Now I have that child. The one who I dread bringing to museums because she just wants to run and climb. But I still also have the child who loves going to museums and always bemoans, "Mom we never get to go anymore!"
We've ventured into DC to go to the Smithsonians a handful of times since Naia arrived. And truthfully, it's orchestrated chaos. Usually the excitement of the metro ride wears her down before we even get there.
It's crowded even mid-week. Everything is behind glass. And it's so spread out that little feet quickly tire out. It's an amazing resource, but not the idea place to spend the day with a 3 year old.
It's so easy just to gravitate to the big (free) Smithsonian museums so close by. But lately I have been seeking out smaller museums. Smaller museums don't have the draw of being free, but they are almost always more little kid friendly. Finding places where the kids are allowed to touch, and feel, and interact makes all the difference.
The Anne Marie Sculpture Garden was the perfect little place for a kid friendly museum experience. This month there was a really fabulous exhibit on wool embroidery needle work made by common British sailors that made my big kid happy.
And there was plenty of hands on, colorful, not behind glass things for my little one to explore. Books to look through, recognizable things with a new life, bits to glue and paint, and outdoor space too. Even art you can climb on!
And suddenly it's not so terrible bringing them to the museum anymore.