Over the weekend, we took Sophie to the Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Museum. As I mentioned in my previous post about winter activities for kids, Sophie is getting a bit of spring fever and does not want to be cooped up in the house anymore. The weather is still cold here, which means, we cannot go outside to play. If your in the Lake County, Illinois area, I highly recommend it. The Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Museum is a great place for children 5 and under. It allows kids to use their imagination and role play; good exercise for the mind and body.
The Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Museum is part of the Round Lake Area Park District. It is a tot-size replica of a town that includes a gas station, grocery store, daycare, fire department, post office, playground, library and even a street to drive cars! There is also a theatre to perform on stage, an area just for crawlers and a fishing pond.
The Fire Station #814 area has a fire truck and fire fighting gear or the kids to dress up like real fire fighters.
The crawler only area is just for that. It’s a blocked off matted area for babies that can crawl. No walking children allowed. This keeps the crawling babies safe of all the kids running around and the cars that are zooming down the street.
The grocery store has a cash register, shelves with food, shopping carts and money to buy your groceries with.
The gas station has a gas pump to fill up your car, gas cans and you can wash your car windows.
The fishing pond was Sophie’s favorite. It has magnetic fishing poles and magnetic fish. The magnets did not work very well, but that made Sophie want to keep fishing more. She was bound and determined to catch a fish.
The library of course has books, but also, hand puppets you can play with. I’m not really sure how the hand puppets relate to the library, but whatever. They are still fun to play with.
At the post office, you can dress up like a postal service worker, pick up your mail or put mail in the mail box. One of the kids had fun driving around in the police car handing out mail to everyone. He may have had the vehicles confused or maybe just the fact they do not have a postal truck, but that’s ok. It was still cute and he was one of the politest children I have ever met. Kiddos to his parents for teaching him manners!
In the neighborhood there is also a park. The park has two slides, a bridge to cross and a wheel to steer the ship.
The daycare center has several babies you can take care of, dress up, feed, put to sleep and a sink for washing hands. I loved the little “Hey Diddle, Diddle” rug.
The Imagination Station is a theatre where the kids can dress up in different costumes and act on stage. There is even a backstage area with mirrors to get ready for the show.
In the center of the different role playing areas is the building area. There are different tools to play with, paint brushes, brick blocks as well as mega blok legos to build with.
Of course, to get around town you have to have a street to drive down. I think this was every child’s’ favorite. The whole time we were there, there was at least 4 or 5 cars driving down the street.
The Round Lake Children’s Neighborhood Museum is limited to 30 children at a time, which I really liked because then it wasn’t over crowded. On Saturdays, the museum is open from 9:30-11:30am. I think two hours was the perfect amount of time to be open.
- It allowed enough time to play in all areas.
- I think any time longer than two hours and the kids might start getting bored.
- 11:30 is the perfect ending time because it leaves time to have lunch and then nap time which works out well since your child will be tired from running around for two hours. If your child is like mine, they will fall asleep on the car ride home.