Boston Children's Museum, Boston MA

This is a wonderful place. The location is both a blessing and a burden. My dad's office used to be down in this area, and parking is very expensive in the private lots that surround the waterfront. I suggest parking at a T station and taking the train in - this is what we've done in the past. The T is easy-peasy (though the time we took our stroller was a little hairy) and once you arrive at South Station you are about 3 blocks from the museum. The museum's website has really good directions. In the coldest winter, on the waterfront, this walk might be unpleasant, but in anything but the most bitter cold it's a nice walk. The kids have been fascinated by the busy waterway and the seagulls.
The museum has so many exhibits that we've never seen them all in a day. The large climbing structure is a sibling to the one at the Holyoke Children's Museum, and goes up three stories. There is usually a staff member posted half way up the stairs to make sure that children don't exit there without parents and become lost. Lucky thing.
There is a large toddler/infant area that we've never spent much time in - but I anticipate using this area with my youngest the next time we visit. There is a large and complex water play area (the photo above shows the toddler water play table, but there is a much larger water system with canals, etc), a "city" including stores, barbershop, streets, etc., a construction area with full scale construction vehicles to sit in as well as various child-height tables with roads, ramps and underpasses which serve as a playscape for toy construction vehicles. On the ground floor, a physics exhibit has kids pedalling bikes to power light bulbs and tugging on a pulley to send a tennis ball high into the air. Plus more. These are the ones that stand out in memory.
The only place to buy food at the museum is an Au Bon Pain that is attached. If you bring your own lunch you can eat it at one of the picnic tables outside by the water - or I think you could bring it into the restaurant's seating area. Our experience at this particular Au Bon Pain was pretty terrible - think of many people standing around while you look at the empty sandwich counter and wonder why no one is making an $8 sandwich for your bawling children. When we got the food it was good. But by then I was almost crying with anger and frustration so my taste buds were compromised.
Admission is FREE for members of the Springfield Science Museum, so I'll have to repeat my harangue that this membership is a WONDERFUL VALUE. You'll gain admission to Boston Children's Museum, Boston Science Museum , the Ecotarium, as well as the Springfield Museums. This has been a great membership for our family and I highly recommend it.

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