Time for a family holiday throwback again! Who’d have thought? There’s so much to do with children in Central California. Palo Alto is famous for two things: Stanford University and the being the melting pot of Silicon Valley. About 35 miles south of San Francisco and if you drive, take lots of snacks, drinks and entertainment options for the kids in case you get stuck in traffic jam. Not joking, seriously, select your travel window carefully. We wanted to pop around for a visit, since we were around, it’s a very pretty town.
When we’re doing a day out with the kids visiting a new city, we normally plan some fun time for them and for ourselves too. In Palo Alto it had to be Junior Museum And Zoo for them.
We planned our visit around the heat wave, which hit the valley in those days, so we tried to spend the warmest hours playing indoors.
I say playing, because this is a special museum, where they can learn a lot about science and nature just by playing. It’s very cleverly designed to grab their attention and totally hands-on.
Both our small children were fully engaged and entertained for more than two hours and they didn’t want to leave.
It’s a small place and the first thing what strikes you, is the “niceness” of the place. It’s actually nearly 80 years old! Old and new items mixed up, some installations seemingly has been been around for a while but still loved and cared for. Cute vintage, vibrant fabrics. I loved that they used a lot of recycled and upcycled materials and items: like old tennis balls and left over fabrics. (I just noticed on their homepage that they have won a project and some money, so the museum is going to be rebuilt. I hope they will keep some parts of the old exhibition.)
It’s suitable for even babies and children up to nine years old, but I think all ages will find something fun there. I personally fell in love with the place and just as much fun as the kids.
The children can solve problems, let their imagination fly and learn more about the local wild life too.
Our favourites were:
- Clean Energy Machines. Children can explore how renewable energy (wind, solar and water) is being created.
- Baby’s Bramble. Very cute design and toys to play with for the tiny ones complete with a colourful giant monarch butterfly chrysalis.
- “Kid-Power” Machine. This one was the big favourite for our children, sending tennis balls through different tubes to make the machines work.
- Insect Cabinet In The Buzzzzz Exhibition. They both loved hiding in there watching the glowing stars.
- Giant Spider Web Climber. Bobcat really enjoyed climbing right up to the ceiling on this big rope climbing web.
6. Insect Dress Up Costumes. Rather realistic ones. Just look at Babi wearing that ladybird costume! Such a cute idea.
7. Terrariums. One with a big tarantula, which kept fascinated Bobcat for a long time.
8. Zoo Animals. Some local wild animals like bobcats and raccoons (which has been rescued and has one eye only, so he won’t survive in the wild), and some exotic birds plus an old African spurred tortoise.
9. Solar Power Fountain. A movable solar panel, to explore how the flow of the water is affected by the power of the sunlight and without it.
The garden is beautiful too.
The museum is free, they only ask for donations, the suggested donation amount is $5.
Another great attraction for children nearby: Gilroy Gardens Review
Oh my goodness. California…
I’d so love to go there one day. I keep saying to the kids one day we’ll all go. Thanks for linking with #ExplorerKids Sarah
Wow! There are so much to do and it is FREE! That’s awesome! Looks like you had a super time there. I know my kids would totally can totally spend all day long there. lol! Thank you so much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids
Yes, my kids would have stayed fir the whole day, without any problem x
I’ve never been to America – not once! Looks fab! #humpdaylinky
What a fun place. So many amazing activities. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama
Ah this sounds like a really amazing place to visit, even with young kids. I think my two would really enjoy it, I wish we had something like that a little closer to home. Thank you for sharing at #familyfun
Oh wow looks loads of fun. Alyssa would be lost in there for hours xx
This place looks absolutely amazing! #fortheloveofBLOG
Oh, that garden really is fabulous! I totally agree with you about museums like this, they are the best type to take children to. They don’t want to look at exhibits and read, they want to play and interact and that’s the way they learn the most. Thanks for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips
This looks so amazing, no wonder your kids has such a great time! I love places like this that make learning so much fun. Thanks for sharing with #fortheloveofBLOG