Please Touch Museum in Philly? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
Has anyone been to the Please Touch Museum in Philly since they moved to their new location and is willing to give some feedback? I've been to the old location several times and enjoyed it, but don't want to waste money and time if the new location is not as good. I'm specifically looking for the baby area/little farm that they had at the old location -- I don't see it on their website, and would be disappointed if they didn't have an area for toddlers/younger children.

Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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I wish I could help you. I just wanted to write that I have been DYING to go there with my 2.5 year old for some time now. If you do end up going, please let me know how it was. I would love to take my son but like you, I don't want to spend a ton of money to drive there and then get in for nothing. Thanks!
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#3 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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I was going to go check it out til I noticed they jacked up the price to $15 per head (it had been under $10) . I don't want to risk going and have it be too young for my 7 yo.

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#4 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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$5 to park.... $3 each to ride the carousel...

It looks like there are three specific toddler areas. If you look at each exhibit, there is a list and three of them have one area specified as a toddler area. One is a pond as part of "River Adventures", one is a fairy tale garden as part of "Wonderland", and one is called front steps as part of "City Capers".

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#5 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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I haven't gone yet, but my mom got me a membership for my birthday (yes for my birthday not ds and the membership was 140 for 6 people, which considering its $15 each is a really good deal if ds likes it. my friend went two days ago with her 18month old and they had a really good time
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#6 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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We were there two weekends ago with my 2 yr old and his 18 month old cousin. The kids loved it. I don't remember a farm area specifically, but I felt every single exhibit had attractions for our little ones. We were there about 4 hours and the kids were pooped--I'm honestly not even sure we made it to all the exhibits, but we definitely got our money's worth. The new location is gorgeous, and it was fairly busy with the stroller crowd--most kids were under 5. The staff was especially awesome--showing the kids different ways to play at the exhibits, etc. HTH.
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#7 of 13 Old 11-13-2008, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. I did notice the increase in price, which bothers me a little bit, but I guess they have to pay for their new space. I do wish there were different prices for adults and kids, like other museums I've been to.

theshan, thank you for your review about the new location. It seems like they may have improved in some ways if the staff was being more interactive with the kids. I've been to the old location many times and rarely, if ever, noticed the staff interacting with the children in more than a cursory way. No one was ever rude, and I've had help when I asked for it, but other than in specific areas, the staff was pretty non-existent.

I emailed them this morning and was told about the 3 toddler areas (I guess my comprehension of their website was pretty bad ), so I'm looking forward to seeing them. My youngest is still pretty little, but I hope we can enjoy those areas.

Again, thanks! I'll report back when we return home.
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#8 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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FYI.
If you are a Free Library of Philadelphia card holder, you can pick up a pass for 4 people for FREE. It is good until June 2009. Your card must be in good standing.
There are limited passes and are only available at certain branches. Call your local branch to see if they carry them.

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#9 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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No specific info- I haven't been there yet, but dh has taken my 2.3yo to both the old & the new building. He said the new building is a big improvment & was very impressed.
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#10 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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We went when my son was 3 1/2 and we visited his grandparents in Philly. He loved it! Many areas looked like fun for toddlers, including the water play, and the puppet show was at a level he would've enjoyed from about 18 months.

About the parking, there is a bus from Center City to 1/2 block from the museum, and that's how we went. I don't recall the route number though!

We were impressed with their cafeteria. The prices weren't as steep as most museums, and some of the food was quite fresh and good. They have a station where you choose your pasta and your sauce and they cook it up for you; it was yummy!

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#11 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Unless you go in the late afternoon, it can get very busy.

FYI for those w/ kids with sensory issues---the lower level feels a bit more contained, but be prepared for it to be an overwhelming experience. When we visit, I pick just a few areas and stay at them for longer.

Because it is so wide open, it is easy to lose a kid there even if they wander off just a bit. So also plan accordingly if you are coming solo with more than one kid and either of them are prone to running, darting off or exploring.

The only true 'baby/toddler' area that seems to be enforced is the nursery rhyme area. It has a swinging gate.

Also downstairs is a small area with a house/yard that had a gate, but it was missing on our last visit. There are walker wagons, fake flowers, butterflies to stick on a tree, a house with steps, brooms, etc. but it can be harder for younger toddlers to play when older/busier kids are there.

The baby area upstairs is right next to the water area and not closed in. I've always found it to busy w/ older kids to be safe for my youngest to play in without getting stepped on.

It's also disappointing that the water play area is a taller height than the old museum so that some areas are even a bit high for my almost 3yo to play at.


If you are close enough to come a few times a year, I would look into a membership. There is also plenty of curbside parking that is quite close to the front entrance of the museum.


My best advice for visiting would be to try to find areas to spend a while in. We love the 'program' room in the front corner (opposite corner of where the carousel is) where they put out art supplies, dress up, musical instruments, etc.

The best thing about the museum is truly the staff. They are amazing and know just how to engage kids and maintain a fun environment.

Best times to visit---Mondays, late afternoons or first thing on a Saturday morning (as in be waiting outside when they open the doors at 9am)



In nicer weather, the Smith Playground is a 5 minute drive away if you want to picnic and make a day of it.

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#12 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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We go pretty frequently, and DD (age 3) loves it. Her favorite part is the water play, but my only complaint is that it's hard for her to reach a lot of the areas to play in.

Lauren
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#13 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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I think they did the changing-heights thing at the water area so that bigger kids would be in one place, littles in another.

The pond toddler area is gated off, and the last few times we've been they've had staff there checking ages at the gate. They also check at the downstairs fairy tale area. There's a home-and-garden toddler area that's enclosed, but I haven't seen staff there.

When we go first thing in the morning, it's not too bad. We usually leave by lunchtime.

Oh, and the staff totally rocks! Some of them remember my daughter from the old museum -- amazing!
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