Growing up on the banks of the Wabash River, I visited the Terre Haute Children’s Museum hundreds of times as a child. It was the perfect elementary school field trip destination or boring summer day distraction. The museum had plenty to keep me entertained, and when plans were put in place a few years ago to build a new museum, I was definitely interested. The new Terre Haute Children’s Museum opened a few weeks ago, and I knew I had to check it out when I was home for Fall Break.
To truly evaluate this museum I enlisted the help of my favorite preschoolers, five- and three-year-old Lucy and Claire. I decided to park in the new Terre Haute parking garage, only a block away from the museum – inexpensive, and relatively empty on a Saturday morning. The three-story museum is located at the corner of Wabash Ave. and 8th St., just a block away from its former location.
This museum has quite a bit more to do than the one I visited as a kid. The centerpiece of the building is a colorful tree house. Kids climb up the trunk in a play place-type apparatus to the second floor, where they can choose to take a slide back down or try their luck shooting foam balls into flowers on the wall.
The third floor of the museum is focused more on building, with tables full of Lego’s and Tinker Toys for building and racing cars. The third floor also featured a paper-airplane exhibit.
Other options in the museum include a water table (similar to the one in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, but smaller), a veterinary clinic, a dinosaur dig, and a toddler zone. For a full list of Terre Haute Children’s Museum exhibits, click here. Everything we did kept the girls entertained and engaged, and I’m fairly certain they would have spent the entire day there, if given the choice.
When asked what her favorite thing was, Lucy gave me a not-unexpected five-year-old’s answer of “Everything is my favorite!” Claire, the considerably shier of the two, wouldn’t give me a verbal answer, but she was visibly the most excited by the play kitchen set-up, and the most engaged by the Lego’s upstairs.
The Terre Haute Children’s Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon for anyone in the area with young children. For more information, including admission prices and hours of operation, click here.