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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Review: Tucson Children's Museum

We recently spent a few days in Tucson visiting family. We ended up at the Tucson Children’s Museum, which was surprisingly good.

We started off in the Enchanted Rainforest, which is limited to toddlers (though we didn’t see that sign until we left). The poor kids there had to deal with my older ones going crazy with the large foam blocks, climbing on them and making an igloo.

The market room was a lot of fun, with a cute grocery story (featuring plastic vegetables, carts and a check out aisle), pint size medical office for dolls, lifesize Operation game (I loved this!) and a Dance Dance Revolution game (I love this even more). Sadly, I can never figure out how to program the DDR machine so I’m not on hypermode. Still, it was a good workout and I’m proud to say I beat my five year old son.

Though we didn’t try it, a small rock climbing wall was a popular stop for many.

We walked through Dinosaur World, which was like a walk-through diorama. Nothing interactive here – dinosaurs behind a fence. But Zack liked it.

The Ocean Discovery Center was another hit. They had a submarine type room, where you drove the sub underwater. Zack was quite interested. In the same area, was a music station, a laser pointer thing on a white board, and crafts.

In the next room was a train set-up you could watch behind glass (though you could push some buttons), and a magnetic wall where you could arrange tubes and put a ping pong ball through. And a block table.

I thought Zack would be really interested in the emergency vehicle room, but it didn’t hold his interest for long. You can climb on a police motorcycle and into the driver’s seat of a fire truck.
We missed a couple of exhibits, but would be happy to go back. The place probably is geared more toward kindergarten and under, though 7 year old Dori managed to hang on for an hour plus. She really loved the Operation game and the DDR.

Tucson Children’s Museum is in downtown Tucson (200 South 6th Avenue). It’s open daily except for Monday, and admission runs $5-$7 (free under age 2).

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