One morning in Camden Hills started out gray and rainy, so we immediately went to the indoor activities list and this was on the top based on a couple of recommendations. There was barely a sign announcing this museum’s presence off to the side of an old shipping yard and next to the abandoned railroad tracks. It looked tiny and sort of ad hoc, so I was quite surprised at the amount of thought and charm that was packed into this place. It easily kept the kids active and engaged for a couple of hours.
But let me pause here and grumble for a moment. I have developed a real pet peeve with a lot of children’s museums that we have visited. The pricing scheme is a bitter pill to swallow. It never got me to worked up before now because our boys were under two. And under two is like universally free wherever you go and whatever you are doing. But then–BAM–they turn two and become doubly expensive all at once. Unless you lie. And we never, ever (only sometimes) do this.
So what is my beef? Adults are either as expensive as the kids or more expensive and I don’t really understand this. We are just chaperones. No, actually we are like workhorses for the museum since we run around after our children and pick up every block and book and puzzle piece that the little campers toss aside. The higher the adult:child ratio is, the better off the museum is. I feel like I am paying to babysit my own children. What gives? We had three adults (my mom was with us) and two kids. So we paid $15 for adults and $10 for the boys to go into a Children’s Museum. Am I the only one who finds this irritating?
Okay rant over and positives on the way…
The curators did a lovely job of separating the museum into differently themed rooms. There was a book nook, a touch tank, a kitchen and shopping area, a veterinarian room complete with x-rays, a craft area, and a work/tool table. I felt that there really was something for every kind of kid.
My kids being a little more on the ‘physical’ side they didn’t spend too much time checking out the x-rays or playing in the doll house. They were thrilled to push shopping carts around the place in Nascar mode for a good chunk of time.
Another activity that grabbed their fancy was in the workshop area where you could hammer golf tees into clay. Parents take note: this is another one of those cheap activity ideas for your own home. There is nothing a boy likes to do more than hammer and this might just keep them away from the walls.
Eventually they did settle down and create a little art at the craft table.
Looking at this picture makes me rethink the whole not charging adults idea…Ami (i.e. Grandma) seems to be having quite a good time with those markers.
While we were inside, the sun came out and we decided to take a walk along the Rockland harbor boardwalk. You know an activity was successful when it ends like this:
Thank you, Coastal Children’s Museum!