It is a fun, creative place for even the little bitty ones. My 18 month old loved it here! She could touch, run, climb, slide, play in water, hide in caves, pretend to use the cash register, make bubbles, crawl through a log, dance, and push buttons to her heart's content. Surely the creator of these exhibits was a kid herself!
Habitot is a special place for babies and toddlers where they can explore four Minnesota habitats: prairie, forest, limestone caves, and a pond. The whole room is safe. Everything is covered in fabric, so kids can explore without scraping their arms or bumping their heads.
Babies love to gaze at the shiny rain coming down from foam clouds over the pond where they lean against fabric frogs on lilypads. Toddlers love to run up the entryway to the caves where they can hide in little nooks and crannies, peer through a telescope and push buttons to hear different animals sounds.
In the Prairie, kids can plant fabric flowers, discover hidden animals in the earth or climb a rope ladder. My daughter loved crawling through the fabric log in the Forest, crossing the miniature swing bridge and sliding down a slide. There's also a cozy reading area, and a private room for nursing mothers.
The traveling exhibit "Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?" is here until January 2003. We sat on the brownstone steps, sat in Big Bird's nest to read a book, and saw displays where other kids sang the alphabet with Elmo, repeated Spanish words with Rosita, and heard songs considered to be the show's greatest hits. (I wouldn't know.)
Downstairs are a couple of permanent exhibits appropriate for little tykes. In the City Street Gallery, kids can pretend to ride a bus, sing in a music studio, take care of sick dolls in a doctor's office, go grocery shopping, eat at an Asian restaurant or role play the waitress, cook or guest. Why do little girls enjoy "playing kitchen" so much???
Another exhibit is Water World, where kids don rubber aprons and get wet in various water activities. They can dip a huge wand in a tub to make bubbles, poke colored ping-pong balls into plastic tubes, race boats in another water area, or try to make a ship sink by adding weighted cargo. My daughter threw a fit when we left, because she had no intention of leaving. She was having a ball!
Older children have their own exhibits. We saw girls making crafts, and decorating their faces with glittered paint. In a another corner, kids were making paper. In Earth World, they can also crawl through an ant hill in or operate cranes and other equipment.
Great museum! Located in downtown St. Paul. Open Tuesday-Sunday 9am - 5pm.
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St. Paul, Minnesota
September 10, 2012
November 9, 2002
From journal Marvelous Minneapolis