Have you been to the Betty Brinn Children's Museum lately? If not, let me remind you how entertaining and fun it is for kids!
For our birthday girls, if they don't have a "kid" birthday party (which, admittedly, I'm not always keen on doing), they get a "mom and me" or "dad and me" day at a local museum (or sometimes the mall, ahem, tweens) complete with lunch. Yesterday's day with my 6-year-old was especially poignant because as the middle child she is rarely (OK, never) not in the company of another sibling. It was a day all about her. We settled on Betty Brinn as the venue of choice because it really is a no-fail, fun destination.
Now, I'm not advocating playing indoors on a beautiful summer day, but, if you go on a beautiful summer day the crowds are minimal and the museum is like your child's own personal play space. It's hard for me to say what she liked best as she played a little bit everywhere. We loved the factory, the post office, the grocery store and all of the golf ball ramps. The stages for the puppet show and dress-up are fantastic and ending in the "germ area" was perfect for getting out any extra energy. I'm also a huge fan of the views from the balcony.
There's a picnic area with tables and you can buy sandwiches and fruit (provided by Alterra) from a little cooler or bring your own lunch.
Also, Betty Brinn is, I think, very affordable. In addition to relatively low admission rates, there is reduced-rate parking available in the attached and newly re-opened O'Donnell parking structure.
I need to mention easy-to-access as well. As a self-professed "hate-to-drive-downtown" kind of person, I appreciate how easy it is to get to from our southwest side of town. I'm sure we all have our favorite ways of getting there, but I like to use 794 which basically drops you off at the museum's doorstep. And sometimes, when I'm not feeling like getting on the highway, I just drive up 6th Street to Michigan. Easy, peasy fun for the family!