Tips for visitors
food & fun
Middletown is a vintage "Main Street" kind of place. We've made a list of kid-friendly restaurants and fun things to do, all within walking distance of Kidcity (click a red button).
By the way, Kidcity does not sell food or drinks. If you bring snacks from home, you are welcome to enjoy them in the snack area of our coatroom or on our covered porch. If you do use our space to serve snacks, please remember that some children suffer from life-threatening allergies, so avoid serving peanut butter and other allergens.
INSIDER'S GUIDE TO KIDCITY
Here's a list of newbie questions, nosy advice and general stuff about visiting Kidcity that we want you to know. Some bits are repeated elsewhere on this website, and some just couldn't fit anywhere else but here.
Really, no strollers?
We’re sorry to lead with the bad news, but yes, it’s true. We don’t allow strollers past the coatroom. The exhibits in the museum are just too small for strollers plus playspace, and we had to make a choice for safety’s sake! If you don’t have a baby carrier, we can loan you one at the front desk. If you have a disability or special need, please let us know so we can make an exception.
WANT TO AVOID A CROWD?
Kidcity is never crowded when it’s a beautiful day outdoors! So, if your child likes things a little quieter, then we recommend that you make your first visit when the weather is lovely. Sometimes, though, Kidcity does get crowded - less than a dozen days per year - and those tend to be holidays or rainy days. At those times, we reserve the right to limit the number of families who enter the museum. Generally, our concern is that each visitor has enough room to enjoy their play. If we need to ask families to wait, we keep a list and admit them in the order they arrived regardless of whether they have a membership to Kidcity.
Bathrooms & Conveniences
Kidcity has family-style bathrooms scattered throughout the museum, on all floors. Each one has a built-in changing table to make diaper-changing easy. One of our bathrooms has a toddler-size toilet, and the rest have special toilet seats that flip to offer both adult and kiddie-size seating.
We’ve noticed that some kids cry when it’s time to leave Kidcity! That’s why we have colorful hand-stamps and washable ink-pads at the front desk. Some parents make a “Good-bye ritual” of coming to get a hand-stamp on the way out the door, and it seems to help make the transition easier. Also, the Lobby Train Set can help with good-byes. It’s on a motion sensor that is triggered on the OTHER side of the train, so if the museum is quiet and you wait 30 seconds or so, the train will come to a stop. Then you can say, “Look! It’s time for the train to have its nap!” while you and your little one wave it good-bye and head out the door!
Pesky Mondays and Tuesdays
It’s annoying, but Kidcity doesn’t open to the public until 11 am on Mondays and Tuesdays. Why? Because we offer members-only mornings on Mondays from 9 to 11 am (just for Kidcity cardholders), and on Tuesday mornings, we are either making repairs or hosting group visits (we don’t allow large groups when we are open to the public). If you forget and show up on those mornings, we suggest you visit our neighbors at Amato’s Toy & Hobby, off the same parking lot, or play in the excellent Children’s Room at Russell Library, a half-block away on Broad Street, until our opening time.
BREASTFEEDING AT KIDCITY
We truly hope you will feel comfortable feeding your baby anywhere in the museum, but if you would like a place with fewer distractions, then try The Quiet Spot. The door is located within the Main Street exhibit. It has comfortable seating, a few toddler books and is open to anyone needing a bit of quiet.
Construction at Kidcity
We make all of our own exhibits at Kidcity, and we’re always building something. It might be big, it might be small, and it might mean that the room you want to visit is closed for exhibit construction! If you are coming to see a specific room, please call ahead to learn about any disruptions. (Note: In the Fall of 2017, we'll be doing occasional construction in the Toddler Sea Caves and it will be closed on some days. Please call the museum at (860) 347-0495 or check us on Facebook at /kidcitymuseum for the latest.)
People with Disabilities
Kidcity has an elevator which serves all levels of the museum, and there are ADA-compliant restrooms throughout the museum. There is also a wheelchair lift to access the second level of Middleshire, which requires assistance from the front desk. Most areas of Kidcity have a variety of activities which suit different levels of ability and mobility. Generally speaking, our exhibits are sized for children age 7 and younger, and can be frustratingly small for older children.
Give the Gift of Play! Kidcity annual memberships and one-visit passes are available as gifts. Click here to purchase online or call us at (860) 347-0495. We package it in a colorful box to make your gift-giving more fun! We also recommend the Downtown Middletown Gift Card, which can be used for admission to Kidcity and at more than 70 area shops and restaurants. See www.downtownmiddletown.com for more info.
Finding some Quiet
Sometimes kids or babies get over-stimulated or just need some one-on-one time with their grown-ups while at Kidcity. That’s why we have a Quiet Spot, just off the Main Street exhibit, with a few books and comfortable seating. Feel free to use it when you and your child need to get away for a minute.
The Kidcity Bookstore
We have a small bookshop at the museum where we sell our absolute favorite children’s books & tshirts. Generally speaking, we think there are few problems in the world that couldn’t be solved by a good read-aloud. Here are a few of our top book suggestions and which Kidcity staffer loves them: Barn Dance (Caroline/operations); Roxaboxen (Cait/retired); Seven Silly Eaters (Matt/exhibits); When Dinosaurs Came With Everything (Jen/admin); Possum Come a Knockin’ (Scott/exhibits); and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type (Carl/operations). Plus, our bookstore sells original Kidcity t-shirts for both adults and children, designed by the amazingly talented Scott Kessel.
Members from Other Children’s Museums
If you have an up-to-date membership from another museum, and if your membership card has the ACM Reciprocal Network logo, then show us your card and photo ID and receive half-price admission to Kidcity for up to 6 people, including one of the adult cardholders. As much as we love having you, please note that reciprocal memberships may not be used during Kidcity’s Members-Only Mornings or other special events.
BIG SWIM IN THE TODDLER SEA CAVES
The Toddler Sea Caves are restricted to age 2 and younger. This means that families who bring both older and younger children will have to skip that room unless they have an extra adult to take the little one downstairs. However….on the first day of every month, Kidcity offers “Big Swim” all day, when older siblings can join their younger brothers and sisters for gentle play in the Sea Caves. Grown-ups are asked to be watchful to prevent climbing, running and other active play, since the area is still intended as a quieter spot for crawlers and early walkers.