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Museums for Kids: Chesapeake Children’s Museum

November 9th, 2009 · No Comments · Destinations

Welcome to the Chesapeake Children's Museum

Welcome to the Chesapeake Children's Museum

On Christmas Eve we had a few hours in Annapolis, MD before meeting my brothers and headed to the Chesapeake Children’s Museum.  Driving onto a surprisingly quiet hilltop about four minutes from the Annapolis City Dock, the near empty parking lot, a old repainted bus and an old building with peeling paint had me worried that this would be a bust.  Wow was I wrong.

A Maryland Blue Crab welcomes you

A Maryland Blue Crab welcomes you

I  think the Chesapeake Children’s Museum may be one of the best museums for kids and a dream if you live in the area. First, it is inexpensive compared to most museums at only $3 for those over 1 year old.  Second, there are lots of live animals from the Chesapeake biospheres plus a couple that are just cool to see like the boa constrictor.  Third, while there is plenty of educational and developmental programming, my eyes saw a playroom that took up an entire house.  If only there was something like this near our home, I could outsource all of our toys.

Lightly staffed, the gentlemen sitting at the front desk was a fountain of information as was his son who was hanging out for the day. Jack and I were most excited when we learned he had just fed the snakes and planted ourselves in front of a tank to watch the snake catch its mouse. And sat and sat and sat…

The building area

The building area

Meanwhile, Mirielle started exploring.  The room off the entrance focuses on the the Chesapeake habitat complete with live animals and a dock and boat kids can climb around.  The far end of the room is a building area with a train table plus enough blocks to build an addition on the museum.  Add hard hats and play tools and kids have a complete workshop.

Play medical office with real equipment

Play medical office with real equipment

Other rooms for play include a medical office including a real dentist chair, x-rays and office equipment, a self serve art area, a dress up room with a small stage and a huge number of costumes, and a home life room with a farmer’s market with play food, dolls, beds and child sized furniture.  Downstairs is a space for eating, group projects, watching movies as well as other coves for play with music, books and toys.

Picnic and play area outside the CCM

Picnic and play area outside the CCM

The museum hosts a steady stream of events for hands on engagement in learning and creating.  It functions like a great community center with programs for toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, families, parents, plus Girl and Boy Scouts.  Maybe this is part of why I liked this small museum so much.  It is environment which encourages interacting with other people (and animals) rather than just exhibits.

Other details:

  • There is a small kitchen with indoor picnic table plus lots of space outside if you bring your own snacks.
  • There are additional outdoor activities which we I avoided due to the wintry weather.
  • Talk to the staff and older kids who hang out at the museum – they are a wealth of knowledge and it is encouraging to see a tween excited to share knowledge.

Admission we paid: $3 per person

Bringing groceries home from the market.

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