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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena. We had a wonderful time there and I urge all the families listening to check it out. Here is the basic information you'll need to plan your trip.
It is open daily, 9:30 am to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on major holidays. It is located right next to the parking lot of the Rose Bowl, so the museum also closes several times each year due to football games. The address is 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. Oh, and I encourage you to bring a change of clothes for your children because there are several places to play in water.
Here is the one drawback to the museum: The admission price is $8 for adults and children over 12 months. Children 12 months and younger are free. So a family of four will pay $32 which is kind expensive compared to many los angeles museums and venues.
OK, so back to our visit. We went to the museum for free because we were attending a birthday party there for a friend of Madison and Logan's named Sophia who was turning 2. There is a special room just for parties and a facilitator was assigned to the room to lead planned activities. We didn't stay in the room for the activities because we wanted to explore the museum and knew that after the party our kids would want to take a nap. However, my sister did stay and she said that the activities were a lot of fun, with a parachite, big bugs for the kids to look at, arts and crafts and more. While the museum was free for us, it was part of a birthday package that our friends bought. Birthdays are a big thing there, and there was another one right after ours in the same room. There were also brochers for birthdays readily available for all visitors to take there.
The museum consists of an indoor facility called the Roberts Pavilion,a large outdoor play area and lastly, a garden. There is also a cafe, an early childhood learning center designed for kids under 4 and a gift store. The entrance to the museum is through a huge kaleidoscope which my kids just loved.
Here is the rundown about the Digging Deeper exhibit in the Roberts Pavilion which is very hands-on and appropriate for kids ages I'd say 18 months and up. There is a definite focus on nature. Your child will learn about earthquakes, climb down itno a Trench to see a cross-section of the Earth, then into the anthole to see what it feels like to be an ant. The section about bugs was adorable: your child will learn about the anatomy and eating habits of cockroaches and other insects. Rocks, plants, fossils and more are all on display to experiment with. Madison and Logan's favorite part was the art center and in particular an area where they held brushes, dipped them in different colored paint and then painted through a waterfall onto the wall. It was quite messy and we had to change Madison's oufit after that. On their website, Kidspace encourages parents to bring a change of clothes because of all of the ares for the children to play in water, and I agree with that notion.
In addition to the ant climber, Kidspace has two 40 foot towers that Madison and Logan were a little afraid of but maybe they will be more adventurous next time.
Once your kids are done with this pavilion, they'll head out to experiment with the water table. There is also, a playhouse and slide, a huge tricycle track (some of the trikes are built for more than one rider!) and a series of water fountains that encourage visitors to jump in them. The Kidspace Education Department also facilitates special programming at Kirby’s Kids Corner every day from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Some of these activities include bubble blowing, picnicking, and storytelling.
Just beyond these areas are the gardens which were in full bloom when we went in April. There is also an outdoor pavilion where the musuem holds family concerts. There wasn't any activity in this area when we were there but my kids made a game out of moving the chairs from one part of the pavilion to the other and grouping the chairs by color. One nice thing about this museum is that although there was staff and I felt that this was a safe and secure environment for children, nobody was on top of our children telling them that they could not move the chairs a few feet.
Now, for the gardens. They were definitely my favorite part of the museum. My kids delighted in a huge tunnel with several entrances. I chased them in and out, over and over. There was a huge climbing structure called the Root Wad that they were a little small for but I could see a more experienced child relishing the challenge. There was also a fun climbing wall for older kids, an area to pan for gold and polish rocks, a pond to search for tadploes and dragonflies, waterfalls, bridges, a grass maze and a bee and butterfly garden. I just loved all of the different parts of the gardens and Madison and Logan couldn't get enough of it either. It was beautiful and had just so much to see and do.
Here are a few other thought about Kidspace:
Here is a big plau: the parking lot is free and Kidspace is located right next to Brookside Park and while we didn't get a chance to play there, the equipment looked really fun and rather new.
There is a train for the children and adults to ride on that when we were there, yet it only took you on a slow ride on a walkway back and forth in front of the entrance. It cost $2 and was not worth it so save your money. They call it a train ride, but there were no tracks so it was more like a small trolley in the shape of train that takes you knowhere. I also did not see how this train fit in with the museum in any way, but it was surely part of the museum with tickets for it sold at the museum and with our birthday party host leading everyone out to the train and then tallying each head for the birthday child's parents to pay for after the party.
The museum is busy constructing pavilion to have a host of new exhibits. It is slated to open at some point this year.
Kidspace offers 8 week Mommy and Me classes which sound like a lot of fun but unfortunately it is a drive for us.