Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Please Touch

After waiting in line for almost 90 minutes to vote today (go Obama!), we hopped in the car, picked up some McDonald's to go and high-tailed it to the new Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.

Traveling on the weirdly traffic-free Schuylkill Expressway, we arrived there in just about 30 minutes, a feat I can not imagine we could ever replicate.

The new home of the Please Touch Museum is Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. A really impressive building and a great improvement over the old, cramped location in downtown Philly.

We were greeted by an enthusiastic man in a Mad Hatter outfit. I found him sort of creepy/irritating, but the kids were amused. I clearly have a different sense of humor than a child.

The exhibits are, for the most part, the same as those at the old facility. However, most are expanded to take advantage of the additional space.

There is a large boating/water exhibit that I do not remember from the old museum. The kids loved this. However, the floor is woefully inappropriate for a water feature and kids were slipping and falling all over the place. They need to put down more appropriate flooring or someone is going to get seriously hurt.

Other features included a human-sized hamster wheel, an extensive Alice-in-Wonderland section with a maze and tea party, and a huge play supermarket. The last time we went the kids LOVED the supermarket. This time, possibly because it was a ridiculous mess, they weren't so into it.

There was also a play McDonald's, a food cart in the "park", a hospital, a shoe store, and a construction site.
My kids enjoyed the "garage" and driving the bus, and car. There were also "real" backhoes that the kids could dig colored balls with.

Lots of the activities would probably be more appropriate for the under 6 crowd. I think Tater enjoyed it more than Sprout, although there were moments when she was very into it.

I am not great at doing the "standing around watching kids play" thing. And I am a nut-case when kids are running in different directions and I can't keep track of them. (Yes, that's me yelling "WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND ABOUT STAY TOGETHER???"). I would have enjoyed the day more with another grown-up for coverage and company. But it was a good day anyway.

The kids were very compliant with their $5 budget in the gift shop. Each picked a yo-yo. Sprout picked a strange tube thing that makes a weird noise. Tater picked 4 small plastic cats, which he named Snow White, Fluffy, Princess and Mustard. For some reason I find that very amusing.

So, in short...if you have kids under 6 and a co-pilot, you will probably really enjoy the Please Touch Museum. And don't run around the water feature or you'll crack your head open.

Oh, also - if you have AAA you can get a slight discount ($1.50 per ticket).

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