Bloomington, Indiana, home to Indiana University, is certainly a place of scientific discovery. Afterall, you’ve got researchers, professors and thought leaders in just about every academic field doing cutting edge work all over town. But my family’s recent trip to WonderLab, a children’s science museum there, taught me that discoveries can be made at any age.
I’ve been to a lot of children’s museums since becoming a mom three years ago. WonderLab became a favorite of mine after our visit. First of all, it’s incredibly hands-on. If you dread visiting museums because you fear you’re constantly telling your children no, fear not at WonderLab. In every nook and cranny, you’ll find something for them to see, touch, hear, and feel.
As a mom of two kids, I also enjoyed the layout of the museum. Each of the two floors is wide open, so if you have several kids, they could all explore their own interests at their own pace, and as a parent, you’d be able to supervise it all.
And while both my kids are quite young, I saw kids of every age having a wonderful time. There is a lot there to challenge older kids and really engage them in scientific concepts. But there are also plenty of things for the little ones to busy themselves with (I shared several photos of my 3-year-old exploring WonderLab here).
A few tips if you visit:
Follow WonderLab’s facebook page. I’m really impressed with the way they notify their fans and followers of high visitation days (such as times when field trips are scheduled), so that you can avoid visiting when it will be particularly crowded.
Bring a change of clothes. My son adored the water table and could have spent hours splashing around. But he spent the rest of our day in Bloomington with wet sleeves. (Well worth it, though!)
Break up your trip. WonderLab allows you to come and go throughout the day, so spend an hour or two there in the morning, head out to lunch at a great Bloomington restaurant, and return in the afternoon for more fun.