A beautiful Saturday in October brought us to the East End. As we made our way to East Hampton, we stopped to have a look at the Children’s Museum of the East End. We had been to the Science Museum across the way but had not had time to cross the road to visit here. Are we glad we took the time today! This 7,000 square foot museum is a gem - a wonderful place for kids to explore, climb, build, paint, pretend, read, and even play mini golf! Although this may not be the largest children’s museum, it is surely one of the most welcoming and comprehensive we have visited. The museum’s mission to “…spark imagination and foster learning for children of all backgrounds and abilities…” is apparent. As we made our way through the varied areas (general store, library, post office, lighthouse, restaurant, playroom, to name a few) we were sorry that our granddaughter was not with us. The kids we saw were thoroughly engaged in doing what kids do, and clearly having a great time. We were happy to see that benches are around for parents/grandparents to have a seat and still watch their charges.
After checking out the indoor areas we made our way outside. A large outdoor play and climbing area is situated on a lovely lawn (two benches are out here). There is an amphitheater for productions. As we approached the 9 hole, mini golf course, we were “blown away” by the intricacy of each hole, and by the science and math questions (in both English and Spanish) posed at each hole – ingenious! This course is wheelchair accessible! I wish there were people playing so that we could see if/how families used the questions. A nice touch are the umbrella, picnic tables & benches throughout.
We had parked in the first lot we came to. Drive past this lot to the parking area with three handicapped (van)- accessible spaces, or to drop off passengers at the entrance. From our lot, we took a wooden boardwalk to the main entrance. If you prefer, you can walk the paved driveway. There are several benches near the street-level, double door, main-entrance. Once inside we came to a spacious, welcoming lobby, which includes kid-sized tables and chairs.
The museum is spacious, with ample room to navigate. The climbing area has soft cushioning underfoot. The other areas all have smooth floors. Almost everything is on one level and easily accessible. The boat/ lighthouse area is the only place with steps/ramps. Five steps or ramp will get you to the mid-level. The only way to get to the top level is by walking up 14 steps.
The restrooms are easily accessible, with a large handicapped stall. Sinks are both child and adult height. Step stools help kids get to the sinks. The baby-changing area even has a dedicated diaper garbage can.
This CMEE is worth a trip from anywhere! We can’t wait to bring our granddaughter here the next time she comes to New York!
As always, we at Destination:Accessisble advise you to check a venue’s website, www.cmee.org, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”