Yesterday I gave a brief photographic intro to a fun Children’s Museum that can be found in Central Nebraska.  This Hastings museum is the perfect place to take kids.  To be perfectly honest, the place might be too young for my oldest two kids now.  Although you will see from the pictures below, they all did find areas to entertain them.Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Creative Collage

All of my boys loved creating mazes for the balls to go through and around the cylinders.Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Construction Collage

They also enjoyed constructing buildings, although they did learn the hard way that knocking/kicking down their structures is highly frowned upon.  Oops.  I guess, for good reason, since the wood strips would not last particularly long.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Animal Collage

My older boys also enjoyed the live animals found in the aviary and terrarium.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Fire Station Collage

My youngest son enjoyed exploring all of the areas including the fire truck.  My daughter enjoyed the whole museum, as the location was a perfect place for a girl with an abundance of imagination.  She put that baby in the carrier and carried it everywhere – it was quite cute.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska My Girl Collage

The baby went to the grocery store and the doctor’s office.  Not sure where the baby was in the princess picture, but I am betting nearby. 🙂

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Boat & RR Collage

One if by train, two if by sea .. (Although I guess I do not see the baby in this shot?  Maybe the baby was with a sitter? 🙂

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Toddler Collage

As I mentioned I do think that this children’s museum is perfect for the preschool set.  One of the best things about is the fact that is a large room with many sections.  A mom could easily keep track of kids playing in various areas.  At a larger museum, you would have to keep all of your kids together.  With preschool tunes playing over the loud speaker, younger ones would definitely feel at home.  This was the one suggestion that I would have for the museum.  To make older siblings feel more comfortable, I would have more upbeat children’s tunes playing some of the time.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Centers Collage

For the older ones, they do have an art area.  And a news clipping area of all of the times the museum has been in the local paper.  Plus, many school age kids enjoy the vet’s office – another fun option for them.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Maps Collage

As a geography teacher, I loved the maps area.  Being able to play with license plates from most of the states is definitely a fun center.  Plus they had a really cool world map that is not for sale in the gift shop unfortunately (I checked).  For a smaller museum, I think that the director has done an amazing job of organizing the displays and play areas.  I imagine that her budget has been limited, yet with the diversity and functionality of the centers, you cannot tell.

Children's Museum of Central Nebraska Entrance Collage

If we lived in the Hastings area, I definitely would have joined this children’s museum.  In fact, we would have visited at least once a week.  After visiting, I wish we were a bit closer because I would enjoy bringing my baby niece and nephew there to play now that my own kids are older.  If you are going through Hastings or are there for a visit, especially if you have preschoolers, I would highly recommend visiting.  This location would be the perfect travel break.

On our August trip to Hastings, we discovered this museum near the end of the day.  The children’s museum director kindly let my kids play and let me take lots of pictures for the blog without charging us admission.  We may not have been able to stop there without her generosity – thank you very much for letting us play in your wonderful place!A


Author: neodyssey