September 16, 2014

Lincoln Children’s Museum

My family recently made a quick 24-hour visit to Lincoln, Neb. Read the trip recap here.

The first stop on our to-do list was the Lincoln Children’s Museum.

 

It's hard to capture all three levels of the Lincoln Children's Museum in one shot.

It’s hard to capture all three levels of the Lincoln Children’s Museum in one shot.

You know how tempting it is to compare new things to what you’re used to at home? I did it with the Lincoln Children’s Museum and Omaha Children’s Museum. I couldn’t help it. I’d heard so many people say this or that one was better.

There was no clear winner. There’s a lot to like at each, and each did some things better.

Let’s talk about Lincoln’s, though. It’s located a few blocks from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the downtown area. Parking is tricky, especially if you time it like us, and go on a Husker game day. There is no parking lot for the museum, it’s all street parking.

The three-story museum is a lot to take in for the first-timer. My kids had no idea which way to go, but they spotted a hot air balloon and water feature on the bottom level first, so off we went.

The bottom level had a lot we hadn’t seen at our home children’s museum.

Farley entranced by the water area.

Farley entranced by the water area.

The water area was really large, and was my son’s favorite in the whole museum. Kids could build dams, play with water toys, and for the youngest, there were little seats that gave them access to splash with their hands.

There's a stage in the basement of the children's museum, complete with a sound booth for kids to play with (or dads, as the case is here).

There’s a stage in the basement of the children’s museum, complete with a sound booth for kids to play with (or dads, as the case is here).

The rest of the lower level was an assortment for different interests – a tunnel system to pretend to be prairie dogs; a stage and dress up area; the fun photo opp, the big red rocking chair; and several other play areas.

Enter in those holes at your own risk. Grown up rear ends don't glide through there so easily.

Enter in those holes at your own risk. Grown up rear ends don’t glide through there so easily.

The middle floor featured areas that represented Nebraska life well. Here are a few things you’ll find in Tiny Town:

Tiny Town at Lincoln Children's Museum.

Tiny Town at Lincoln Children’s Museum.

Kids could play at places like:

Kimmel Family Apple Orchard (with a game both my kids enjoyed).

Learning about the harvest season at the Kimmel Family Apple Orchard exhibit.

Learning about the harvest season at the Kimmel Family Apple Orchard exhibit.

 

A Hy-Vee Grocery store

The Nebraska Cornhuskers corner – featuring stuff from the football, volleyball and baseball teams

Note the little Husker football player hiding in the back of the court.

Note the little Husker football player hiding in the back of the court.

 

It also had an area for children to pretend to be in the police and fire departments, as well as a cute separated area for younger visitors.

The place for the littles to play.

The place for the littles to play.

The top floor had some exciting stuff for my kids – a full-size plane, plus a mini space station.

Kids can get inside this airplane.

Kids can get inside this airplane. Or adults, if that’s what you’ve been dying to do.

It was also the location of the small art center and face painting stations, the top of the tree house (the tree runs through all three levels) and some other transportation-related stuff.

A view of the top level of the Lincoln Children's Museum.

A view of the top level of the Lincoln Children’s Museum.

Favorite parts

My preschooler said he loved the water room the most. The sound of the running water was relaxing, and there was a lot of space to play.

Water play at its most fun, with only a slight chance of soaking clothes. Parents and kids differ on whether this is a good or bad thing.

Water play at its most fun, with only a slight chance of soaking clothes. Parents and kids differ on whether this is a good or bad thing.

My 2-year-old seemed to return the stage again and again. Between the costumes and being able to see herself on TV, I know she loved it. I liked how there was a sound booth kids could play with and they can change the scenery themselves.

Dress up is always a hit with this kid. She also liked changing the scenery, so she could be a princess under the seas or in the jungle.

Dress up is always a hit with this kid. She also liked changing the scenery, so she could be a princess under the seas or in the jungle.

If you go

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Where: 1420 P St., Lincoln, Neb.

When: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Admission: Children younger than 18, FREE; $10.95, children (18 months to 15 years old); $9.95, adults (ages 16+). Reciprocal membership alert! If you have a Patron membership to Omaha Children’s Museum, you receive 50% off admission for up to 6 people.

Website

 

More About Lincoln, Nebraska:

24 Hours Of Fun In Lincoln With Kids

Things To Do Near Lincoln Children’s Museum

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Things to Do Near Lincoln’s Zoo (Sunken Gardens, Antelope Park)

 

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Comments

  1. Adam Sommer says:

    I’ve been to the Omaha Children’s Museum, and your photos of Lincoln’s make it seem lik it might be bigger and better? I’m hoping to get to Lincoln myself in 2015

    • It certainly felt bigger. I honestly can’t say which one is better – there are elements at each that are done better than the other. I’m loyal to Omaha’s, of course, but there are some really cool things in Lincoln that Omaha doesn’t have.

  2. They recently redid the water area, and I think they did a great job. Adam – we think Lincoln is a great place to visit.

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