Please Touch Museum
I have heard so many wonderful things about the Please Touch Museum in Philly that I decided it would be a great little getaway for our mid-winter break. The museum was super easy to get to (just a 3 hour and 15 minute trip from Long Island) and it could not have been less of a hassle to park and walk in to the museum. I am used to lines, traffic and chaos coming from New York, but this was almost euphoric going in to such a stress free environment. You know how it is.....you are usually screaming at your kids before you even walk through the front door because you are trying to wrangle them, navigate, find parking and keep them right next to you, not to mention who has to go to the bathroom the second you walk in.
The first thing that stood out to me was that this museum is a legit museum! I mean standing outside the building you feel like you are in Washington DC not on the outskirts of Philly. I am used to going to the little kiddie museums I have been to on Long Island but this was two huge levels of child friendly fun. It had everything a child could or would be interested in: science, cars, hospitals, McDonald's, a grocery store, Alice in Wonderland, water play, a carousel, shops and building blocks. There is literally something for everyone! They even have a little drying station next to the water play station....thank you Please Touch Museum for keeping us moms in mind with that one! The next thing that stood out to me was the fact that there are constantly staff members there cleaning up after the children while also encouraging the children to clean up after themselves because, "Part of playing is cleaning up!" I do like a museum that is organized and clean because as my children are playing in the museum I am thinking about the millions of germs that are crawling all over the toys.
I should state that I am an observer and when I go places, I not only observe the places I go, but also the people. It was shocking to me how calm all of the parents were there. Maybe this is a Philly thing but wow no one was yelling at their children or worrying about where they were? It seemed to me that most parents there were in their 20's-30's and tended to be VERY low key. My husband and I were almost shocked at how care-free the parents were letting their children run out of their eye sight and trusting that everything would be ok (I know I sound like a jaded New Yorker on this one). This made for a very low stress environment where everyone could enjoy their children playing and learning and not worry about the outside stressors in life.
My children are 3 and 6 years old and I would say about 7 is the cut off age for this museum. We met friends there who have a 7 year old and she was definitely not as engaged as my two children were. We spent about 3 hours there, including eating lunch, and got to see and do everything the kids wanted to do. My suggestion would be to go when it opens because it definitely got a lot more crowded mid-day vs. when we got there an hour after it opened. The price of the museum is $19 for ages 1 and up but they do provide discounts and days where the museum is less expensive. Lunch ran us about $25 which I thought was a phenomenal price for a family of 4 to eat.
I would absolutely recommend this museum for all of your little adventurous, explorers because what mom doesn't like a clean, low stress, kid-friendly environment where their children are not only playing but also learning?