Tip #1: Prioritize Your Visit
You’ll want to visit the museum website before you go to plan out which exhibits are the high priority ones. As you know, we are all about 5 minutes away from a meltdown, so make sure you prioritize which exhibits you want to see first. In general, there may be one or two featured attractions and then a lot of smaller exhibits on different topics. I also like to see what is unique at the museum and do those exhibits first.
Tip #2: Plan around nap times
If your kids still nap like mine, we definitely plan around nap times so we don’t have a major breakdown at the museum. I can always tell towards the end of the visit when they are about to go crazy, so we will usually finish up quickly after that.
What’s worked really well for our family is to wake up and have breakfast, then go to the first museum in the morning, then we usually have a late lunch and we’ll drive to the next city or museum while they nap in the car. They usually wake up in the car and we are off to the next museum in the afternoon!
Tip #3: Do the Exhibits with Water, Bubbles (or Anything Messy) Last
The first time we went to a children’s museum that had a water exhibit, we were so excited that we immediately tried it out. It’s MESSY and even if your kids wear the waterproof smocks they give, they will get wet. I didn’t bring a change of clothes with me inside the museum (it was in our diaper bag in the parking lot), so the kids had wet clothes the rest of the time. This applies to water exhibits, bubble exhibits, and painting!
Tip #4: Bring Snacks
Make sure to pack snacks and water! The kids will get tired and snacks and water are always a good idea to get them re-charged. We have our to-go bag that has small water bottles for each kid and a whole bunch of snacks. Our current favorite snacks are Annie’s Fruit Snacks and Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.
Tip #5: Visit Right When It Opens
Most children’s museums will open between 9-10am, so we always go right when it opens. There are less people there and the kids can enjoy the exhibits more. Since our kids always got up really early, if we were done with breakfast before the museum opens, we would just go to a local playground near the museum before it opens. As a bonus, they get to burn of some more energy too!
Do you have any other tips to add to this list? Let me know!
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