So today, on this miserable and dreary day, I decided to take my kids to the New Jersey Children's Museum. It's located in Paramus which is easy to get to via the GWB or the TZB. From the TZB, its about 20 mins. Admission is $10 per person, but I had a coupon from one of my favorite sites www.livingsocial.com (that's a whole separate blog entry....discount sites). The coupon was for $5 tickets. Even at full price, $10 is fine for what it is.
From the outside, my first thought was "not impressed." It's in a building that looks somewhat industrial and is not as aesthetically pleasing as Stepping Stones in CT, but I checked out the website beforehand and it looked like it had some great things for the kids. We walked into the main entrance and the girl at the front desk gave us this map.
I looked at it. Adorable. :-)
(While I was checking in and redeeming my coupons, the kids were entertained by fun house mirrors that distort their faces.)
Is it a little run down? Yes.
Could it be a drop cleaner? Yes.
The truth is, kids don't care about the quality of things.
Look at most preschool toys; kitchen sets, dolls, outdoor equipment. I will never forget going to the Parent Orientation at my daughter's first preschool. When we left, I could tell that my husband was a little quiet and seemed dissatisfied. I asked him what he thought and he admitted that he did not think it looked too inviting. He asked me if we should buy a new kitchen/play area and donate it to the school. I explained that the 2 year olds in the class don't discriminate. Because we had the nice pink Pottery Barn Kids kitchen at home did not mean that she was going to like it anymore than the old wooden one at the school. WE chose that kitchen. Most parents want more for their kids than the kids want for themselves. OK, I am rambling. Back to the museum.
So it's a little tired but it has a lot of fun things for the kids. I guess its best for kids aged 2-6. There is a younger section for babies and kids older than 6 might not be interested in the creative/pretend play. There are cute areas like a grocery store, a pizzeria and a castle. Children can pretend to drive a backhoe, a fire engine, ambulance or helicopter. There are some scientific areas and some historical areas. Other areas are a music room, an infant soft play room and a giant train set. Of course, there are party rooms and a gift shop...but what I loved was that they did not serve food. Most of these places serve junk.
Here are some pics: