If you’re looking for the kind of place where it’s encouraged to throw balls inside and tear down walls, The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County is it. This kid-tastic museum has what it takes to keep kids under 10 engaged and learning for hours on end, from the Magnetic Ball Wall to the Bernoulli Blower to the Air Cannon.  

Photo credit: Talia Page
Photo credit: Talia Page

What’s On Tap
The museum consists of two floors of well-curated awesomeness plus an outdoor area. Every exhibit is interactive. The fun ranges from traditional activities that will no doubt send you down memory lane (the miniature lego train town and puppet theater, to name a couple) to quirky educational activities, like the Crocodile Dental Clinic, where kids don lab coats and scrutinize X-rays to determine whether or not said crocodile has been brushing regularly. Tykes with a bottomless pit of energy can put on a hardhat and build/destroy things to their heart’s content at the Nuts & Bolts station, social butterflies will make friends at the treehouse, and artists will surely be tempted to make pointillistic, Seurat-esque masterpieces on the giant Lite-Brite wall.

Photo credit: Children's Museum of Sonoma County
Photo credit: Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

More Bang For Your Buck
Events are free with admission, so it’s a good idea to plan your trip accordingly. There are several recurring events: Art Spark takes place on Saturdays at 10 a.m., Storytime is on Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m., Musical Moments kicks off on Thursday at 10 a.m., and Crazy Awesome Science happens on Fridays at 2 p.m.. There are also lots of special events; check the calendar for details.  

Photo credit: Children's Museum of Sonoma County
Photo credit: Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

Know Before You Go
The only thing that’s missing is a cafe, so pack plenty of snacks—you’re likely be there for a while. Plus, take note that they are closed Mondays and end for the day at 4 p.m. on all other days. 

Sonoma Children’s Museum
1835 West Steele Ln.
Santa Rosa, Ca
707-546-4069
Online: cmosc.org
Hours: Tues.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; (9am – 11am is Members Only); Monday: Closed
Cost: Adults & Children/$10; Babies under 12 months/FREE
*Note that there must be at least one adult caregiver for every four children, and adults are not allowed in the museum without children.

—Talia Page