Hands-On is the Name of the Game at Long Island Children’s Museum
Finally a place I can take my kids where I don’t have to yell “Don’t touch that! Keep your hands to yourself-that’s breakable!” or the always effective (yeah, right) “If you touch one more thing we are LEAVING!” A recent visit to the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City proved to be the perfect place to let the little ones get some hands-on learning experiences.
A little background on the museum: LICM is housed inside a converted airplane hangar on “Museum Row” near Nassau Coliseum. In addition to fourteen hands-on exhibits, there is also a 145-seat theatre and three learning studios. There are early childhood programs for children under five, monthly themes, outreach programs and birthday parties available. With over 265,000 visitors per year, this award-winning not-for-profit museum is the most popular one on Long Island.
Here are some of the highlights of our visit:
Kids Love Bubbles! – What is it about a big basin of soapy water that gets kids nutty? We actually had to fight for a spot near the bubble-making stations but once we squirmed in, the bubbles we made with big circular wands were awesome. There is also a big tire immersed in bubble solution—kids can stand in it and use a pulley to lift it to make a giant bubble around their bodies—not so easy but fun nonetheless.
Communication Station – This was one of my favorite exhibits- a pseudo-newscast room with a “News 12” desk, a camera filming your antics, and a big screen to pretend you are a weatherperson. My kids (2 and 3 years old) were too young to get it, but I played weather-lady and, after glancing over at my image on the television monitor above, concluded that yes, the camera does add ten (?) pounds…
It’s Alive! – With displays of the inner-workings of the human body and realistic outdoor scenery, we learned about ourselves as well as animals indigenous to Long Island. Kids will love sitting in the branches of the big tree and resting inside a birds nest too.
Music Room – All of the children in the music room seemed to love playing different percussion instruments that included the recognizable (i.e. conga drums) as well as unique (a xylophone made from wrenches!). The “feeling music room” off to the side was like a mini recording studio; kids can sit at the control panel to change the music and lights.
Also enjoyable were: ToolBox, where different tools can be used to build your own creations, Pattern Studio which had some cool mirrors and giant wheels, and the Changes & Challenges Exhibit which let us experience how those with disabilities adapt to the world. I had heard that the “TotSpot” exhibit would be fun for little ones to run around and enjoy dramatic play, but the line to enter was a bit too long for my (inpatient) toddlers. We’ll try again on Saturday October 25th, when we plan on a revisit to see the “7th Annual Ghostly Gala”.
Long Island Children’s Museum
11 Davis Avenue
Garden City, New York 11530