Being a working mom, I find that I barely spend 3 hours of awake time with the girls on weekdays. When the weekends came along, I found myself trying to shop and do stuff and in the process, not spend as much time as I want to with Sugar and Spice. So two weeks ago, I made myself a promise that regardless of what was on my agenda, every Saturday would be spent with the girls. This did two things for me. Made me plan and consolidate my trips with easy twin mobility in mind and I also look for venues that will provide a stimulating change for the girls.
Our first trip together was to Costco and we had a fun ride in the double carts. For the second week's Saturday and in the hope that I can groom children with more appreciation for the cultural things in life, we took a family trip to the Children's Museum of Houston. They are very proud of their ranking as the number 1 children's museum in the US and I was very curious to see if they'd live up to their billing.
They did. There were screaming loads of children having a great time within the various exhibits, from a kidtropolis where they can do "jobs" and withdraw money from an ATM to the matter factory offering science educational play. For us though, we headed straight for the TotSpot.
The Totspot is specially designed for children under 35 months. It includes mini-buildings for exploring, mirrors, balls and lots of opportunities for sensory play. At one end of the TotSpot was the location for the youngest of babies who were not yet mobile. We spent all our time here. It had two bumbo chairs, mirrors, hanging lights and toys. Plus on the wall was a rolling cylinder with faces of crying babies. I didn't get that, but when I put the babies on the bumbo chair in front of it, they instintively knew how to turn the disc. We were able to play without fuss for 30 minutes and for 7 month old babies, there's not much more you can ask for.
Was it worth it, yes. Here's a summary of the museum's twin baby comfort rankings:
Parking: Good availability of space. Pricey at $8 for 3 hours or more. Car park is opposite the museum so there'll be street crossing involved
Accessibility: The parking garage walled ramp was a tight fit for pedestrians and a side-by-side double stroller. The TotSpot is on the second level and the elevators to get there are a good 6 minute walk from the admission stall
Admission: $8 per adult, children under 1 go free
For the single parent: Getting in and manuevering in the TotSpot will be a challenge without a second set of hands to help. There are several attendants present though and it may be possible to recruit one to help
Changing Facilities: Thankfully, I didn't get a chance to use these so I really don't know. Shoulda checked though
Eating Facilities: Didn't check the baby-friendliness of the restaurant either. I do know that I was hungry and the menu was a little too health for me. (So I went to Panda Express instead :) )
There wasn't really anything in the infant section that you can't get in a well-equipped daycare, but this is still a nice, safe place for some baby playtime. For older kids though, this place is AWESOME!
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