Woot! The new KidsQuest Museum (http://www.kidsquestmuseum.org/) is now open. It moved to its new location next to the library in downtown Bellevue. It was rainy one Saturday and so we decided to pay it a visit. We renewed our membership but the new terms are definitely not as attractive as the old family membership plan. It is now $95 a year for 1 adult and 1 child with every additional person an extra $30. It is free for children under 1 and $12 per visit for all others so a membership is still a pretty decent deal for us if we visit at least 4 or 5 times.
The moment we entered KidsQuest, the kids were greeted by a huge climbing structure (Atrium Climber). It can get pretty crowded on the weekends and T2 was overwhelmed by the number of climbers around her. There’s a rope obstacle that T1 was immediately drawn to and stairs for the little ones. Adults are welcomed as well so you can keep your kiddos company/safe during the climb. As the kiddies climb towards the canopy, there are lots of tunnels to climb through. Some are surprisingly steep and I thought to myself…if someone loses their footing…that’s a long way down. Thankfully, everyone made it up and down safely (Phew!).
The new KidsQuest has a cordoned off area (Tot Orchard) for littles and even a little room within if you want to nurse or are looking for a quiet area (two thumbs up for this addition!). The Tot Orchard has a real fancy kitchen and picnic table setup for the little kids and T2 really took to it!
T1 also enjoyed the building stations and spent quite a bit of time building different structures out of the flat wood pieces.
They have expanded the train table (no more elbow to elbow fighting for track space) but also left quite a few of the interactive science exhibits behind. I miss those exhibits but I think T1 and T2 were too busy running around and trying out all the new stuff to notice. They also have more seating for parents which is a major plus point. There is a dress up area under the Story Tree and T2 made a beeline for the butterfly wings (even though they were blue!) and wore it around all afternoon.
KidsQuest has a Bellevue mercantile store front similar to the setup at the Seattle Children’s Museum. The kids enjoyed grabbing produce items from the shelves and “paying” for it at the checkout stand. They then proceeded to have a “picnic” in the middle of walkarea with their new found friends. Yup…those are my kids…
Finally we headed down to the water play area (do this activity LAST unless you’ve brought an extra change of clothes). The room felt a little tight with kids running everywhere and parents standing around; there was no good spot to be out of the way. Nonetheless, T1 and T2 had a rocking good time trying to divert water onto the floor (sigh…) with PVC pipes! It was rainy that day so we did not get a chance to try the outdoor play area with the big foam blocks but it looks like a great spot to be when the warmer weather rolls around. We will be back to explore the rest of KidsQuest soon!