This past weekend, we headed out in our new camper for a visit to Green Lakes State Park in East Syracuse to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday. Before we left, we checked the weather only to realize that Sunday was looking iffy at best with a whole lot of rain in the forecast. If you’ve ever been camping with kids before, you know that rain + campgrounds = MUD. We started searching for places nearby that we could take the kids to for a few hours to get out of the elements, if need be. A simple Google search led us to find the MoST Museum in downtown Syracuse, and we were happy to find that it was only a 20 minute drive from where we were staying!
We woke up on Sunday morning bright and early, as per usual, and got to the museum right when they opened at 10:00. We were the first ones in the door and weren’t quite sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised with our experience! The museum was AMAZING, and I’m not just saying that because we were gifted our admission tickets. My parents came with us and we were all equally as excited about almost all of the exhibits at the museum as the kids were!
Marleigh’s Favorite (age 3.5) : Science Playhouse
This giant slide and obstacle course took me back to my days as a kid at “DZ Discovery Zone.” I knew from looking at the MoST website that the kids would get a kick out of being able to run and play inside this mega playground, and I was right! Marleigh would have stayed within the tubes all day if we let her, but she settled for 25 minutes when we arrived and 25 minutes before we left.
*Note: Kids under the age of 4 are required to be accompanied by an adult, but my wonderful husband didn’t seem to mind the opportunity to play with our little ones! Also, socks are required – so be sure to plan ahead, or you can purchase them at the museum store if you forget.
Huck’s Favorite (age 1.5) : Coral Reef Adventure
Henry’s only requirement for a successful museum visit? An aquarium with “Dory” and “Nemo” fishies. The MoST Museum scored all the points with not one, but TWO clown fish, which the kids quickly named Marlin and Nemo, and a blue tang fish, AKA Dory. While the museum’s aquarium isn’t huge, it was definitely enough to entertain our little guy!
My Favorite (age 26) : The Topographic Sand Table
I played with this exhibit for a solid 10 minutes, it was so interesting! The augmented reality table was set up with tools to create your own landscape out of sand, and the colors on the topographic table changed as you built (or flattened) areas of the landscape. Marleigh and I had fun making mountains and “making it rain” by hovering our hands over the table. It was tucked in a room along with a simulator where you could pretend to fly while standing in front of a motion sensor. Very fun, and educational!
Luke’s (age 27) and Mimi’s (age 52) Favorite: Technotown
Technotown was a family favorite, for sure. This interactive exhibit was hard to walk away from! We were able to follow the paths of balls travelling through the kinetic system and watch their patterns as they went through different obstacles. You can even manipulate the path by turning knobs and leading the balls through different paths. It was mesmerizing, and I think Luke liked it more than anyone!
Papa’s Favorite (age 53) : Full Court Slam
My dad was like a little kid going back to this exhibit twice during our visit to the MoST Museum! The green screen backdrop placed you on the TV going against a virtual basketball player, who super-competitive Papa was determined to beat! Marleigh had fun getting in on the action, too, but she was mainly excited about seeing herself “inside the TV!”
I give the MoST Museum a solid 5-star rating without hesitation. Although it is smaller than the Strong Museum of Play that we visited a couple months ago, it was tough to compare the two once we got inside. The MoST Museum was fantastic in terms of teachable exhibits and learning experiences, and the smaller size made it less overwhelming and easier to let the kids truly let loose and explore! Not to mention, the Science Playhouse was the perfect way to let them get their wiggles out before we ventured back to our campsite for the day. There is so much more to explore at the MoST Museum than just our favorites listed above, including a Planetarium and the only domed IMAX theater in all of New York State!
While the trip to Syracuse is a bit on the lengthier side (around 2.5 hours from the City of Buffalo), a visit to the MoST Museum is well worth the ride! I would recommend the museum most for kids ages 3 and up, but our 1.5 year old had just as much fun as his big sister did playing in the Children’s Area, train room, and toddler areas throughout the museum.
Thank you to the MoST Museum for generously gifting us our admissions for a day of fun. We can’t wait to come back and visit again!
WRITTEN BY SAMANTHA JO
Samantha is the founder and owner of BuffaloMoms.com. Her friends call her Sam, Sammi, or Sammi Jo. Her two favorite people call her “Mommy.” Follow along with her ramblings on Twitter and Instagram, or on her personal blog, life by the Gills.