3 Types of Parents I Discovered at the Discovery Gateway

This past weekend we went downtown with my parents and checked out the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum. My dad got some free passes for the family so we figured why not see if it was something Russell would enjoy. When we got there Russell wanted to run in and start exploring which was a good sign.

Russell did check out the area with the balls that you could send through different tubes but he really just wanted to dump the balls on the floor so that didn't last long. We moved on to the construction area with the trucks and big blocks and he really liked being there. Most of the kids were scrambling to play with the crane they had but Russell was happy playing with the smaller toy trucks in the corner.

The other thing Russell really liked was the large xylophone type thing that you could make noise with. He of course had to have two sticks and could have happily stood there playing for quite some time. At that point I was wishing they had a bench in that corner and we could have let Russell make noise for hours.

Russell eventually found the play house area where he quickly went and explored the kitchen. He loves helping us in the kitchen so it was no surprise he wanted to play with the pots and pans and explore the fridge. The picture above was taken just as he put the veggie into the pot and put the lid on it. Super cute!

He also liked being in the little grocery store area because he could find all the fruits and veggies he can name but there were tons of kids in that area so I didn't take many photos. I was trying to hang out with Russell more than take photos but I do like to have a few pictures from our adventures because Russell likes to look at them too.

Finally a trip anywhere isn't complete without checking out the wares in the gift shop. Russell of course wanted every truck and train in sight but settled on playing with this tiny piano while Grandma went through the checkout line. I love that he enjoys music as much as I do and maybe as he gets a little older I'll teach him to play.

This was our first time at the museum and overall I think it was ok. It wasn't too packed even though it was Saturday afternoon which was nice so Russell could explore. By the time we left I had decided that all the parents fell into one of three categories:
  1. The parents who were putting together a PHOTO DOCUMENTARY of every second of their child's time here using their camera, iPad, and iPhone. (No really, some people had multiple devices.) These parents were clearly in charge of making sure your kid didn't get in the way of their perfectly set up shot. Or they just didn't care if they were in your way because they were too busy taking pictures.
  2. The parents who were clearly using this space for a BRAIN BREAK. They were too busy looking at their phone or talking to their friends to notice their kid was running over other children with the play car they stole from the 3 years and under area. (Yeah, this seriously happened and no parents were in sight to stop it. Luckily the kid got bored and rolled on with no injuries to the kid he ran over but still...) I totally get the need for some adult conversation but please at least keep one eye on your kid so they don't terrorize the other children or destroy the museum.
  3. The parents who were desperate for a cup of COFFEE, a NAP or a glass of WINE (maybe all three) but realized this place isn't for adults and that it was about the fact their kid(s) was(were) having fun and that was ok. These parents were not glued to taking a million pictures and they were overall very courteous and aware of their children's behavior and taking turns with the other kids. To these parents I thank you for keeping a little bit of sanity going in an otherwise chaotic place.
Yeah, we fell into category 3. By the end I was ready for more coffee, a nap, and a giant bottle of hand sanitizer. I know, some germs are necessary to build up an immunity, but by the time we left here I felt pretty gross and was ready to be done. I even overheard some other parents comment that all the kids were having a blast and the parents were standing by yawning. It was the truth.

Honestly I give mad props to the poor folks who work there. Imagine your house after all the kid cousins/neighbors/friends come over and destroy everything. Now multiple that times 100, with enough toys to fill a big box toy store, and clean it up over and over again for HOURS every day... Yeah, that's probably what it's like working there. You have got to seriously love kids and be so patient because there is no reasoning with a kid bent on world museum destruction...

I give this place a thumbs up if your kid has a healthy immune system, doesn't mind loud noises and crowds, or you really just need to wear your kid out. There is a ton to do and even Russell enjoyed his time here. Go in knowing this place is about the kids so it's not that interesting for adults. I prefer NHMU or Thanksgiving Point since there are activities for Russell but there are still interesting things I can look at and learn from while I'm there. Plus those places require you to have some control over your children while you're there. Discovery Gateway to me was a place where some parents just let go and let their kids do whatever they want. Which for me is just a little too much chaos. Overall, if you can go for free or at a discounted price it's worth checking out. I was glad my parents had a free pass for us to get in and try it and maybe we'll go back one day.

What are your favorite places to take your kids? Do you enjoy places where your kids can run wild or do you prefer a more focused learning environment? I feel there's a time and a place for both but definitely prefer the more adult and kid friendly options. Share your favorite pics for places to take the kids, especially in winter time. :)


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