Every time I have the opportunity, I like to venture out with my kids to places we can have fun outside of our home. Many times I must go by myself while my husband is working, which made me nervous when my baby was little.
Before my second child was born, we used to go to the San Antonio Zoo at least once a month. But the hot temperatures in San Antonio and my baby’s sensitive skin made me reconsider my options, and that’s how I discovered McKenna Children’s Museum.
The museum is located in New Braunfels and open Monday–Saturday, 10:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. General admission is $7.50 per adult and kids one year or older.
Why I Like It
- The museum is big enough to have different activities, but small enough so I can watch both of my kids at the same time while they play in their favorite spots.
- Most of the activities are inside.
- My kids love the enclosed area outside that includes water games.
- In my experience, I have never seen the museum overcrowded.
- The museum stimulates my kids’ imaginations. It allows them to build, create, imagine, and play to be doctors, builders, or astronauts.
Tot Spot—Children under three have their own space to play safely and practice motor skills with toys for their level. Next to this area, there is also a train table that is a favorite for children of all ages.
Amazing Airways—At the right-hand side of the museum entrance, kids marvel at the magic of air as balls and scarves travel through tubes.
Emergency & Kids Clinic—This spot is a kid favorite. The Emergency Room boasts several beds where kids can consult “patients,” as well as an operating table to help kids learn what’s inside the body, a skeleton for studying the bone structure, and a dedicated area for newborns with small dolls. The ambulance is a bonus that everybody loves.
Grocery Store—Both of my children love this spot. They usually get a shopping cart and start filling it with fruits, vegetables, meat, and other products that we consume at home. The supermarket also has a small restaurant area where they like to cook for me.
Town Square—With a bank and even a home to build, this area teaches kids to count, save money, fix pipes, and use some logic while adding pieces to the house.
Destination Space—Kids pretend to be astronauts in this area, which includes not only a giant spaceship, but also a dark room where kids can go to imagine they are in space.
Lend-A-Hand-Ranch—Most children are drawn to the longhorn at the entrance of this area. There is also an “attic” with games and a small home where I have seen parents “drink tea” with their kids. The Wacky Wardrobe is a plus, as it has different costumes for the kids to dress up.
Hill Country Campgrounds—“Be careful, Mommy, don’t step in the water,” says my four-year-old when we walk through this area that simulates the outdoors via a “river” in the carpet and a campsite, including a cave for bats!
Wonder Shop—A favorite place to create art, this area is filled with materials to paint, color, and create new things.
The Great Outdoors—This area was recently remodeled. The water table allows kids to learn while playing with water. There are also animal statues, a place to build, a music area, and a recently installed playground.
If we are hungry…
There is a cafe inside the museum; however, it isn’t always open. According to the website, the cafe at the McKenna Children’s Museum is open Monday–Friday, 11:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M.
In front of the museum there is a fried chicken restaurant, and if you are willing to drive, you can find all types of food in a short distance, from local restaurants to fast food chains. When we visit the museum, we opt to cross the street to the nearest restaurant, as we usually go back to the museum to keep playing.
If you have more time…
Near the museum, you can also find Landa Park. This public park has sports fields, playgrounds, BBQ pits, a lake, and a fishing area. For an extra cost, visitors can also enjoy riding a paddle boat, playing mini golf, or taking a ride on the train.
For transportation enthusiasts who want to learn more about trains, the New Braunfels Railroad Museum is not far from the McKenna and is free and open to the public.