We took a big field trip today all the way to San Antonio to the DoSeum Children’s Museum.
Getting there even from Round Rock was fairly straight forward just a pretty long haul down I35. We left at 9 and got there around 10:45am. For those who are super early birds they do open at 9 am but with traffic leaving at 9 meant we missed most of Austin rush hour. Parking was easy and plentiful in a large parking lot right in front of the building. The DoSeum is just north of downtown off of Broadway St., close to other popular attractions including the botanical gardens, the San Antonio Zoo and University of Incarnate Word.
7034, 2800 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
Admission was easy and very popular their membership line was out the door! Membership had a separate line to the left and general admission had lines to the right.
Pro Tip: If you are a member of the Thinkery in Austin then you get 50% off admission.
I found the prices kind of pricey but all museums these days are pricey. Kids under 1 are free. Kids and adults entrance costs $14. Educators, teachers and active duty military all receive $1 off admission. You can skip the line and purchase admission online before hand.
The entrance to the museum has their DoStore to the right and the start of the exhibit halls to the left. In the foyer area of the exhibit halls was a nice area called Kaleidoscope. This cool exhibit explores how light works. There are mirrors, a wind tunnel with capes, a kaleidoscope table with a big screen and a light puppet show area among other items.
Down the hall way a bit is an area called Little Town. This is where #techkidalex and I stayed for the rest of the time we were at the museum. My very boy toddler is super into driving things and he was able to drive a trolley, car, food truck, front loader and fly a plane! He loved it! In the middle of this giant area there was a smaller enclosed area for crawlers and younger littles that protected them from some of the little big kids. Little Town is designed for 5 and under, and their caregiver. Siblings were ok but everybody who I saw who was older than 5 was quite a bit older and not running over any littles. They check you in at a gate to know who is in your group and ages. That gate is the only way to leave the full area and they are very good at making sure the kiddos don’t leave without their adult.
The sections of Little Town include a trolley you can sit in and drive, a full HEB mini market, a food truck with a full kitchen that you can also drive, a mechanic area where you can fix a broken down car (or drive it), a pet hospital area, an excavation area with trucks and a front loader you can control, a post office and an airport area with a control tower and a plane you can fly. This area was amazing. As much as I missed out on the rest of the museum, it was really nice to have one giant area focused for toddlers. In comparison at the Thinkery everything is open and more free flowing so I’m either super encouraging my hyper focused toddler to go to the next area and explore or he is running off before I can catch him. In Little Town it was like having their own little museum that was open but not heart attack inducing if they run off from you.
This overview from the DoSeum website also highlights the Little Town area “With a Vet Office, a Taco Truck, and even an H-E-B, Little Town is a child-sized utopia for toddlers to explore and play. Little Town is filled with the familiar elements of city life; buildings, roads, street furniture, stop signs—even miniature birds and squirrels in dioramas. Organized by a mix of businesses along a wide, encircling boulevard, Little Town includes child-scaled immersive environments—each a familiar, themed space where kids learn by role-playing the adults in their lives.”
There are so many more areas of the museum to explore and I can’t wait to go back and explore more. The website does a fantastic job highlighting the different exhibits, including Dream Tomorrow Today, Big Outdoors, Sensation Studio, Explore, Innovation Station, Spy Academy and Imagine It. I like how each section has recommendations on what to do by age. Since most of the exhibits are focused on elementary age kids it’s nice to know ahead of time what may be the area that a toddler could handle. With three floors to this museum we barely covered one but it was awesome.
Another perk of the museum is they have a full cafe so you can feed little mouths and then continue on the adventure. Although we didn’t eat there the menu online shows that it has some yummy eats.
Pro Tip: If you go up the street a few blocks there is an incredible BBQ place called Smoke Shack. If you want lunch and then return for more fun just keep your receipt or ask for a stamp for re-entry on the same day.
Preparing for this trip, I found the website to be a great resource. They offer a special page with first visit tips that might help if you plan to visit. For a field trip that is less than 2 hours away, in my world doable for a day trip, I definitely would recommend the DoMuseum for some kiddo fun.