Sometimes fun is fun and sometimes fun is more than just a good time. Sometimes, it comes with a lesson or two. Or more. At Explore & More Children's Museum in East Aurora, kids do a good deal of learning, even if they don’t quite realize it.
I’ve been here quite a few times, although this was the first for my little ones. Emma, 4, and Ella, 1, both really enjoyed it. It is basically one great big room filled with little stations to check out.
Your little ones can build curiosity and maybe a floor, or even a building. The Inside Architecture area is fascinating. It’s all hands-on play, as kids work on plumbing pipes and electrical. They can drill, saw and paint with imagination. They can dress up in hard hats and orange safety vests. My girls spent a great deal of time here.
Here’s some food for thought – let them go crazy in the farm, grocery shop, barn, garden and market area. They’ll learn about different kinds of food, where it comes from and what it looks like. They can even jump in a little boat and see what it’s like to work for your food. It was interesting to see so many of the kids playing together.
In the puppet theater area, kids can perform a show or watch one. The puppets are cute and the show can be whatever the kids want it to be.
There is a rock climbing wall for the little daredevils, a baby garden for only the littlest visitors, a place to dig for fossils and rocks, and even an art room where kids can create a masterpiece. It was "fun with play-dough" when we were there.
Florence Chrzanowski of Cheektowaga brought her granddaughter Montana Poisson to explore. And more. And she did. The 4-year-old was amazed by everything around her. Grandma Florence was pretty impressed.
“It’s really cute. I never knew it was here," she said. "They are free to come and go and do as they wish. They can see what they want. She is entertained and having fun. It’s really a learning experience."
For me, any place that really allows kids to explore and use their imagination is a great idea. My kids wanted to stay all day.
The staff was great and they were constantly picking up after the kids. That’s huge because as any parent knows kids can leave quite a trail of destruction so keeping it tidy means the next kiddos coming through can have fun, too.
Another plus, we brought our own lunch. There are two options where you can enjoy your own packed food: one is a little room in the museum, the other is a cafeteria which is in the building but separate from the actual museum. That’s where we ate. There are a few vending machines for snacks and drinks. We ate and went back for more play time.
300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora
Prices: $7, kids younger than 1 are free. Annual membership for two adults and their children: $60/year.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.