As voted by Trekaroo families, here are the Reviews of the Day from back in the day to today.
The Explorium of Lexington, Kentucky is a little smaller, and a little older than some of our absolute favorite children’s museums. But we do enjoy the place a great deal for what it is. I think of this museum less as a destination in and of itself, and more of a stop to stretch our legs on longer trips up North.
In the heart of Downtown Lexington, it’s not too terribly difficult to access from I-75, although it does take about 10-15 minutes in average traffic. Garage parking is just a few dollars, and you can access the museum via a glass walkway over the road. As you are walking across, take a second to appreciate the unique Victorian-Era architecture of the city below.
Once inside, you’ll find exhibits that highlight water and engineering, the equestrian culture of the Lexington area, trains, nutrition, health, dental health, logic puzzles, different cultures, block building, and physical science.
All in all, the average audience for this museum is going to be a little younger than some children’s museums out there. Luckily, my kids enjoy all kinds of learning and play opportunities, so we definitely still stop here when in the area, even though most of my crew would probably be aged out of the activities if it weren’t for also having a 1 year old in tow.
In picking our favorite thing about this museum, it’s unique high point, is that it offers an open art studio, included with your general admission, in which the kids can go and paint, draw, color, cut, glue, and glitter their hearts out!
How much fun is that!
Another walkway from the museum leads across to Rupp Arena, and you can find a mall-style food court if you are looking to grab a quick bite to eat before you hit the road again.
This is an ACM Reciprocal location, so you can save 50% off the General Admission of $8 per person, ages 1 and up. But, as always, call ahead to verify rates and reciprocal benefits before you set out to enjoy.
We love this place! Simple, quiet, and the freedom to pick your own berries. I went last year with my then 3 year old, and again today a 4 year old and a 3 month old. It really is a great place for all ages. The staff is friendly and explains to the kids how to search for the dark blueberries and to leave the green ones. There were a lot of cars in the lot this morning, but we only crossed paths with other families once. Lots of space to spread out! A shaded picnic area for lunch, little piglets to observe, and fresh blueberry for a reasonable cost!
The South Carolina State Museum is situated right in Columbia and the museum is a breeze to locate.
Although the museum itself is easy to locate, finding the ticket entrance was a little less clear.
The staff was helpful and kind to point us in the right direction, but it did seem to be a hidden ticket office nestled in beside the planetarium.
The museum has four floors to explore and if you have little ones who need to feel welcome to make a little noise every now and again, there is a convenient Discovery Room downstairs near the art gallery that allows for free play and quick movement.
Although the museum certainly is not expansive, the displays were plentiful and interesting. We learned about South Carolina history and about the parks in our state and the kids particularly enjoyed a replica of an old fashioned one room school house. (As if they don't get enough of school on a normal basis, they all kept pretending to be in school in the classroom.)
I don't think the target age for the museum would be preschoolers although ours were huddled along with their big siblings and had a jolly good time. With a lot of the displays involving reading and observing, preschoolers would generally miss some of the more educational aspects of the museum.
We had all packed a picnic lunch and headed outside at noon to look for a spot to eat. Mostly surrounded by parking lot, it was a bit of a challenge to find a spot to park ourselves in relative shade. We ended up next door at the Children's Museum's outdoor pavilion. I'm still not certain that was "allowed". After we viewed more of the museum in the afternoon we saw an indoor lunch area that looked as if we could have used their space for our lunch. That might be a wise idea to look into if you are packing your lunch like we did.
Midway through our visit we enjoyed a show at the planetarium. (Again, this is an additional fee not included with your admission.) There were two show choices to choose from and each show was available at several stated times throughout the day.
Additionally the museum houses an art gallery that my family did not tour on this trip. Our friends did and they said there were lots of lovely works of art and it was worth their time to wander through and see it all. There is also a 4D theatre experience available. (Again, an additional fee is required for this.)
South Carolina State Museum
301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29214
Open daily - see website for specific hours
Prices start at $6.95
(Special note: Homeschoolers can receive free admission with a valid homeschool ID. Lower rates for the extra exhibits and planetarium are available for homeschoolers as well.)
I have to imagine that more tourists visit Snata Monica beach than any other beach. It is on either side of the Santa Monica Pier, a classic tourist attraction and one of the most easily accesible beaches in LA. The sand is wide and surf is always breaking. I typically avoid this beach unless I am taking an out of towner who has a big desire to see Santa Monica. One fun thing to do at this beach is visit the original Muscle Beach area which has some fun excercise equipment right on the sand such as rings and bars. The original Hot Dog on a Stick is right on the beach as well so don't miss out!
This park has a great collection of everything that a family could want in enjoying a park. I dropped off my nephew for soccer practice at the top-notch turf field and then went on a run along the creek with my niece. The trail crossed the creek and then completed a small loop through lush trees, near cow fields, and past the flowing creek. It was beautiful.
The play equipment is fairly new and standard and ready for some excellent fun. The dog park was hopping with people enjoying letting their mutts run. Porta-potties were stationed behind walls and made them feel like a good experience.