Holiday gift guide: children's museum memberships

Children's Museum .jpg

Nothing says happy holidays like exploring earthworms.

Maybe you know some kids that seem to have more stuff than they know what to do with. You want to get them a gift but you don't know what they have, you don't know what they need, and you don't know what the hot new toy is.

Today's holiday gift guide suggestion is something kids can appreciate in December, or in June (and that parents won't have to clean up).

Gift memberships to one of the local children's museums.

The Children's Museum at Saratoga has a fire truck, diner, bank, grocery store, train and all kinds of other stuff to play with.

The Children's Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in The Rensselaer Tech Park has exhibits on the Hudson, weather, power, optics, a computer lab, a planetarium and more.

The Schenectady Museum and Planetarium
isn't just for kids, they've got all kinds of exhibits and programs kids and adults can appreciate.

Who is it for?
Kids will appreciate it, but parents may appreciate it more -- especially during the holiday breaks. It might also be a good idea for grandparents or aunts and uncles who want to spend more time with the kids. Bonus: if you take them on a couple of museum dates, you can have a little fun too.

Where can you get them?

The Children's Museum at Saratoga- 69 Caroline Street, Saratoga 518-584-5540

CMOST -in the Rensselaer Tech Park or online .

The Schenectady Museum and Planetarium - 15 Nott Terrace Heights, Schenectady - or online.

How much?
Memberships aren't cheap, but if you think they'll get used often, they're a good value.
The Children's Museum memberships start at around $70. CMOST memberships start at $75. The Schenectady Museum has memberships that start at $40. All three museums have different levels of membership that come with different privileges, so be sure to look closely and let the folks you're giving them to know what's available to them.

Earlier on AOA:
The 2008 Holiday Gift Guide
More holiday gift ideas

Photo: The Children's Museum at Saratoga


If I never go to CMOST again it will be too soon.

The planetarium show I saw was a cartoon, that used the space in the worst possible way. It made a token gesture to try and talk about the planets and cram some education into the mindless drivel of the plot. It was the worst material I have ever encountered in a museum ever.

And the rest of their exhibits do not fare much better. The place is small, and too much is broken or in disrepair, especially given its size.

I'd rather be strapped to the couch and forced to watch Thomas the Tank Engine for 16 hours with my eyes pried open than to go back to that wretched "museum."

I was a big fan of the Rensselaer County Junior Museum when I was a kid. Is that place even still around?

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