While looking for new places to “field trip” to last week, a friend had suggested DCM on the riverfront in Wilmington. We’ve visited other popular children’s museums in the area, even the one in Baltimore, but shockingly hadn’t been to the Delaware one yet! So on Thursday, March 6th a friend and I took 6 children ranging in ages 1 to 5 and everyone had an amazing time!
Have a Princess or Prince fan? THIS WEEKEND is the time to visit! March 15 and 16 there will be a “Prince and Princess Weekend” celebration. Festivities with feature special performances and appearances by First State Ballet Theatre and the Delaware Children’s Theatre, hands-on activities and crafts, and more! Regal attire is encouraged! Check out the special events calendar for more details and to see what other exciting things are going on at the museum.
There are quite a few perks about DCM that will guarantee my return. First, FREE parking. Love that! Second, it’s all on one floor. Though each room is separated by walls, they connect with walk ways and the front of the room is open to a general hallway. No child can really get lost because it’s all in one gigantic room, essentially.
The third thing I really loved about the museum was the art room. This was the first thing we hit, which was perfect because the children painted and therefore their artwork was dried and ready for us to retrieve it upon exiting. The fourth thing I appreciated about the museum, that will ensure our return, is that it is geared toward such a wide age bracket. The 1 year old had a fabulous time toddling around and touching and playing with things. There were lights and museum and toys that really appealed to him. My five year old daughter was really into testing and moving and working on things. In a year or two, when she learns to read, those same activities that she enjoyed she will be able to take to the next level. So, in my opinion, I think this museum would be entertaining to children up until age 10 or 11. Especially the giant climbing apparatus in the center of the foyer. My final perk was that the facility was incredibly clean! I never felt it was “germy” or unattended. There were kind and helpful employees wherever we went, yet they were never in our space or hindering our experience. Everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs, what a delight to see!
Planning a visit? Here are my visitor tips:
– A stroller is a great thing to have to store your stuff, but my children never sat in it again once we entered the facility.
– Currently there is no cafeteria facility, but there are vending machines. We packed our lunches and it worked out great. There is a nice eating area that looks onto the “Power of Me” and “Structures” rooms, so as the children finished eating they could go back to play and we could still see them coming and going. (Check out the floor plan to see how open it is.)
– You aren’t forced to exit through the store, so we were able to avoid it without any tantrums. “Thank You, DCM” for setting up your facility like that!
– Be prepared for happy splashers in the ECOnnect room. There’s a fabulous water feature that children can play on. There’s one large step for the littler ones to stand on. They do provide smocks, which go on much like a large apron. All 3 of my girls had wet sleeves up to their elbows. But since we still had 3 other rooms and lunch to do after that stop, they were dry by the time we left the museum.
– To avoid traffic and crowds, we went in the morning. The museum opens at 9, but we were there at 10 and we left at 1:30pm. There was no work traffic on the highways and the museum wasn’t crowded at all when we were there.
– Make sure the children wear comfortable shoes for all of the running, playing, and climbing they’ll do! There’s a rock climbing wall that plays music when you touch each rock, a big slide, and the Stratosphere (a 30-foot climbing structure).
Disclaimer: In exchange for this very honest review where all of the opinions are my own, DCM gifted my friend and I free entry to the museum. As I emailed the media contact, Nicole, I was working with, we’ll be back! It is so worth the $12 per person or even to buy a membership!!!