We received passes to the Thinkery to facilitate our review. All opinions are honest and our own!
We’ve been looking forward to a family getaway ever since school got out. We went on a big vacation last year so we decided to keep it simple with a long weekend road trip this year; the first part of our trip took us to Austin.
We knew we wanted to try something different, and we wanted to look for something that would be a lot of fun for the whole family. We began researching kid-friendly Austin attractions, and when we visited the Thinkery’s website, we read this and knew it was a place we wanted to go:
The Thinkery is Austin’s home for “why” and “how.” A place where science and families play side by side. Where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing. It’s a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers. And it’s a heck of a good time.
When you walk in the doors, you instantly get a vibe for how your experience will be. It’s not a quiet, sterile place. It’s vibrant, colorful, and full of happy noise. This chalkboard in the front part of the museum gave us an idea of all that was going on that day:
We decided to start out upstairs and work our way back down; the water room was our first stop. First of all, loved that they provide aprons and Crocs for kids and parents to wear, so you’re not wet the rest of the day! The water room was so fun for all three kids.
See that look on C’s face in the last pic? He was amazed that he was making a tornado. We saw that look of amazement on our kids’ faces all afternoon, and it was awesome.
After we finished in the water room we went and visited the Fresh! Farmer’s Market, which was one of the kids very favorite spots. They had so much fun pretending to shop & cook, and they really didn’t want to leave.
Brian took E to check out Bloom, which is an area just for 0-3 year olds. It’s a soft, colorful space that’s safe and fun for infants and toddlers to explore.
While they explored that, I took the boys to the Kitchen Lab where we learned about edible minerals. Honestly, I think J was a little skeptical, but 2 minutes in he could tell this was going to be a fun, hands-on class and he loved it. The boys got to examine various minerals and test out their magnetic properties, and at the end they got to use strong magnets to draw visible iron particles out of a bag of cereal & water – they were so impressed!
After the Kitchen Lab class we went back downstairs. We tried out a building area:
Played with ferrofluid (the boys couldn’t get over how liquid could make shapes like that):
Tested out airplane combinations (definitely a favorite spot):
and examined specimen and our own skin under the microscope:
We spent a good bit of time in the Light Lab playing with what is basically a giant Lite Brite. The kids got the idea to fill an entire table with pegs, and it made for a really fun family project that even 2-year-old E could help out with.
It was great having a common goal, and a lot of fun seeing the kids’ excitement when we finished our project.
After we finished our light play, we checked out the colored panels & the kids decided to strike a pose.
Then we headed outside to play on the Thinkery’s one-of-a-kind climber. The kids had seen it from the second-floor window early on in our visit and could not wait to get out there and explore.
I can’t say enough what an absolute blast our family had. The Thinkery has done a spot-on job of tailoring all their exhibits to provide options for kids to test, explore, and learn in an incredibly fun way.
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