I was provided with complimentary tickets to the National Toy Train Museum in exchange sharing this review with my readers. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
On our ‘Tour of Lancaster County‘ this summer my kids and I stopped at The North Museum for some educational fun. We had a great time here and all learned something new. I love how interactive all of the exhibits are and what was great for us is that there is something appropriate for kids of all ages (adults, too!). So my 7 year-old daughter enjoyed it just as much as my 4 year-old son.
One of the first things we explored when we got inside was the Live Animal Room. A few creepy crawlies in here but apparently I’m the only one in my family that gets chills when I see a snake. The kids really liked checking out the tarantula and my daughter went right for the turtles.
Another exhibit we all enjoyed was this one, a cool display of unique shells. We’re major beach bums and collect hundreds of shells each year so this was really neat for us to learn about.
The highlight of the trip for me was the planetarium! There are a few different shows available to see here. We opted for the safe show geared toward children (though I totally want to go back and see Sea Monsters!). This was my kids’ first time in a planetarium and they thought it was so cool! I always loved them as a kid, too. They learned a lot about the sky and planets and how the seasons come about while we watched the show on the ceiling. Definitely take in a planetarium show if you go visit!
Through September 2013 there’s a really neat Diamond Exhibit on display. Mommy liked the big diamonds more than the kids. 😉 They had a fun piece here that was a large rock wall that had two (fake) diamonds hidden it it. The kids had to hunt them down like you would if you mined for diamonds. They found them pretty quickly!
My little guy, Leo, totally loved the Dinosaur Gallery. There’s a bunch of information about all kinds of prehistoric animals but of course sitting next to some bones with sharp teeth was the thrill of this room.
Next to the planetarium this was my favorite exhibit, the kids’ too, and we spent a good bit of time here. This is called a Tornado Machine and it actually creates a tornado between the top and bottom fans. When you put your hand in it, it breaks apart. This was SO cool to play with!
The Hall of the Cosmos was another place my kids had a lot of fun. They loved learning about the planets.
We spent a good deal of time playing teacher at this interactive exhibit. Lily and Leo arranged all the planets in order on this velcro wall. By the end they both actually knew the order they went in! Pretty cool!
One of the last stops for us on the first floor was the Discovery Room. This is a great place for the littlest visitors. My kids had a good time checking out what was inside all of the little boxes and bins and the microscope got a lot of use, too. Plus there’s a big dinosaur in there for them to ride on!
There’s more to see on the lower level of the museum. This chest of drawers is really fun to explore. There’s something neat in each drawer! When my son opened the drawer with a bunch of snakes in them I wasn’t exactly thrilled but he thought it was the coolest thing ever. And check out the size of that crab!
The North Museum has a huge ornithology display with hundreds of birds of all sizes in it. Really interesting to see.
Also on the lower level are beautiful gemstones. There’s even a guide to help you find your birthstone! These stones are mine, my daughter’s and my son’s.
Before you leave you can check out the gift shop that has a lot of neat keepsakes that you see throughout the museum. There are some neat stones, little dinosaurs, and all kinds of other mementos. If you’re local or within driving distance to Lancaster, PA I definitely suggest checking out The North Museum with your kids. My kids and I had a really great time learning and exploring together. I have to mention, too, that all of the employees were so nice and helpful, really welcoming us to the museum and showing us how to find everything we were looking for. Love that!
Keep up with all the latest news from The North Museum by checking out their website and be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter! They always have something new and exciting for families. My kids can’t wait to go back!