We have put in a few updates for the blog in 2018!
On Saturday this past week, we went to the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for the fifth time. Yes, I said that right, the fifth time before I even blogged about it! Why did it take me so long to blog about it? Because it is huge and there is just so much to do that I wanted to try and get the full experience before I wrote about it. And, even on our fifth visit, we still haven’t experienced everything the museum has to offer. The Children’s Museum is that good.
The price of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a bit higher than some other attractions you may go to, but I promise you, it is worth it. To maximize your visit, I would definitely encourage you to visit when your children are at their best-awake and happy! Luckily, if they get hungry there even is a cafe on site (with real food), but more on that later!
The Children’s museum has been at it’s current location since 2008, and it is in the old Monroe Elementary School. The Monroe School had once been the biggest elementary school west of the Mississippi. It is a huge building at over 55,000 square feet (although not all of the building is used at this point.)
There is quite a bit of free parking on site, to the left of the building (as you are looking at it from 7th Street) and behind the building, but it does fill up quite fast. There is even covered parking and electric car parking (with charging stations). Although the Children’s Museum is on 7th Street, parking is off of East Van Buren.
Munchie was super excited to see the entrance to the museum, since he has been here so many times, he knew what he was in for. There is a great covered area for waiting before the museum opens (yes, there is a line to get in).
There are a few clerks at the front who will stamp your hands after you pay for your admission. The staff is so courteous and welcoming to the museum. There is also a map (I highly recommend the map because our first visit we totally missed the entire third floor!), and a lot of information at the front desk about becoming a member. Right after the front desk is a gift shop. When you enter the start of the actual “museum” part, on your right before you go down the ramp will be lockers and bathrooms and even a nursing room.
And, if you look to your right, which I know your kids will be is the three floor massive climbing behemoth!
These pictures really don’t even do the Schuff-Perini Climber justice. Just an FYI, if you plan on doing this (or your children do) I highly recommend closed toe shoes. There is a lot of different surfaces, including rock wall like areas that are at a 45 degree angle. You also cannot bring purses/backpacks or children in carriers/slings onto this climber because it is not safe. I went up with Giggles (at two years old) and I had to do a lot of lifting to help her climb throughout. I was sweating and made the mistake of wearing flip flops and jeans. There are a few areas that if you are claustrophobic, I would not recommend doing the climber. There are staff members or “playologists” stationed at some of the different landing areas to help children if they get lost or need help. The staff members also have walkie talkies to help communicate with one another. And the climber is only accessible from the 1st floor so children can’t get out on different floors and wonder around.
If you have one child that wants to climb and one that is a baby and one that doesn’t like to climb (like I have) there is plenty to do on that first floor. Throughout the museum there are “baby zones” where you can safely let your little crawler play. It’s like they planned it for families or something (they did and its fabulous!).
The first floor also has a great block area for kids who don’t want to do the climber and a nice seating area for parents and two baby areas as well!
The seating throughout the museum is excellent for parents, grandparents and other visitors. There is ample seating around the climber so you can wait for your kids and even watch them. On one of our visits to the Children’s Museum Munchie stayed in the Climber almost the entire time!
The fun doesn’t end on the first floor, it continues up to the second floor