PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2012 and while it should still give you a great idea of the overall experience of visiting Kidcity (we go there a lot, and most things have remained the same!), it may also contain some outdated information. Please be sure to check their website for the most up-to-date information, especially about things like hours and pricing. And if you see something in this post that needs to be updated, please feel free to leave a comment below with the new information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to make the updates. Hey, it takes a village, right 🙂
UPDATE 2017: Kidcity is no longer offering the free admission on third Thursday evenings program. However, certain visitors will still qualify for free or reduced cost admission. Visit their admission page for details. You can also borrow a museum pass from the Middletown Public Library to gain free admission. Kidcity also continues to participate in the Association of Children’s Museums’ reciprocal membership program, allowing members of other participating museums to gain admission to Kidcity for 50% off.
Also, don’t forget to check out our original Kidcity post for a sneak peek of the new “Middleshire” exhibit, which replaced the corn maze room in 2015.
Well, it is the last week of March and that means that if you have a membership at a children’s museum with ACM reciprocity, then it is the last week for FREE access to participating museums.
So, given that many of our readers may be doing a museum tour this week, I thought it might be fun to do a follow-up post on one of my favorite local children’s museums, Kidcity in Middletown.
Last year, when Boo was a little over one years old, Shawna took him to Kidcity and wrote a wonderful post all about this family-friendly destination.
Fast forward a year and I have since gotten a Kidcity family membership and bring my children there often. The twins are now a little over two and find entertainment in all the rooms of the Children’s Museum. Plus, there are a few changes going on at Kidcity that I thought might be helpful to share.
So here I go: Kidcity from a two year old’s perspective!
Now, I won’t go into all the details about where to park and what to bring because Shawna already covered that in her post.
But let me start with a couple of museum updates and then go from there.
- The Toddler Seacave is undergoing a few changes. Starting April 1st, this area is located in the basement level and used to be for the 3 and under crowd. After some trials and tribulations and a great discussion with the Kidcity community, they have decided to change the age range on this exhibit to kids ages 2 and under. Now, when you check-in, make sure you get hand stamps for your kids that are 2 and under so they can get in this area. Also, for those that have kids of multiple ages, there will be designated “Big Swim” times when older siblings are allowed in the room for gentle play.
- They are creating a temporary “floor play” room in the red party room on the first floor. This space will be for all ages but will be baby friendly. This room will turn back to a birthday party room next winter.
- The Cornfield room is currently closed and will stay that way for a year or more. The museum is remodeling this room to what they describe as their “biggest exhibit ever”. We are certainly exited to find out the details, but it is a secret at the moment! They have moved some of the activities from the old cornfield to other areas of the museum, I will try to point a few out during our tour 🙂
After we drop off our coats and the stroller in the coat room, I get Sweetheart bundled up in the baby bjorn and I usher the kids away from the train and into the Space Age Roadtrip exhibit.
For reference, here is a map of the first floor (photo from the Kidcity website).
Now, Shawna went through a lot of the details of this exhibit in her post, but I will give you a few additional toddler favorites.
The first stop in the Space Age Roadtrip exhibit is always the “Big Dipper Cafe”. Here the moms can grab a bar stool and have their kids fix them a meal (for once). The kids can pull the levers at the counter and out flows some steam like substance that they pour into bowls for their waiting customers.
In the back there is a piggy bank where the kids can “feed” the pigs these little balls and they funnel through the vacuum system. This section is a good solid 20 minutes of entertainment for Bruiser and Sparkles.
There is a spaceship to explore.
But, of course, the thing that thrills my kids the most is the little ramp they can run up and down. It is the simple things, right?
The only challenge with this exhibit for moms who are watching more than one kiddo, is that there are two doorways. You kind of have to play a little more zone defense (or go with a friend) in order to make sure your kids don’t wander away. Plus, keep an eye out because one doorway leads to an elevator bank (and my kids LOVE riding the elevator).
The good news is that this is the only exhibit where there is more than one entrance. So start here when you are really on your game and then you can take a little more laid back approach in the remaining exhibits 🙂
Down the hall from this exhibit is the second exhibit on the floor, the Farm. Shawna posted some great pictures on this exhibit, so I don’t need to add further details here.
But, right down the hall from the farm is one of my favorite exhibits, the Fishery and Clipper Ship.
This is an amazing exhibit.
First of all, it contains some fun structures for the kids to climb up, under and over.
But the wonderful part about this exhibit is the fun they can have doing the “work” of a fishery.
Here they are collecting fish and loading them onto the “conveyor” belts or hanging them (from little magnets) on the conveyor system.
Some of the fish will drop down way on the other side of the exhibit.
The fish are all red, yellow or blue, so you can practice colors with your little ones or help them collect and distribute the fish throughout the exhibit.
The other nice thing about this one is that there is only one entrance and exit. So, you can stand near the doorway and make sure no one escapes!
Right across the hall from here is the last exhibit on this floor, Main Street. Here we found a restaurant, bakery, fun car, and, surprise, the train track from the Cornfield.
After this room, we usually head around the corner and up the back stairs to the second floor. Just be very careful with the kids up these stairs. They are very, very steep as they curve around at the top.
For reference, here is the second floor layout. (Photo credit from the Kidcity website)
Once upstairs, the first stop is always Musical Planet. This is just another great place for the kids to climb and play. There is a fun bridge, a slide, and my kids favorite, a see saw. Shawna provided more detail in her post, so I will keep it simple for mine.
Around the corner from this exhibit is the Clubhouse. I forgot to take a picture inside here, but it is just basically a cozy little place where the kids can snuggle up and read a book or have some quieter play time.
Also on this floor is the Video Theatre. Here the kids can put on their own production complete with video cameras, a stage and costumes.
With the Cornfield currently closed, that is the last stop for the second floor (but my kids are usually completely worn out by this point anyways.
Sometimes we will take a trip down to the Toddler Sea Cave so that Sweetheart can have a chance to play. Probably the best part of this trip for my kids is the elevator ride down.
But they do have a really great time down there. It is a nice escape especially when it is busy on the main floors and there are a lot of older kids visiting that day.
I won’t go into all the details on the Toddler Sea Cave, because that was definitely a hot spot for Boo age 1, but I will show you a few cute (at least I think they are cute) shots of the kids playing.
Hanging with their twin friends.
By the time we are done in the Toddler Sea Cave, it is definitely time to go. They do have an eating area near the coat room on the first floor (which includes high chairs) but we usually just eat on the car ride home (I know, probably not the best plan, but it works for us).
No matter where we eat, though, it is a guarantee that my kids will crash before we make it back home. Good thing they will transfer from their car seat to the crib!
So, that is Kidcity from a two-year old’s perspective. It is amazing how much changes with kids in just one year and how they can go from really only being able to enjoy a few activities to taking on the whole children’s museum. I can only imagine what it will be like next year with this crew!
Oh, and before I go, just a couple of items.
- The Momsense section can be found here, the home of our first Kidcity post. I’ve added a few items to reflect some additional information on this great destination. But please, always check out Kidcity’s website for the most up-to-date information before you go, especially about things like hours & admission prices.
- Do you think you want to be a member at Kidcity? Get all the details here. I think the best parts of their membership are the special members only hours on Monday mornings and the fact that the membership includes access for your immediate family, but also allows adult relatives (grandparents, aunts, etc.) or one unrelated adult to visit with you in place of an adult member of your immediate family. This helps a lot when you want to bring another family member or friend along to help with multiple children. And of course, saving 50% at other children’s museums is pretty great too!
So, hopefully I added a little more information to the Kidcity repertoire on Out and About Mom!
Have you taken your little one’s here? What do you think?
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