With three floors filled with life-like exhibits that children will enjoy interacting with, the Museo del Niño or “Children’s Museum” not only preserves Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage, it encourages and motivates young visitors to explore, create, learn, and think about their environment. Opened in 1993, the Museo has clothes for playing dress-up and a “market” in the mock plaza.
It also has a “barbershop,” sans real scissors, an immense pyramid of the food groups, a garden on the top floor that showcases various species of plants and different types of bugs, and a playground for toddlers. The Museo will never be crowded, a fact that will surely be appreciated by parents, due to the fact that it stops selling tickets when it reaches capacity.
More Than A Hundred Exhibits
This hands-on Museo, across the San Juan Catedral, has puppet shows and other special events featured on some weekends, something young kids will definitely enjoy. This interactive museum has exhibits of a television studio where, for a short time, kids can experience what it feels like to be news anchors.
But although designed primarily for kids, parents can have fun at the Museo, too.
More than a hundred exhibits can be found at the Museo del Niño including a retired airplane of American Airlines, crafts, race cars, a volcano that “erupts” right underneath the skylight, and even a pint-sized supermarket! There is no better way to teach kids about environmental awareness, technology, art, and science than letting them try a wide variety of interactive educational activities.
The green and orange building is located on a small park’s edge. Some favorites of children visitors include the space center, the climbing wall, a human heart’s giant replica, and a walk-through in a “cave” where the subject of bat is explained and why they make the sounds that they do. The Museo is an NGO (non-profit organization) that aims to educate kids in the form of entertainment.
The Museo del Niño, located on Calle Cristo, is truly unique on its own where kids can be as imaginative, creative, explorative, and inquisitive as they want to be. There’s a miniature Puerto Rican plaza recreation, for instance, that teaches kids about Puerto Rico’s culture heritage and recycling information for environmental awareness.
The Health Hall and the TV Studio
There’s a health hall where an oversized creature that looks like a muppet resides. It zips open and then pulls out major organs of the human body and, as mentioned, a replica of an actual television studio where kids try their news anchoring prowess in front of fully-functional TV cameras and a live audience to boot.
All interactive presentations and activities are in Spanish and English. With street scenes of Old San Juan all charmingly downscaled to kids’ size, complete with hopscotch courts, the Museo del Niño is a definite must-see and should be on your vacation itinerary. And here’s a tip: if you speak Spanish, everything will be doubly fun.