Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Free Planetarium shows on weekends at 3:30 pm.
My son had been begging me to take him here to see some hieroglyphics since learning about them on a TV show. I was impressed the moment we arrived. The grounds are amazing, and modeled after the Temple of Karnak. Inside you’ll find the largest Egyptian collection in North America. There are four or five different galleries to explore. One thing my kids really enjoyed was getting a ‘passport’, and then collecting different hieroglyphic stamps in each of the galleries. We saved the mummy gallery for last. It’s definitely the most interesting and has real mummies to see. From there you can enter a replica of King Tut’s tomb. So cool! This is a must for any kid with an interest in ancient Egypt.
We visited the Rosicrucian Museum with our 3 & 6 year old to support his curriculum of Ancient Egypt. The exterior of the Museum is beautiful.
While the museum is awesome, it is probable that adults will feel rushed by disinterested children (depending on age groups). There are some interesting dioramas that the kids might like.
There is a passport at the front desk that you can purchase for $1, and use to stamp at each exhibit. That was a worthwhile purchase, but you could also bring a small notebook for free and use it to collect stamps.
Outside the museum is a giant Senet board that my son loved. We probably spent most of our time at the game board.
Overall, I would bring older children here. Younger ones might have some degree of interest, but don't expect to spend a lot of time here with them.
After my youngest child developed a fixation with ancient Egypt and exhausted our local library's limited collection of books on the subject, we learned that San Jose's Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum is home to the largest selection of Egyptian artifacts on display in Western North America and planned a visit to this local gem.
Located in a tranquil residential neighborhood, the museum features the convenience of free parking adjacent to the building (at Naglee and Chapman), a lovingly landscaped courtyard with fountain that provides an ideal place for a picnic lunch, and a large but manageable collection of artifacts that will amaze the young (or adult) Egyptologist.
The main attraction is a replica of a tomb which you can walk through, as long as your child will brave the dim light at the entrance to the unknown. A leaflet at the exhibit entrance held my kids’ rapt attention with thrilling tales of an ancient Judgement Day with potentially wrathful gods. Also on display are plenty of mummies, including those of cats and monkeys, innumerable artifacts representing religious and daily life, jewelry, and other relics.
The religious and daily life galleries may try the attention spans of young visitors, as there are very few hands-on opportunities in a sea of glass display cases. To help extend your visit, consider buying a Passport for the extraordinarily reasonable price of $.54 at the front desk. The Passport features questions to answer, simple activities, and places to collect stamps available in each gallery. Many exhibits feature “encoded” information only visible using a special blue light, free for the asking at the front desk. My kids enjoyed playing detective, locating and deciphering each clue, and learned lots in the process. Also available is a complete audio tour of the museum, with one device free to each AAA member, and additional devices loaned for $4 apiece.
Don't miss the life-sized version of the ancient (and fairly simple) Egyptian game, Senet, located in the outdoor courtyard, where you can play with the Alice in Wonderland-sized game pieces. If the weather isn’t to your liking, a board game version of the same game may be played in the comfortable library/sitting room. Gift items are no longer available onsite; instead the catalogue has been moved on-line, conveniently eliminating any possibility of gift-shop whining.
Admission to the museum is $9 for adults, $5 for ages 5-10, and free for the youngest. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Don’t miss it!
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum provided my family with complimentary admission for this review. They did not request that I express any particular point of view and my reviews always reflect my honest opinions.
Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium:
I visited this unique place a child many times, then with my nieces and finally my own sons. Very interesting place but not for young ones. This is just not a place that small children can run around. Certainly though it is a great place to do research for any school project. Real mummies and tools are just part of what lies ahead for your journey. The trip there can be difficult in that you need to watch what time you go due to traffic. When we went now its been years ago they weren’t online like they are now and they have a great gift shop.
Their hours are Wed-Thur 9-5 Fri 9-8 Sat and Sun 10-6 Closed Mon-Tues.
The cost is $9.00 General admission $7 for seniors $5 children 5-10 under 5 free.
But as I said before this is a difficult museum for young children and depending upon your child’s patients you may or may not be able to see everything you may want to see and read.
I grew up viewing this museum once a year being that I attended elementary and high school within the area. It's small and the most obvious place to visit when needing to do school research on the egyptians.
It's a great place to go to kill time and if you want to avoid crowded places. And there is interesting stuff to view. I mean, who doesn't find the egyptians interesting?
I took my oldest daughter (11) and her two friends to the Rosicrucian Museum. They definitely loved King Tut tomb and visited it many times. However, while the two friends were having a blast discovering the artifacts, my daughter kept comparing it with the British Museum in London and kept saying the museum was too small. Do not get me wrong, they have nice and interesting artifacts but it is true that the British Museum is hard to top. The grounds outside of the museum are beautiful
This museum has plenty of interesting exhibits, lots of facts and pieces from Egypt and a planetarium. However the exhibits were poorly lit and my three year old son was a bit worried by the darkness of the rooms. The exhibits themselves didn't seem to bother him at all. As far as the planetarium goes we did not get to experience it because our son was too young. When he is older I think this will be more of a hit for our family.
Do you love your mummy? Sphinxes, temples, chariots, statues from ancient Thebes, gods of the Nile, a pharaoh’s tomb, and delightfully scary, shrouded mummies are a few of the artifacts and reproductions here. A large collection of fascinating stuff, thelargest Egyptian museum in the West. Kids love it. Little ones can run around in the gardens.
My daughter liked how they showed how the bodies were mummified, and how the Egyptians would carve objects to bury with the dead so they could protect the body in the afterlife. It's something for a 1/2 day adventure. The gardens are really pretty too.