The Tribe (at least the younger members) recently had the opportunity to visit Billings, Montana’s new children’s museum! Wise Wonders Children’s Museum was opened earlier this year in downtown Billings, as an up and coming museum, it is already a much appreciated addition to what Billings has to offer it’s younger residents and visitors!
The little girls (10, 8, and 6), Caleb (4), and I spent the afternoon at Wise Wonders, along with one of their aunts, and 5 cousins. The kids were loathe to leave after 3 hours, and we ended up shutting down the museum.
The thing that impressed me most about the museum was their dedication to cleanliness! The museum was immaculate, but without staff hovering, or worrying if the kids dropped beans or sand on the floor.
The museum has many areas and activities. The grocery store portion of the museum was a favorite with our girls; there were ample supplies for multiple kids to play in the area at once, and the foods were all in good condition. The kids loved that since it seems more realistic!
The kids loved building long ramps and mazes for balls to follow! Sometimes the mazes were set up just right, other times the balls went flying and the kids had to figure out what changes needed to be made to keep it on track (and then longer, and longer still).
There are several areas in the museum that encourage reading. Bins of books are scattered throughout the museum, each bin containing books sharing a common subject.
The Beanbox was strangely fascinating! Filled with dry pinto beans, this fun digging area was clean (for both the museum and the kids!) and engaging. Caleb enjoyed excavating the dinosaurs that the girls buried for him!
There were 2 areas that drew my kids back time and time again. The fist was the wind tunnel. With a nearby table filled with the supplies and instructions for making parachutes out of coffee filters and other materias, this station drew in all the kids! After designing and producing their own parachutes, the kids would take them over to the wind tunnel. At the wind tunnel, the kids would hold their parachute over a fan at the bottom, and when they let go, the fan would propel the parachute up the tunnel and out the top. The kids had a ball catching them when they finally floated down. The older kids made a couple of different parachutes, trying to improve their design.
These huge building planks made (in Montana) by AdventureProjectCo, were where the older kids spent the majority of their time. They came up with some incredible forts! All 9 of them fit into this last one…
One thing that I did not get a good photo of, but LOVED (yes, *I* loved it, pretty sure my kids now need some), was the bin of kinetic sand! Intriguing, this sand is silky smooth, and sticks together when compressed. You can shape it and it stays in that shape, but if you disturb it, like pull off a small piece from your creation, then the rest of the sand begins to loosen up and come apart!
There was so much to do at the Wise Wonders Children’s Museum in Billings! It was a hit, and Yes, The Tribe will be back! Currently, the museum is renovating an additional 1,000 square feet of additional exhibits and activities, and we can’t wait to see what fun learning activities the new addition will include!
Here are just a few things that you should know before a visit to Wise Wonders:
*Be sure to check the Wise Wonders website to confirm business hours (you can find them on the website, link below); at this time, they are open Tuesday through Saturday.
*Admission into Wise Wonders is just $5 per person, and includes all activities.
*Ample parking is located in a fee parking lot across the street from the entrance to the museum ($2/2 hrs). This location is NOT big rig friendly, but convenient parking for regular rigs.
*Ideal ages (IMHO) is toddler to 10. My 10 year old Emma, and her 10 year old cousin, both enjoyed their visits to the museum, and were not bored at any time.
*While you are there, pick up a package of water beads – they are super cool! 😉
Wise Wonders is a fantastic addition to Billings, MT, and is sure to be a hit with locals as well as those traveling through! You can find the website for Wise Wonders, Billings, MT here:
WiseWonders.org, and if you would like to get notified of any events or specials, you can keep up with Wise Wonders on their facebook page!
Happy learning through play!