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If there was ever an attraction that made me wish that my kids were younger, the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum in downtown Mansfield would be that place. One block from the award winning Richland Carrousel Park, this museum is a gem that encourages play, imagination and creativity.
Geared for ages birth to 12, but probably most popular with preschoolers and the K-3 crowd, this whimsical space is adorable.
There is a lounge specifically geared for the youngest visitors with foam mats and blocks.
A dino dig pit for budding paleontologists- which my boys would have loved when they were younger!
A doctor’s office with lab coats, stethoscopes, x-ray machines and incubators full of babies to care for.
A grocery store with shopping carts, stocked shelves of food, a hand held scanner and cash register full of play money.
An H2O Factory, which I have a feeling is a hit with all young visitors! There’s something about the access of water that make kids want to jump in and get wet- it’s a good thing there are slickers available for the kids to wear!
The theater offers a ticket booth, stage and plenty of props and costumes for young actors and actresses.
Other open-ended exhibits include a bank, library, beauty salon and laboratory, each with hands-on activities that encourage visitors to interact with the provided props to fully experience and mimic attractions in the grown-up world, allowing children to learn through play in a safe, age-appropriate and fun environment.
There are also signs at each exhibit that offer ideas to encourage play at each stop.
Right now the second floor has an adorable McDonalds play area reserved for Field Trips complete with Little Tyke cars and a drive through window.
The remaining area on the second floor is under construction with new exhibits planned to open in September 2012 (update: the 2nd floor is now open, stay tuned for a review).
The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum is volunteer driven and has received impressive community support. From material donations, to helping hands to construct the exhibits, to museum and summer camp helpers, people have really stepped up to ensure that The Little Buckeye Museum has become and remains a continued success.
I enjoyed my walk through tour of this museum so much that I can’t wait to return with a couple “borrowed” nieces and nephews in tow. I know that they’re going to love the experience!
Planning to visit The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum?
Address: 44 West Fourth St. Mansfield, Ohio 44902
Summer Hours: Wednesday- Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 1-6
Admission: $7 for ages 2 and up
Website: Field Trips
A Couple Helpful Tips:
On street parking is available around the block- make sure you pack change for the parking meters. There is also a free public lot one block away, across from the Richland Carrousel Park.
Allow 2 1/2 to 3 hours to explore and play your way through each exhibit.
Visiting the area and looking for more area attractions? Read Family Staycation Ideas in Mansfield, Ohio for more family friendly ideas.
Have you been to The Little Buckeye Children’s Museum? What was your favorite exhibit?