kids to try driving. Silas’s favorite was the pencil car. He kept going back for another drive!

In the Book Nook, Silas recognized the tables as hippos. I’m always surprised when he can pick out hippos since the only one he’s seen is the silhouette picture in his nursery. Throughout the museum are Baby Stations designed for the little guys, but there wasn’t much Silas couldn’t do in the museum. We did explore the Three-And-Under room for a bit where he went down the slide and discovered a picture of a puppy that barked when he pushed the button. Just perfect for him!

What a blast to explore and discover the museum exhibits with our friends–and for almost half the price!


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