My hometown is Albuquerque, New Mexico. My husband is also from New Mexico, so we visit home often. We spent a week in Albuquerque over the holidays, and we were looking for entertaining activities to do with the kids. Several of our local friends suggested we take the kids to Explora. We went to Explora about a year and half ago, but our kids were very young then so they couldn’t do many of the activities. I was excited to take them this year because I knew my kids are old enough now at 4 and 2 years old to actually enjoy the activities.
Explora is a science center and children’s museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is a non-profit museum that has state-wide sponsors and support. Their motto is “Ideas You Can Touch.” It’s a place where I have a huge smile on my face just walking up to the building. It has a bright colorful mosaic dome that welcomes you along with a few musical activities outside for the family. This place makes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) interesting for kids, and that makes me so happy!
Once inside, my kids could hardly wait while we purchased our admissions to start running inside to play. Admission was $10 for Adults (ages 12-64), and $6 for Children (ages 1-11). After we paid admission and stored our jackets in the lockers, we were all excited to go explore.
We started in the Engineering Gravity center. My daughter loved watching the ball go through a giant maze. My son was able to experiment with angling ramps to try to send a ball flying as far as possible. My husband and I both enjoyed refreshing our engineering skills by helping him get the angles just right.
My kids loved making clouds in the Moving Air center. We made circle clouds, triangle clouds, and square clouds! We found most of the experiments were a lot of fun for our whole family to do together.
The Math Moves! center had blocks for the kids to stack, count, and move. Both my kids enjoyed spending time at this station. My daughter was able to stack the blocks almost as tall as her head, and I was asking her to count them as she stacked them to practice her numbers.
My son loves to draw, so it’s no surprise that his absolute favorite station was Drawing with Gears. We probably spent at least 20 minutes at this station, and he would have stayed at this one station the whole visit if I let him. I guess a spirograph will be coming his way as a present this year! 😉
Meanwhile, my daughter could have stayed and played at the Curious Bubbles table all day long. They have bubble blowers of all shapes and sizes, and she mastered making every size of bubbles before I eventually had to pull her (kicking and screaming) away.
My son also really enjoyed checking out some of the reptiles and fish that were on exhibit. He hasn’t really been able to get so up close and personal with reptiles like this before, so he was very excited about the experience.
Another highlight for us was the Charges, Currents and Circuits, where my son learned how about using battery power to light a lightbulb and make a sound. He had to connect the correct wires from the battery to the lightbulb or the sound box to make the lightbulb light up or make a sound on the sound box (his success made his engineering parents very proud).
Also the Sketch Aquarium is so much fun! There were coloring pages out for the kids to color in a car, bus or house. Then the kids scan it, and watch for it to show up on a huge movie screen. We colored, scanned and followed our vehicles around the screen for a long time. They enjoyed this exhibit so much that I had to drag my kids away when it was time to go home.
My husband went on their bicycle that is suspended on a second story high wire on our previous visit a few summers ago, and we all were thrilled watching him and waiting for his return. Sometimes I think these children’s museum are as much fun for the adults as the children. My husband’s best friend from university met us at Explora and told us that they have adult nights there. How cool is that? If we lived in Albuquerque, you know you would find my husband and I on a date night there!
We spent two hours at Explora, and I know we could have easily spent double that time. There was so much more we didn’t have time to see, but we did enjoy everything we did get to play with during our visit.
I think we will be planning a visit to Explora every time we are visiting our families in New Mexico from now on. If we lived near by an annual pass would definitely be worth the investment. My brother has one and they visit regularly.
Our visit to Explora opened my eyes to how awesome, educational, and fun children’s museums are. They are teaching our children all about STEAM in an interactive, engaging and fun way. I’ve decided to start taking my kids to visit children’s museums every time we visit a new city, and also start visiting our local children’s museum more frequently. I hope you’ll follow along as I share our experiences and reviews of the children’s museums we visit around the country. Up next month is a feature on our visit to the DoSeum in San Antonio!
Have you ever been to Explora? Will you be planning to check it out after reading this review? Let me know your favorite children’s museum.