Thank you to The Children’s Museum for giving my family complimentary admission to the museum for the purpose of writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
Next weekend we are headed to Lyman Orchards for one of their gingerbread house decorating sessions. We did that for the first time last year, and we had so much fun that we decided it needed to be an annual tradition!
So when I heard that The Children’s Museum in West Hartford was debuting a colossal gingerbread display, I knew it would be a festive way to kick off the holiday season plus an opportunity to scope out ideas for our own creation!
Now, The Children’s Museum in West Hartford is, believe it or not, the VERY FIRST PLACE I visited and wrote about for this blog over six years ago. And since that post is ridiculously outdated and, let’s face it, a little awkward because I didn’t even really know what I doing yet–haha!–I was excited to have the chance to visit again.
Today we are just going to focus on the holiday exhibit though (I’ll have to save the rest for a future post). But don’t worry, there are always a few logistical things I feel compelled to share anyway 🙂
For starters, the Museum’s parking lot is located behind the building, so once you turn in from Trout Brook Road, just keep heading back past the Museum. You’ll end up right in the parking area.
It can be a bit of a trek around to the entrance, but if you decide to bring a stroller just be aware that the Museum itself is not stroller-friendly. There are a lot of stairs and no elevators to use. But there is a coat room area where you are welcome to park your stroller.
While you’re here for the holidays, there are a couple other things you might want to be aware of. For one, there is a “Mitten Tree” in the lobby. You can bring in a NEW hat, scarf, pair of mittens or pair of gloves to donate and hang them on the tree. I was told that this display will be here at least until Christmas.
Another holiday activity is the Let it Snow show that is currently playing in the planetarium through January 1, 2018. We actually saw this same show a couple years ago when it was playing at the Glastonbury Planetarium and it’s a lot of fun! Kind of like a kaleidoscope of all your favorite holiday images set to a score of all your favorite holiday music 🙂
Now onto the main event!
GingerBread Lane is located on the lower level of the Museum.
It’s at the bottom of the main staircase. (So you can see why it would be a little tough to take a stroller in here-haha!)
This is the first year that the Museum is hosting this holiday-themed exhibit, and it’s quite an impressive display! Even more impressive is the time that it took one man-Chef Jon Lovitch–to create this magical village.
Lovitch has been creating these gingerbread villages for years and has displayed his work in places all around the country, actually. A quick Google search didn’t pull up a website for him, but I did get a bunch of links with references to Lovitch and world records! This is one serious baker 🙂
Because of the placement of the display, you can also view it from the mezzanine above.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to chat with one of the museum staff about the exhibit. Turns out there’s an awful lot of science that goes into gingerbread houses! From cooking science to engineering principles, this display opens up a world of exploration! To that end, there are some hands-on science activities going on in this room as well. The activities will rotate, but on our visit the kids got to build structures with gum drops and toothpicks.
Additionally, the entire exhibit room is filled with other fun winter-themed things for kids to do!
This campsite was my favorite 🙂
On the other side of the room are some of the regular exhibits too. There is a build and race LEGO track area.
And also a bunch of different stations with challenging activities.
Of course, the Museum has many other engaging areas as well, but as I said at the start, I’ll have to save those for another day 🙂
One thing I can’t skip mentioning now though is feeding time! Every day at 3:00pm (starting in the Wildlife Sanctuary) you can participate in the feeding of all the animals in the Museum!
This was such a special activity (my kids are still talking about it). So if you can plan your visit to GingerBread Lane so that you will also be around at feeding time, I would highly recommend that!
Here’s to a happy holiday season!
(Looking for more holiday outing ideas? Check out our 2017 Holiday Guide!)
Phone: (860) 231-2824
GingerBread Lane runs November 18, 2017 through January 14, 2018.
For museum hours, please visit their website here.
Admission to GingerBread Lane is included with regular museum admission.
For museum admission, please visit their website here.
Stroller Friendly: NO. Stairs and the lack of an elevator make it nearly impossible to navigate with a stroller. (However, the Museum is handicap-accessible through outside entrances on all levels.) We recommend a wearable baby carrier for non-walkers.
Coffee Mug Friendly: NO
Baby Changing Station: YES
Food for Sale: Vending machines with snacks.
Outside Food Allowed: YES, but all food must be kept in the snack area.
Cash Required: Only for vending machines.
Age Recommendations: Toddlers through elementary school age children.
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