Scenario: It rained all Saturday, so K and I didn’t leave the house. Now it’s Sunday, and we are both anxious to get out and about. K wants to go to the park. The park is free, but the sand is bound to be still soggy from yesterday. He doesn’t understand that or care. I drive out of our neighborhood and turn opposite the park. He has a fit. I inform him that we are going to a new park, a better park. He doesn’t care.
“No, you’re going down the wrong path!” K shouts. He knows “path” because that’s what they talk about frequently on Dora the Explorer.
I ignore him and turn up the music. Before long we arrive at the Chabot Space & Science Museum. This is a record of our experience.
Review of Chabot Space & Science Museum
The Chabot Space & Science Museum is a hidden jewel in the Oakland Hills. It is situated off Skyline Blvd in the exclusive Oakland Hills. Parking is plentiful, and tickets are not that bad ($15.95 for adults and $11.95 for kids).
My son thoroughly enjoyed the space-oriented exhibits. He kept asking where the “astronauts” were. He wasn’t quite tall or big enough to thoroughly enjoy the shuttle exhibits. I wish they offered more for the little tykes. Outside of a few exhibits, there was honestly not much to explore.
Chabot Space & Science is two levels tall, but seems much grander. After going around and around in circles trying to find new exhibits to explore, I had to admit to myself that there was nothing else. Of course, after my visit, I discovered the center offers sky-gazing through two monster telescopes, but that’s probably only available at night. For the price, I feel as though there should be a lot more for to see.
We had lunch there. Big mistake! Chabot does a great job of providing healthy alternatives, but they just aren’t that tasty. My son refused to eat any more of the pepperoni pizza which was served on a tasteless waffle-like crust.
Two planetarium shows were included with admission, but the shows are spaced hours apart. If attending with children, you’re unlikely to stay for more than one show. But K did seem intrigued by all of the “global” motion parading around him. I honestly thought the show was a bit dry and extract for kids. The production was centered around the origin of the universe from a Mayan perspective.
My son’s favorite part of the museum was the back room. I’m assuming the center uses it as an instructional room for their workshops. It’s filled with legos and other toys. For about an hour my son was totally enthralled with lego building, while I got to relax in one of the room’s overstuffed couches.
Mom Thumbs Up:
- Plenty of free parking
- Entry fees are not too exorbitant, but could be cheaper
- The back playroom is a welcome break for parents and kids
- It is located in beautiful park setting which offers great picnicking, hiking, and playing
Mom Thumbs Down:
- The food is expensive and not great
- There is not enough to explore
- The planetarium shows should have less mature themes