Meet the Sullivans: Bay Area Discovery Museum

March 4, 2014

Bay Area Discovery Museum

Don't get me wrong, I cherish my memories of Owen as a baby, but TODDLERHOOD is by far my favorite stage. Yes, there days when the tantrums are a-plenty, but most days are filled with discovery and amazement, (for me and him!) I love that we can take him to museums, zoos and aquariums and he truly knows what's going on in front of him and thoroughly enjoys every moment.

Saturdays are usually our days with my mom and sister. Keith works Tuesday-Saturday, so these are the days when we get to spend some quality time with my mom and sister. We took advantage of what should have been a rainy day, and took off for the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Salusalito.

The San Francisco Bay Area has some of the most gorgeous views, and the parking lot (yep, that's the view from the parking lot, people) of the Bay Area Discovery Museum has one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. For all you locals, it is a great spot for an unobstructed photo op with the bridge with very little crowds.

Unbeknownst to us the museum is not entirely indoors, so we were really lucky it wasn't raining there -- it certainly was at home. Most of the exhibits are outside, but to travel from exhibit to exhibit you have to leave each building to and walk outside get to the next one, and some of Owen's favorite spots were completely outdoors. And look at that VIEW! I'll take that cute Presidio style white home, tucked into the mountain, please.

They had cute little activities set up around some of the entrances to various buildings. There were wooden xylophones, hula hoops, chalkboards and bubbles.

This stream was one of Owen's favorites. The kids get to pretend with rubber fish, turtles and frogs. And get wet! To a toddler there is nothing more fun than splashing around in water, right?

Again, so gorgeous!

As part of the outdoor area there was a full-size toddler appropriate tug boat. I'm pretty sure this was his number one favorite part of the day. He could have stood inside that thing all day shouting "Hey! Hello! Owen!" into the walkie-talkie inside.

As you can see, it was a pretty popular spot for the toddler set! Check that glare Owen is giving that little girl? He was defending his spot as the child next in line for the walkie-talkie.

The Construction Zone was his second favorite spot. He loves construction workers, like seriously looks up to them and admires them. There are hardhats, shovels, tons of gravel, dump trucks and orange cones -- all for the kids to play with. They try so hard there to make everything authentic for the kids and their imagination.

He got right in there and worked his little behind off like it was his job!

Luckily, there is also a pretty decent little cafe inside the museum. They don't have a wide variety of choices, but it seemed like there was something available for most taste preferences. I thought the kid's menu was pretty cute with all the food made to look like animals or things. They try to keep all the ingredients organic and local too, which is nice!

I had the Mediterrane-Yum salad and ordered Owen the Whoopsie Daisy turkey sandwich in the shape of a flower. My lunch was good, but unfortunately Owen didn't even try his, and instead opted for low-fat chocolate milk. Whatever works, right?

The art room was another really fun spot, especially because it was calmer in there and we were able to get out of the sun for a bit. Owen enjoyed painting on the glass with a brush.

But he may have enjoyed using the spray bottle to wash it off and then wipe it with a squeegee even more!

Some of the little toys and activities the kids use in the museum's exhibits are available for purchase in the gift shop. Owen really liked the Edushape Big Wood-Like Blocks -- they're actually not made from wood, but foam -- but can you believe a small-ish package is $180? Nuts! I found them on Amazon for less though!
They sell so much cute stuff though, it was hard not to take it all home with us.

Like the Magna-Tiles, which I think we'll be buying in the future, since Owen (and Dinny & Granny!!) seemed to love them!

We had so much fun that day! I feel so lucky to live in an area with so many great museums and activities for kids! What is your favorite "family day" activity?


Jess Norden said...

This is amazing!!!!! I am so jealous; I wish there was something like that around here!! We love to do the Children's Museum but can't wait to venture to Boston to visit THEIR children's museum and aquarium!! I am loving this "exploring" age, too!!

Carolyn said...

That looks so fun! I can't wait until Weston is old enough to bring to places like that!!

Tamara @ The Workout Mama said...

How fun! Your pictures are beautiful!

hello erin said...

ok. this place looks AWESOME. like beyond awesome. i love that some of its outside- and it looks like a TON of fun. i wanna visit!!

Chrissy@SimpleJoysBlog said...

That place looks fantastic! Owen looked like he loved it!

Sara McCarty said...

So awesome! Love these photos. We have a place called The Magic House that Mac just loves. It sounds similar with all kinds of fun activities for kids. I love all the outside stuff you guys have though. Of course we wouldn't be able to enjoy it because it's STILL SNOWING!! Ugh. I hate this winter.

E Hayes said...

So california to have a museum mostly outdoors!! So jealous! We have a pretty awesome Please Touch in the city, but it would definitely be cooler if we had somewhere other than the zoo to play outside. Then again, maybe not considering we still have snow on the ground, boo! Toddlerhood is a blast :)

Jodi said...

My mom bought my son those Magna-Tiles for Christmas and he loves them! This place looks awesome! I love that some of it is outdoors. My son would love that construction zone. Toddlerhood is so fun!

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

This museum looks AMAZING! I too love the toddler stage for all the things we can go do and enjoy. Austin's new children museum just opened up a few miles from us, so we can swing in for 45 minutes here and there and it doesn't have to be a big journey. I love that for fitting it into our days! But now I want to go to San Fran even more just so I can go enjoy this amazingness. Thanks for yet another reason. ;)

Elizabeth [Chasin' Mason] said...

That museum looks AWESOME! That's one thing I miss about living in the Bay Area....all those amazing museums! And those views....gorgeous!

Unknown said...

We will definitely have to be going there one of these upcoming weekends I know Kaydenw Luke live it!

Christina @ Still Lucky said...

So fun! I love museums like this.