PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you need to shake off some cabin fever and take a family break, the Bucks County Children’s Museum in New Hope has hands-on fun for children and adults.
The museum caters to kids ages one through seven, but grownups often play side-by-side with the children, such as catching scarves shot high in the air by a wind machine.
“Adults and grandparents get very involved here,” said museum executive director Kelly Krumenacker. “They love taking kids not just through the exhibits, but testing them on their own.”
In the Doylestown Health Hospital exhibit, there are kid-friendly X-ray films to look at, an oversized version of the classic “Operation” board game (sans buzzer) to practice eye-hand coordination, and an ambulance (complete with instruments, stretcher, and steering wheel) to play patient or paramedic.
“I love how they can go inside the ambulance,” Meisha Johnson said.
“And it’s a great exhibit that teaches kids about what happens in a hospital and sort of demystifies the whole hospital experience,” Kelly said.
High up in a “treehouse,” Meisha and Kelly looked down on Bucks County Country.
“Everything back in Bucks County Country is playing with recycled materials,” Kelly said. “Whether it’s the cardboard recycled clubhouse or underneath the giant Lite-Brite made of recycled plastic pegs, this is a really fun area.”
Inside the Big Dig, Meisha exclaimed, “I love this room already. I can dig for fossils! I’m an absolute reptile freak, so I love dinosaurs as well.”
“What happens here in the Big Dig is kids can dig through time,” Kelly explained. “We actually start all the way back 500 million years ago, and come all the way up to Bucks County circa 1900. Everything’s back here, from trilobites to Ben Franklin’s eyeglasses.”
The Waterways exhibit “shows kids all about the water cycle,” Kelly said. “Precipitation falls onto the land and it comes back up as water vapor, and falls back down, and it’s just fun.”
“It’s for kids, yes, but adults would find it interesting, too,” Meisha said.
“It’s more than just playing with toys,” said Christopher Goehrig, who was visiting with his daughter Annalina.
Kelly said that’s what the museum is about. “Even though it may seem like the kids are just having a good time, they’re really learning as well,” Kelly said.
“I’m a science teacher myself,” said Tim Makaro, whose brought his son, Timmy Jr., to celebrate his third birthday at the museum. “Seeing all the scientific principles at play here is really great.”
Timmy’s mother Jen Makaro agreed: “I feel like we’re probably going to spend the entire day here, because there’s so much to do.”
The Bucks County Children’s Museum is at 500 Union Square Drive, New Hope, PA 18938. Museum hours are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Tuesday through Friday. On Saturdays, it is open 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Sundays, it’s open from noon to 5:00 PM. The museum is closed Mondays.
You can find out more about exhibits and upcoming events on their official site.