Greensboro Children's Museum
To finish our Road Trip Week 2010, I am going blog about the incredibly wonderful Greensboro Children's Museum. Since Greensboro is in that other "T" area of NC (the Triad) I don't think to go there often. But this was just an hour away for us, an easy drive, and we had a fantastic time.
Think of Marbles but not as large, overwhelming, or as crowded. There are various areas of play, each themed, and kids can spend hours here enjoying themselves. And parents can sit on big, comfortable chairs and just watch.
This list is not exhaustive, but just to give you an idea: there is a kitchen area, pizzeria, grocery store, huge play train, train tables, real fire trucks and police cars and race cars to climb in, a camping area, a reading nook, a construction zone, a crafts area, meterology center, vet's office, hospital, and a theatre (the most elaborate I have seen with a play sound board). I was personally amazed at the level of detail in nearly every exhibit. In fact, there is so much to see here, that I couldn't possibly put all of my pictures into one blog post. If you are interested in seeing more pictures of the GCM, visit the photbucket link here.
The arts & crafts center was only open for play if supervised, and a lot of the time we were there it was not supervised so closed. That was a bit of a bummer, but they did have a clock up announcing when the next craft session would start, so there are opportunities there.
There is also a very large tot spot. Things here are padded, gated, walled, and restricted to kids 2 and under. There are tot-appropriate toys, adult chairs, and a wash bin for toys that have gone in the mouth.
Outside on the grounds of the Museum there is a red barn where they hold classes. It was near to see an old barn silhouetted by the skyline of downtown Greensboro. There is a very large garden, and the GCM prides itself on having an program called "Edible Schoolyard." The Edible Schoolyard program is designed to teach children all about oraginc eating, growing, harvesting, and enjoying fresh and seasonal food. They really stress showing children the seed-to-table nature of food. If you are a day visitor, you can browse around and there will be a sign up showing you which things are available for picking and eating that visit. If you want a full program, though, from the Edible Schoolyard, check the website. Programs are special events.
No food for sale at GCM outside of vending machines in the lobby, but you are welcome to bring your own food and beverage in. Also, out in front of the museum, behind a large wooden fence, are a bunch of picnic tables, a sandbox, and a view of the train tracks. This was very fun for my son!
Parking is free. They do offer birthday party packages as well as field trips.
You are right in downtown Greensboro, so watch for high-traffic times and make sure your GPS is updated since downtown Greensboro can be a little tricky to navigate.
I was mildly annoyed at first that children over 1 are charged full admission at $7 and I was also charged a full admission at $7. But given how much C played here and how much time we spent, I got over it.
We stopped after a day of exhausting play at Cheesecake's by Alex on Elm Street (can't believe they haven't changed the name of that street yet) and got some coffee and sweets. It was a great little place: the cheesecakes were good, there is outdoor patio seating, and there is a large aquarium that kept C occupied so my mom and I could fight over the last bits of pumpkin cheesecake on the plate!
220 North Church Street
Mondays are open to Museum-members only