The Be With Me Playseum took me by surprise in so many ways. Our family has been to many children’s museums over the past few years but I have never been to anything like Be With Me Playseum before, it is definitely one of a kind. The playseum promotes not just children to explore, learn and grow through imaginative play but parents too. I don’t know about you, but I defiantly have trouble using my imagination like I used to as a kid. I remember playing with my dolls and barbies for hours. Some how that ability to play freely got repressed as I grew older. I always get a kick out of watching my boys act out scenes with their toys. They always come up with the most interesting and creative ideas. I often wish I could tap into my imagination and play like I used to in the good ole days. Be With Me Playseum offered that chance to be a kid again and enjoy being unplugged with my kids. The opportunity for hands-on fun is encouraged through exhibits that feature pretend, dress-up, baking, art, and more.
A little back ground information about Be With Me-Playseum. It has been operating since 2009, the Be With Me Playseum is a great indoor space to visit for kids of all ages. There is an array of different themed playrooms and activity centers for you and your little one to explore. Admission includes access to all the play areas. You can add-on extra activities (for a small fee) to customize your visit. I hope this exclusive tour inspires you to come out and explore this labyrinth of fun yourself!
My little ones instantly gravitated to the supermarket. My oldest son was over the moon to shop around a mini grocery store with a kid-sized shopping cart. I was impressed that the mini fridges really worked…feel the chill from the freezer when you opened the doors. It was fun to grab a shopping list and collect food items from the veggie stands and fully stocked shelves. This is a great area to engage in play with your little shopper; one of you can be the consumer while the other is a cashier. There is even a real working cash register with play money. I love that there are posters and resources around the room that offer an excellent opportunity to talk about healthy eating.
Grab a helmet and turnout gear to suit up as a real fire fighter. There is even a miniature fire truck to climb aboard and pretend to drive. My one year old loved the push trucks in this room and really enjoyed pushing his trucks through a small tunnel that connected the rooms together.
This room is the perfect exhibit for our nations capital, I love this patriotic play area because it offers fun facts and information about our countries history. The costumes in this room were so much fun. Your little one can dress up like the president, colonial gentlemen or even a astronaut. My kids loved the old school cardboard box blocks. I enjoyed the blocks too, nothing beats building a giant tower and knocking it over!
I didn’t know this until visiting the playseum but Ms. Gina the creator and owner of Be With Me Playseum has a passion for encouraging children to learn through play and has been abroad to open playseums in other countries. A portion of the admission goes towards funding 8 homes in Northern India where children have been taken off the street and now get education, clothing and most of all LOVE. This The Chinese room was inspired by their visit to China this year and features information about the culture in China. Enjoy learning about traditional cuisine, fashion and way of life.
Ms. Gina’s Bakery is tasty and fun! It brought me back to memories of being at My grandmas house, my favorite past times with my grandma were always in the kitchen. I loved helping measure, pour and stir to make tasty treats. We used to make a recipe called Magic Soup. You add what you have in the pantry and it was magical because it tasted different every time.
Sometimes things get busy and we eat a quick meal. I love that the pace is easy going at the playseum and you have plenty of time to play in the kitchen. Visitors can decorate their own cookie or cupcakes or even make a sundae or milkshakes! It’s great because it encourages kids to enjoy baking/cooking (Additional $2 to $5 fee for treats)
This room is so colorful and inviting. It is set up as an open studio. You can pick a wooden or ceremony project to paint like a birdhouse and hand paint a plate that can be done for a small additional fee. There is always a art project of the day available complimentary in the art studio.
Everything you need and more is available in the salon; from painting nails to styling hair your little fashionista is sure to love this room.
Don’t miss Grandma’s attic room complete with antiques you’d find at Grandma’s House. There is an old fashioned typewriter, old school radio, an old organ and an antique (plastic) tea set.
My son got a kick out of fishing for letters. It was such a neat idea to use magnetic fishing pole to catch letters. It really feels like you are down by the lake. There’s a super cute little wooden bridge and life size tree to decorate the area.
Priate themed Puppet Show
In the family room where story time takes place there is an adorable stage with costumes, puppets and musical instruments. Everything your little one needs to put on a show.
In the pet shop a staff member will help you pet, hold or feed bunnies, birds and other creatures. Since our family does not own any pets of our own, having a chance to care for and play with the animals is a big treat.
Be sure to check the schedule for story time. Mrs. Gina picks out some fun books for story time that are engaging and educational. After story time the kids will get a snack or compete an art projected. As someone who loves reading I was impressed with the extensive book collection.
TIPS FOR YOUR VISIT:
• Despite that their is parking available on the street at meters; there are only a few spaces and you have to refill the meter every hour for a maximum of one hour even though the street sign says two hours. I suggest parking in the Montgomery County Parking Garage down Woodmont Ave. It only costs $1 per hour or across the street from the Playseum.
• Since access to the Playseum requires walking down a flight of stairs, I recommend making things easier by leaving your stroller in the car unless you absolutely need it and if you need help at the stairs the staff will help you. Just ask.
• Save time and money and pack a lunch or snack, there are plenty tables designated for eating at.
• Splurge and purchase a few “Playseum Dollars.” The kids enjoyed walking around with their own Playseum money. It’s pretty cool for them to make decisions about what to spend it on.
Location: 7000 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, MD
Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 2-7pm
Admission: $9 per person