E and I took a little field trip this week to Thinkery, which is Austin's answer to a children's museum.
Can I just say how much I love this place? The facility is still pretty new (it opened about a year ago). The previous location was downtown, and as big of a fan as I am of the 2nd Street district, it's not a place I'm eager to head to often with a little one in tow. It's now located in the redevelopment of Austin's old airport, just north of downtown, and it's super easy to get to (for us, anyway!).
E and I headed out after his morning nap (if you consider 30 minutes an acceptable length for a nap, which I don't) on Tuesday and were able to get there not too long after they opened. This was our second visit to Thinkery; we previously visited in July, and the two experiences were worlds apart.
For one thing, school was in session on Tuesday, which meant I did not have to wait in line outside to get in even after buying a ticket online (they do timed ticket presales, so if you are going on a day that school is out, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance, since you'll get in the door faster that way). Parking was less of a hassle, too, but all of this is to be expected during the school year.
The biggest difference was E's mobility. In July he was just mastering sitting without support. Currently he's crawling everywhere (very quickly), pulling up like it ain't no thing and cruising along furniture. He is clearly on the move.
Thinkery has two really great spaces for babies and toddlers. The first is an open space with lots of gym mats and foam blocks. E had a blast crawling around and climbing on things, and it was nice for me not to have to worry about him taking a tumble!
The second space is Bloom, a garden-themed baby wonderland. Seriously, this place is great. There are plastic carrots to sit in, lots of mirrors for admiring oneself, stuffed bunnies, a tunnel to crawl through, musical chimes, dioramas of critters and vegetables set into the floor, a beanbag mountain to scale. It's a very stimulating space (in a good way, no lights or sounds here!) and E was done after an hour (which is how long I thought we would last for any way). We didn't even come close to exploring every inch of the space.
Now that E is mobile and gets a lot more out of the trip I think we'll be heading to Thinkery more often (probably often enough to justify getting a membership). And I'm totally excited to explore more of the museum with him as he grows up.