Stepping Stones Children’s Museum is like a fun emporium for kids. My 4 year old daughter has been begging to go for weeks. This past weekend we made the one hour drive from NYC to Norwalk, CT and paid a visit. We used to be members here and would go often but it’s been about a year since our last visit. This is really a remarkable play space for kids, with a great balance of both science and fun.
Stepping Stones Children’s Museum understands kids and our experience always starts with our daughter, Brooklyn, entering her own private entrance. This is a charming child sized door located right by the standard entrance – she’s obsessed with it. From there you walk into an open happy space full of color and a series of halls you can pick from to begin your adventure.
After hanging our coats in the free coat check we let her take the lead. She always surprises us and takes a new path. This time we began at the Color Coaster, just off reception. This is a 27-foot kinetic sculpture that allows you crank and spin contraptions that move balls throughout the sculpture putting it into motion.
After about 5 minutes we headed over to Build It. Build It is a house under construction where you can suit up in a tool belt and get to work playing with tools and materials. It feels like play to little ones but they’re really getting hands on learning and practice with motor skills, geometry and construction. The fun thing about Build It and many exhibits here is kids of different ages all love it while learning at their own pace.
Our next stop was Express Yourself, an area next to Build It. In this area Children can do activities like roll a ball through a maze with a partner. There is also a section where you can make short videos of yourself which project along the wall. Brooklyn’s favorite part in this area was building blocks across from her dad, separated by a curtain. They would build then open the curtain to reveal what each other made. This area has art, music and games which allow kids to practice expressing themselves while cooperating with others. We spent about 30 minutes in this area.
Next we took a walk through the section dedicated to traveling exhibits. This time they had a cool exhibit called Rainforest Adventure which will be here through June 13th 2016. The journey through this space was active and a lot of fun. We were able to try out binoculars, climb in a harness, crawl through a toy tree and learn about rainforest communities.
From here we took a walk through the Light Gallery, which is a hallway with a wall of windows. The exhibits are always different. This visit they had a play bowling alley with penguins as pins.
Brooklyn then led us to my favorite section, the multimedia gallery. Inside is a 35′ x 12′ screen and an open floor which has an interactive projection which rotates to a new activity about every 90 seconds. This is also the area where they host educational events and parties.
Our last stop was the Energy Lab, Brooklyn and my boyfriend’s favorite. This is an interactive room filled with tubes, balls, wind, water and all kinds of experiments. As you enter you put on a waterproof smock which helps keep you dry. I recommend bringing a change of clothes in case your child defies the smock’s capabilities. This area is a wet and playful way for children to learn about the science of energy.
Since our daughter has outgrown tot town she didn’t play in this area but I did get a few pictures to share. It’s a cute area dedicated to little ones under 36″ with a special area designated to non walkers.
Cafe & Courtyard
There is also a nice cafe where you can buy food or bring your own and enjoy it while looking out into the outdoor Celebration Courtyard which currently has sock skating and a culture maze.
And of course there’s an awesome gift shop. This shop has an amazing selection of toys that we use as inspiration for gifts.
- Probably best for children 1-8.
- Limited stroller parking is available.
- Morning visits are less crowded.
- Bring a change of clothes in case your kids get wet in Energy Lab.
- Bring socks so you can try sock skating.
- There is a fun outdoor playground at the end of the parking lot.
- During the summer they have a solar powered train.
- There is an aquarium located on the same grounds, additional admission required.
- Check out our video.
- For more family fun ideas check out Stamford Museum and Nature Center nearby.