Week in Review #3

Scan 4

Theresa (Circa 1986) Waiting by the Door Diaper Bag and Wallet in Hand

After a few moments last week where I swore I would be trapped in the house for the next 18 years due to Nola’s constant desire to make me flash the universe and Flynn’s love of the game hide and seek, I decided to continue my mission of being a stay at home mom that doesn’t stay at home. You would think after many years taking students on class trips, I would realize it is much easier to just stay put. However, since a young kid I was not a fan of staying inside. My mom often says when I was little I would put her purse by the front door to indicate it was time to go. So after being trapped by the 12+ inches of snow for a day (or two), we ventured out. 

Dominique was taking his 1st grade students to Please Touch Museum on Thursday so that was our first journey. Followed by a little play date back at Bucks County Children’s Museum and finished out with a Saturday morning party with Willa at Bouncing off The Walls. We survived PTM, had a great time catching up with my 8th grade BFF at the BCCM, and as always loved life while hanging with Willa at Bouncing off the Walls. 

Please Touch Museum

($17 ($2 off with AAA + other places have discounts too) Parents + Kids over 1 have to pay) Parking=Free

(Yearly Membership $150 (for 4 people) + discounts and free entry at Children’s Museums Across the Country)

We have been here a few times and have had always had different crowd situations. Typically, if you arrive later in the day (after 1) the crowd thins out; however, this trip we were trying to time it to see Dominique since he was taking his 1st grade students there for the day.  I planned for it to be packed, but was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at 10 AM to a nearly empty museum. Flynn barely had to wait for a turn on any car, train, river, carousel, shopping cart or tunnel and I didn’t have to worry about running kids over while pushing around the stroller. (They do have a stroller check, but it was fine pushing it around as well).

I had packed a lunch (you can bring in any food you want, but they also have a cafe) and was able to sit and feed Nola (for the second time) while Flynn ate lunch and watched the carousel. Flynn enjoyed roaming the museum, but was a tad overwhelmed/confused by the whole Dad is working and cannot follow me around part. I don’t think we will join in on any more school trips to avoid Flynn’s super jealous meltdowns, although he does talk about the “Big Kids” everyday since, so maybe he won’t be so upset next time. Flynn could learn to walk in a straight line and I did love watching Dominique work to keep 10 first graders in a straight line.

IMG_1967

Working at Rita’s

Enjoying some Snacks

Enjoying some Snacks

Driving the Car

Driving the Car

Waterplay

Waterplay

Tips for Visiting Please Touch Museum

  • The bulk of the seating (and where the high chairs were located) is by the Carousel. To avoid meltdowns be prepared to buy a Carousel ticket or avoid heading in that area or maybe just not have a kid who will brat out like mine. (Carousel was $1 if Museum Member, not sure about regular price)
  • Don’t miss the Trains area (if your kids are in to that). The first time we went we missed the Trains exhibit. It is down on the bottom floor between the Supermarket and the Alice in Wonderland area. They have a few Thomas train sets, plus blocks and a huge train set. It is a usually quieter in there and a nice place to retreat to if things get overwhelming.
  • There is a family restroom located in the Cars area.
  • There is ample parking on the street, which is just as easy to access the museum from if you want to avoid paying for parking. (Museum members get free parking, but I have parked on the street and found it just as easy if the lot is packed).
  • If you are not as comfortable flashing people in order to feed your young ones, there are some benches by the family restroom and a little play area for your older kid to play while you hide and feed.

Bucks County Children’s Museum

($7 per person (adults and kids over 1), half price with Please Touch membership) Parking (Metered around $2)

I am considering getting the add-on membership to the BCCM because it is easy, quiet and close. ($75 for a regular membership, $140 for one that gives you discounts at other children’s museums). Flynn, Nola and I packed up and headed back to the Children’s Museum to meet up with my 8th grade BFF and her adorable 1 year old daughter, Emma. It was my first time heading there after 12 and it was empty when we arrived at 12:30. Flynn bee-lined it straight to the Lego car race track and then spent a good while on the wall ball area. Despite Flynn falling multiple times, it was a nice, easy outing and I loved catching up with an old friend. Adult company is always an added bonus 🙂 Emma enjoyed the Dining Car and trying out the slide for the first time. I wished I had my camera to catch her huge smile as she rode down the Big Slide! It was a great afternoon and Flynn woke up from a nice, long afternoon nap asking for Emma.

Flynn and Emma

Flynn & Emma
(Thankfully someone got a photo!)

Tips for Visiting Bucks County Children’s Museum

  • When you hear museum you may think it is a huge place. This museum is like a large kids indoor playspace. It has three decent rooms with a bunch of different exhibits for kids. On average, kids last between 1.5 and 2 hours.
  • There isn’t a designated indoor place to eat, however, there is a little multi-purpose room where they hold Arts/Crafts and other activities that has small tables and chairs. It has always been empty (except when an open art class was going on), so if you really wanted to give your kid a snack or bite to eat you could set up shop in there. You always get 10% off at Triumph Brewery, which is in the same complex. So if you wanted to make an event out of it you could always head there after playing.
  • There is no real place to park your stroller, but it is never busy and so I pushed Nola around in the stroller and when she moved to the carrier I parked the stroller in a corner.
  • There is no real place to set up shop if you need to breastfeed. The best bet is one bench by the playhouse or outside the digging area.

Bouncing off the Walls

($3.50 crawlers, $7 for kids 1-2, $10 3+, 2 adults free with each kid)

A few months back, while at a Halloween event at the BounceU in Horsham, another mother mentioned that this place Bouncing off the Walls, in Levittown, is great for younger kids. BounceU was awesome, but a tad too old for Flynn (I’ll save that review for another day). I didn’t know what to expect from a place in a Levittown strip mall, but armed with Uncle E and Willa, decided to try out the open play on Saturday from 9-12. (It closes at 12 for parties).

This place had a TON of things. I normally am not a fan of LOTS of things, especially tons of plastic things, but it was a great time and it was easy to manage the kiddos. There were two bounce houses that were perfect for littler kids, a ton of Little Tikes and Fisher Price doll houses, kitchen sets and playhouses. There was a wooden train set, cars, tons of push toys and  two bouncy seats for younger infants (which sounds like a good idea, but not too sure I would put my infant in it, due to the germ factor). Nola chilled in the carrier and it was quite a sight when I tried to help Willa and Flynn navigate the larger jungle gym while Nola held on for dear life. There was a great mat area, with tunnels and see-saws and Little Gym type mats. The back had four small plastic eating tables for young kids, which of course, Willa and Flynn needed to try out. They had adult tables as well, where if I needed to nurse Nola would have been the go-to spot.  There were also smaller sinks in the back and a changing area. Flynn and Willa had a great time and for a Saturday morning the crowd was small, but the place was not empty. Although I was really unsure about this place, especially after pulling up and finding it sandwiched between a bar and an Auto Tag place, I found it worth the $7 and I could see us heading back on a day we need to be inside, but need to use up some energy.

Tips for Bouncing off the Walls

  • It is an easy to manage space, but not somewhere you can plan on sitting down while your kid plays, as you cannot see over the walls that separate each section. (I find this a plus because it means everyone is watching their kids, but if you wanted a place to set up and let kids roam it is hard to do in some areas of the space).
  • It is a shoe-free facility so we left our coats and shoes up front, but there were tables in the back to leave the diaper bag and my coffee.
  • I used the carrier for Nola because a stroller wouldn’t really work in that space.
  • They offer classes and Mommy and Me style events, but I think the space was best suited for the open play and play dates.
  • Although this place was geared towards the under 5 crowd, I think kids a little older could find something to entertain themselves.

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