Terre Haute Children's Museum Review

Would your kids like to be on TV, explore a giant tree house, or become a scientist? At the Terre Haute Children's Museum they can do all that and more! Located in downtown Terre Haute on Wabash Avenue, the Terre Haute Children's Museum opened in 1988 in the basement of a church. Since then, it's expanded to a three floor building that serves a vast number of West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois counties. We recently went there for a field trip and wanted to share just some of the things we love about the THCM:
  • The museum is a smaller scale than the one in Indianapolis but there's still plenty enough there to keep your kids entertained for hours and hours. Mine - who are currently 10, 6, 2, and almost 10 months - are always excited to go back. On this particular day we spent almost four hours there and my kids still weren't ready to go!
  • All the different exhibits and activities at the museum encourage imagination, discovery, using science and math, curiosity, pretend play, and thinking skills. From hands-on building and exploring, to creating, climbing, and reading - my kids always have fun and learn a lot too. I especially love all of the pretend play experiences they get to have - there's a grocery store for them to shop or work at, a kid-size kitchen they can cook and bake in, a TV set up with green screen & cameras so they can pretend to do the news or weather, and a vet's office (seen below) that was a HUGE hit with my animal-loving daughter especially!

  • There are activities and exhibits for all ages from ToddlerZone to the Tree House! The Tree House is basically a multi-level fun house - the kids climb through the trunk up to the top of the Tree House where they can then use the pollen shooters (foam balls) to hit flower targets on the walls, look through telescopes, take the slide back to the first floor, or go off the walkway and explore the second floor! The Tree House is my eldest son's favorite! The ToddlerZone located on the second floor is a great area for your tiny tots to explore, crawl, and play. Babies to age 4 are welcome in this fenced in, carpeted area that's full of stuff just their size - play house, books, puzzles, small climbing structure with slide, a pretend garden, and tons of toddler size toys. (Although as you can see in these pictures, since we had the area to ourselves my 6 year old came in briefly to play with the little guys. Oh, and the fenced in area is see through glass so I could easily see my 10 year playing with the surrounding exhibits.)

  • Another favorite activity for my kids is the Water Works water table. It's got a bunch of different things for the kids to build and play with - water pipes, fountains, water shooters, river and dam stations, and balls to float. Plus, it's got this unique little toddler/baby splash zone as seen in the picture below. My little guys LOVE these little seats - they can splash to their hearts content and watch the other kiddos playing. (And a handy tip: there's water resistant vests of all sizes hanging up on the wall for all the kids and air dryers in case anyone does happen to get wet!)

  • The museum offers a variety of different special events. On the day we visited the museum, I had also signed up my smaller children for their special Tot Time. Tot Time is a FREE science-based educational program for kiddos ages 2 - 5 and their parent/guardian. Tot Time is held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 10:30 AM. (Please check their schedule for any changes/exceptions. Also - you must register each kiddo you are bringing ahead of time so they can plan for enough equipment or materials. I mistakenly only registered one of my kiddos - it didn't turn out to be a big deal but I'm letting you know so you can plan & let them know accordingly!) Each month has a different theme and the children get to participate in story time, a science project or experiment, and other fun activities. Since we went right before Halloween, the theme was Spooky Science. In the picture below you can see my kiddos listening to a story about 10 spooky ghosts and putting on their safety glasses to do their science experiment - making ghosts disappear! They had a lot of fun.

  • In addition to Tot Time, the museum offers many other activities from summer camps to special family days. Some upcoming events: Science Saturdays focusing on Chemistry and Science Labs, family friendly events like downtown Terre Haute's Family First Fridays, Paint & Play - a painting program open to anyone over 5 years old, and a Daddy Daughter dance. You can also plan field trips there for your group or rent facilities at the museum for birthday parties, meetings, and other events. 
  • Have you ever thought about getting a museum membership? The price may initially seem steep but if you think about it, if you have several children you'd pay that amount just in visiting a couple times a year. (For us - twice!) And with a membership, you get unlimited visits, access to special Member's Only events and free admission to other museums and science centers from the "Passport Program" that the museum is a part of. The basic one year membership includes unlimited FREE admission to THCM for 2 adults and ALL their children from the same household under the age of 18. Additional options can also include grandparents, nannies, and others. Sound good? You can sign up online today! (Or consider telling family members it would make a great upcoming Christmas present for your kids!)
Want to learn more about the Terre Haute Children's Museum? You can find them online at the following places:

Twitter - https://twitter.com/THCMuseum (@THCMuseum)
Instagram - https://instagram.com/thcmuseum/ (@thcmuseum)
Phone - (812)235-5548
- info@terrehautechildrensmuseum.com

Disclosure: We have been to the museum a handful of times. However to facilitate this review, my children and I were given complimentary admission for one visit.

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