I have an important item for your “To-Do” list. First, if you and the kids are in Wilmington, do visit the Delaware Children’s Museum. Second, do ignore online reviews that call this museum small and blah, blah, blah, boring. The reviews are wrong. And third, schedule at least two hours for the kids to have time to sink into the fun.
Not so fast, you say, because you’ve heard the museum is actually for younger kids and those over eight best bring their DS for sustenance? I don’t care how blase your child is – every kid’s face–even the most technology-saturated–will light up at seeing Tom Lucky’s 30-foot in diameter Stratosphere (a climbing marvel created by an artist whose name should be on every parent’s lips.)
After spending a challenging 30 minutes climbing the safe Stratosphere (which is wheelchair accessible), kids will emerge sweaty and smiling as they race for the human body exhibit where they can climb a musical rock wall whose rock wall pieces emit tones as they are touched. Scull a rowing machine with video of a river showing the rower’s progress and play in a beach area where kids shape a river and create a water tornado about three feet tall by cranking a lever. My favorite was the visual on the wall depicting the world’s tallest buildings beginning with the short Delaware Children’s Museum itself and progressing to the towering Burj Khalifa in Dubai (which towers more than a half-mile up). Cool visual.
The Delaware Children’s Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 363 days a year, seven days a week. Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
A Note of Caution: The Delaware Children’s Museum is located in Wilmington’s beautiful upscale riverfront, with a spacious parking lot and an easy walk to fantastic restaurants. (The Big Fish Grill and Harry’s are both short walks from the DCM.) The riverfront area is quite safe. However, neighborhoods a few miles from the riverfront area are not — so if you’re visiting Wilmington and don’t know the roads well, simply call the Delaware Children’s Museum and get directions from the very sweet and helpful staff.