Have you heard of Wegmans Wonderplace? We hadn’t until today, and it was such a fun surprise. It is a 1700-square-foot interactive space and permanent exhibit that welcomes curious kids age 0-6. The room is equipped with a toddler dream kitchen, blocks galore, walls with knobs, locks, switches, and an indoor farm complete with a chicken coop.
I was worried we had trekked all the way to DC for nothing when we first arrived. The space isn’t really that big (but, there is room to park your stroller). To my surprise, my gang spent two hours exploring the room, and I’m sure they would have happily stayed longer. The play kitchen was their favorite spot. It is stocked with tons of utensils, pots and pans, play food that feels real, and tons of imagination.
Beside the kitchen is the farm where they can grab all the food they need for that farm-to-table meal they are prepping.
Your Littles can help the chickens lay eggs, pull up fresh grown carrots, and fill their grocery baskets with yummy produce.
After “lunch”, the climb and slide play structure with steering wheels, portals and viewfinder boats caught their eyes. The distance between the large climbing steps was too high for my twin 2-year-olds, so they stuck to the lower levels and the slide.
My littlest one had an awesome time too. She loved the play kitchen, and couldn’t get enough of the gear wall. The super friendly staff members walked around and helped the kids figure out all the toys. When they weren’t playing, the employees were cleaning up the play areas or keeping a watchful eye on the door so no one escaped. There is a half door that stays shut to help prevent the kids from wandering out into the museum.
I loved that the room still felt like part of the museum. There are lots of kid-friendly display cases with questions to spark up conversation with your kids.
Wegmans Wonderplace is inside the Smithsonian National American History Museum. We found parking on Constitution Avenue, right in front of the Washington Monument. It cost $6.00 for 3 hours.
Once inside the museum, turn right at the “bat mobile” into 1 West, and it is down the hallway on the right. You’ll have to go through security (stroller-friendly: our side-by-side double fit), and there are a ton of “no food or drinks” signs, but we came in with a small cooler and security didn’t stop us. The café just inside the entrance was a great place for our picnic before we toddled off to explore. There is also a cafeteria downstairs with more options.
*BONUS – we’re right in the middle of potty training my son, and this was the first day he left the house without a diaper. I was totally freaked out about how it would all go down. I bought this awesome travel potty seat, just in case. I didn’t need it because they thought of everything. There is a working kid-sized toilet, seat covers, a changing table, and a stool to help your little one reach the sink. We made it through the day without an accident!
This is the perfect DC stop for you and your toddler. If you are traveling with your big kids too, the Spark!Lab is right next door, and visible through the glass. And, of course, the entire museum is there for the exploring.
Don’t forget to snap a photo of the portrait wall with your little muse. Cheese!
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