Autism, Skating, And The Boston Children’s Museum
Boston is filled with history as one of the oldest cities in the United States. With that comes many educational and interesting spots for families to visit. One such spot is the Boston Children’s Museum.
Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest, and one of the most influential children’s museums in the world. The Museum’s exhibits and programs emphasize hands-on engagement and learning through experience, employing play as a tool to spark the inherent creativity, curiosity, and imagination of children. Designed for children and families, Museum exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts.
Despite being raised in the area, I had never been to the Boston Children’s Museum until the other day with my family. We were invited to explore and learn about their SNOWMAZING! event.
Upon entering the glass windowed lobby, you are greeting by Balance Foundation Climb which is 3 stories high! This climbing maze looks like a work of art but is a climbing sculpture made of curved platforms.
The Science Playground was a lot of fun for Lil Man. Here kids can experiment hands-on with bubbles, raceways, and wind/air force.
Peeps World was Lil Man’s favorite. This gallery is themed after WGBH’s Emmy award-winning science program “Peep and the Big Wide World.” Here children can explore shadows, building, and water play. Water is, of course, Lil Man’s favorite and he could spend hours playing.
The Arthur and Friends room was another fun space. Again centered around WGBH’s series with characters Arthur, Binky, Buster, and D.W. And the kids all love the airplane where they can take a pretend flight or even be the pilot.
Another key point I want to share is the Boston Children’s Museum is very Autism friendly. Those who are familiar with Lil Man are used to him blocking his ears. He hates earphones and adjusts to noise fairly quickly. The ear blocking is more of a caution or just in case with him. But the point is he does block them. Several times during our visit, different employees would come up to me to be sure Lil Man was comfortable, asked if he needed anything, let us know they have noise canceling headphones for us to use and to let me know if we need anything. Talk about impressive!
I love when staff can recognize our kiddos and take a moment to care. It means a lot! Turns out their staff members continuously receive training on Accessibility and Inclusion and I can confirm that it shows. We never said a word to anyone about Lil Man’s autism and the staff was spot on with him. It made the day that much more enjoyable for all of us as you can see in the following video:
The museum has a wonderful program in place for special needs to make their venue accessible to all.
Access Programs Sponsored by Liberty Mutual
- ASL Interpreted Programs
ASL interpreted programs are regularly scheduled. Please check our monthly calendar for dates and more information. Upcoming Program:
Critter Day: Creature Teachers – Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm
- Morningstar Access
The Morningstar Access program offers children with special needs/medical needs the opportunity to visit the Museum at a time when there are only a few other visitors. At these times, we have a limit of 100 guests, and children and their families can explore the Museum with less concern about infections and large crowds. Schedule:
- Thursday, December 28, 2017, from 8 am to 10 am
- Monday, January 15, 2018 (MLK Day) from 8 am to 10 am
- Monday, February 19, 2018 (Presidents Day) from 8 am to 10 am
Preregistration is required! For more information contact: Saki Iwamoto, Health, and Wellness Educator Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org 617-986-3697
Resources and Information
- Assistive Listening Devices
A limited number of amplified listening devices are available for all performances in our KidStage Theater. These devices are available at the Admissions desk.
- Food & Other Allergies
- Food and drinks are not allowed in exhibit areas.
- If you, or your child, have food allergies that prevent you from eating in the lunchroom, please do not hesitate to ask a staff member for assistance.
- Latex is not allowed in the Museum. All balloons at Birthday parties must be Mylar.
- The entire Museum is accessible
- The main elevator serves all three floors of the Museum
- Restrooms are wheelchair friendly
- Service animals are always welcome
- A limited number of adult and child wheelchairs are available, free of charge, at the Admissions desk
- A limited number of strollers are available, free of charge, at the Admissions desk
- Printed Materials
- A social storybook is available to prepare children for their visits and show what it’s like to visit the Museum. Download a PDF of this book.
- Multi-language maps are available at the Information desk.
- Large-print maps are available at the Information desk. You may also download floor maps in PDF format: All-Floors Map | 1st Floor Map | 2nd Floor Map | 3rd Floor Map
- Transcripts are available for all KidStage shows.
- Quiet Spaces and Times
- The Museum is typically quiet on school weekdays in the afternoon
- Quiet places in the Museum: First Floor, KidStage when there are no shows (the theater is also dark), The Group Welcome Room when there are no groups. Second Floor: The nursing room in PlaySpace, The tent in Arthur & Friends, The shadow area in Peep’s world, The ends of the hallway. Third Floor: The Japanese House on less busy days, The ends of the hallway.
- Service Animals
Service animals are always welcome.
- Sound-reducing Earmuffs
A limited number of sound-reducing earmuffs are available, free of charge, at the Admissions desk. The earmuffs fit children about 0-12 years old.
The Boston Children’s Museum is one of the most special needs friendly venue I have visited and highly recommend a visit. And if that is not reason enough, don’t forget that SNOWMAZING is happening now. Variety of events include:
- Paper Snowflakes
- Seussical the Musical
- Snowman Building
- Snowmazing! Sock Skating (daily through January 28, 2018) We were able to attend the ribbon cutting with Boston University Hockey Player, Jordan Greenway.
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
Have you been to BCM? Share your favorite part or memory. If you have not been, what do you think you and your kids would enjoy most?