Last week we had a chance to head down to San Antonio and check out The DoSeum – San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. I knew San Antonio was revamping their museum and I knew the grand opening was June 6 but other than that I didn’t know much. So the boys and I headed down there and we were blown away, y’all. Blown Away.
This museum was so incredibly cool and there was so much thought put into each and every exhibit. The attention to detail was just incredible. We arrived around 9:15 and planned to stay until 1 or so. We had afternoon plans and needed to get back to Austin. Around 12:45 when we were getting ready to pack up and head out and the boys begged me to skip our afternoon plans at the aquarium so they could stay and play longer. They couldn’t get enough. Here’s a quick run down of the exhibits and activities inside.
This is the first area when you walk in. There is a wall of spinning mirrors, a big wind tunnel and some digital shadow puppets. A great intro to the fun that is to come. Also, there are some restrooms right outside this area so it’s a good place to keep siblings occupied if you need a bathroom break before you explore.
:: Little Town
This area is geared toward the 5 and under set. However, older siblings are welcome to come in and play. I loved that this area was gated and docents manned the gates. They didn’t allow any child to exit without a parent. So kids can roam and you don’t have to worry about one escaping into another part of the museum.
Little Town was a huge, huge hit with my 3.5 and nearly 5 year old. They had an HEB grocery store inside where kids can shop; complete with digital cash registers to ring up the purchases. There was a Taco Truck so kids can imagine they have their own food trailer. There was an airplane with suitcases and a baggage roller. There was a construction zone with a skid steer kids could operate. James thought this was the best thing ever! There was a veterinary clinic, a post office, a train, a road with Little Tikes cars kids could zoom around on. Jack was mesmerized by the bank. They had a working chute and kids could send little canisters of play money up the chute and down to the other side just like the real bank. He must have done it a hundred times. The whole area was incredibly detailed and perfect for little kids with big imaginations.
:: Spy Academy
The next section was Spy Academy. Kids get to be recruits. There are missions for them to take throughout the exhibit. They use logic and reasoning to crack codes, open secret passages, and learn to live the life of a spy. This section is adjacent to Little Town so if you feet comfortable, it would be a great area for older siblings to explore while the younger set enjoys Little Town.
:: Imagine It
This section focuses on imagination. There was a reading lab filled with children’s books and lots of little reading nooks to enjoy them. Kids can make their own story on the story board and even draw their own comic. The lighting was soft and kind of funky with tunnels and lots of hidden nooks. It was a really neat section!
:: Sensations Studio
Kids get to explore light and sound in this area. Some of it was a little too advanced for my little ones but they had fun exploring the different sounds colors make and building listening devices and building with colored blocks.
:: Innovation Station
This section was incredible. This was science and engineering on steroids! There were so many different things for kids to explore, design and build hands on. Kids could program robots, learn about magnets, build bridges and more. While little kids can enjoy the area (mine did!) this is such a neat environment for tweens and young teens. They could spend hours here building and exploring. However, one of the coolest parts of this upstairs section was getting there! You climb a musical staircase – like the flat one in the movie Big but it’s vertical. Super cool!
This exhibit introduces kids to the world around them. My boys enjoyed the large area where they could build a city and the huge foam puzzle of the United States. There was also a digital display of the earth and moon that my younger son enjoyed. There was lots of room to roam and explore and this spot is perfect for kids of all ages.
:: Powerball Hall
If you visited the old San Antonio children’s museum, you’ll recognize this exhibit. It makes it’s comeback with new twists and turn. My boys could have spent hours in here. They loved watching the balls rolls and bounce and shoot out. It was one of the highlights of their visit.
:: Big Outdoors
Last but certainly not least is the massive 39,000 square foot outdoor space at The DoSeum. And just like everything else, this one had so much detail! There was a huge water works section for kids to explore all the properties of water. My boys were mesmerized and loved putting balls in the water and watching them float, spin and fly. Next to the water section is a huge climbing structure. There were paths for kids of all ages, a simple ladder in the middle for little legs and an exterior climbing wall for big kids. Everyone enjoyed the huge slide. They also have a bubble area but we didn’t make it over there. My kids couldn’t tear themselves away from the other things.
On the other side of the museum there will be another outdoor area but it hadn’t open yet when we visited. According to the website, this area will feature a waterway specifically designed for young children and unique to The DoSeum. Stepping-stones, sluice gates, wood bridges and shaded paths will traverse and surround the river. This scenic area will also include a wheelchair-accessible tree house, a 100-year-old oak tree perfect for story-making under its majestic canopy, a sandscape and an Eco viewing pond. Sounds amazing!
We had such a fun day at The DoSeum and will definitely go back again. From Dripping Springs (SW Austin) it took me about an hour and fifteen minutes and I felt it was totally worth the trip. So if you live close enough to drive down or find yourself in San Antonio definitely plan a visit to The DoSeum!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a trip:
- The DoSeum has free parking in the north lot by the main entrance. If the lot is full, there is additional parking in the south lot off Brackenridge Avenue. Then just walk along the sidewalk down Broadway to get to the entrance.
- When we visited the cafe hadn’t opened yet. It’s coming soon so be sure to double check before you go. You can also pack a lunch or snacks to enjoy outside. There are lots of shady spots to stop and eat. There is also a Taco Cabana a few feet from the entrance.
- H-E-B will be sponsoring some free nights beginning in September. This would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the museum without having to pay. There is no date listed yet so check the events page on Facebook for updates.
- The DoSeum offers sensory hours so sensitive kids can enjoy the museum more comfortably. Check the events page on Facebook to find out when the next one will be. They will offer sunglasses and ear plugs at the front desk. Signs will be posted throughout the museum to alert families of noises, lights, etc. There will be additional modifications throughout each exhibit gallery at The DoSeum.
For hours, directions and more tips to planning your visit, head to The DoSeum website.
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