It seems when you have your first child you want to take them everywhere and show them everything. You traipse off to all these places in search of something different and fun that they can experience for the first time. Zoos, aquariums, parks, and museums become something of an experiment with each visit.
We have done the Atlanta zoo, we are regulars at the Botanical Gardens and the Brook Run park in Dunwoody, and I just yesterday posted about our Georgia Aquarium trial run. Of course, every family's experience is going to be a little different. We LOVE the Atlanta Botanical Gardens but I could see how someone else might not. It's part what floats your boat and part what your child is ready for.
All of that being said, this may be a bold thought. After visiting Atlanta's Imagine It! Children's Museum today I feel like I can say it is for everyone. Here are my thoughts:
* Age to begin going - I'm not sure what I would even say the best age to begin going is. They have a baby/toddler area within an area designated for children under the age of five. I guess I would say $12.50 is a lot to pay to take a baby to crawl around in stuff you may have at home. I suppose I would suggest going once your child can walk.
* Cost - Kids under 2 are free. So adults and children over 2 are $12.50 each. Obviously then, past the age of 2 you are paying upwards of $24 which, for me, is getting pricey. Especially since you have to pay to park (I paid $5). There are multiple annual packages which I am actually contemplating...that's how great I thought it was.
* What I liked - This museum is not a huge place. When I first walked in I wasn't so sure it would provide much for Lila's age. I tried to get Lila to walk around and try as much as she could. Of course, she fixated on a few things so that's what we did. I liked that there was a show about music going on (she danced and then ran to something else). I loved the water tables, the sand tables, and the farm area. We didn't do the first two because we got stuck in the farm. There were a lot of choices. That's what I liked.
* What did Lila like? - She spent a long time at a wall of magnets that when put together can be turned like gears. I was actually surprised at how long this kept her attention. Then, she saw the farm. Seriously they have a farm set up with a cow that you can "milk", massive amounts of fake foods, wooden crates, and shopping carts. And in the midst of it all is a tractor. Where did my daughter spend 90% of our time? On the tractor. It scared me at first. I mean, it's huge for someone her size. But she LOVED the tractor. I had to make her get off of it so other kids could have a turn. At first she tried to melt down, but I got her to compromise and wait on the stairs leading up to the seat of the tractor when other kids came up.
This was probably WAY more info than you needed or wanted. I am just excited that this went so well after somewhat of a difficult time at the aquarium. However, similar to the aquarium, I am looking forward to taking her again over time and watching her interests and level of enthusiasm change.
Here's a little snapshot...