One of my favorite things to do with my kids on the weekend, is to find something fun, low-cost and care free. If you are anything like me, for years with my toddlers, I would have to execute an entire assessment process before actually making it anywhere. My questions were: is there parking? How long would it take us to get there? Long enough for a meltdown? How much is entry for all of us? What are the exhibits? Are they age appropriate? What’s the weather for the day? Is there a place to eat near by? Or should I pack a lunch? What time do they open? Should I go early and then let the girls nap on the way home? IT WAS A PROCESS for me to get anywhere. And sometimes I just wouldn’t make it out of the house. People didn’t understand either. But no one was in my shoes but me. Not making it out of the house due to mommy frustration is a real thing.
With ALL that said, I’m happy to say we, as a family, have grown into a new space. And because of all my years testing, winning and failing at outings, I can appreciate a good find in the neighborhood. We had a great time this past Saturday checking out the new Sugar Hill Children’s Art and Design Museum. Located in the historic Sugar Hill area of Harlem, this neighborhood received its name in the 1920s because it became the place where wealthy African-Americans lived during the Harlem Renaissance. It offered the “sweet life” historic figures like W.E.B. Du Bois, Adam Clayton Powell Jr, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. The children’s museum addition to this present day neighborhood is the first of its kind. Most families have to go further downtown to explore a museum.
After visiting myself, here are my top reasons this place is winning:
Truly Child Friendly – You know how some museums are stressful even though they are kid focused? So many exhibits, so many kids, running around trying not to lose yours. The floor plan of the Sugar Hill Art and Design Museum is open which makes it very inviting for little people to run, play and explore. Everything is in arms reach and touchable by kids. There is a simple and digestible about of things as to not be overwhelmed but rather entertained all afternoon. The art studio area is a blank canvas for artistic fun, where kids can do construction, draw with chalk or paint with water colors.
Heavy on the Arts – I find kids most pleased with the simplest of things. Art, especially, is one of the most loved activities of my girls. At the Sugar Hill Musuem, there are beautiful murals on the walls with little seats prepped for young blooming artists to sketch. The art studio encourages messes and even has an employee present to clean up after everyone. At the end of your visit, families can pick up their art from the drying station and take it home in a bag. Additionally, the museum brings in guest artists to host workshops and programs. All the way around, it’s an artsy fun time.
Cost Effective and Good Hours – The cost to enter the museum is $7 for adults and FREE for children 0-7. FREE! I can’t stand to spend $30-$50 to get into a museum with my kids. Not that I don’t want to, but it just seems a little ridiculous. The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum makes the outing accessible to a lot more people by being cost-effective. Plus, the place closes at 4 p.m. on Saturday which is perfect timing: just enough fun and then time to go have dinner and go home to bed.
I would definitely recommend this spot for the art appreciative family. I plan on going back soon!
Have you been to a good place with your kids recently? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment.