Review of Explorium (Children’s Museum) in Lexington, KY
My kids and I had the privilege of joining Stephanie and her kids at the Explorium in Lexington. I haven’t spent a lot of time in Lexington, so I enjoyed being in the heart of the city. The Explorium is located in Victorian Square, which is a building that holds restaurants, shops, galleries, and more. There was a covered walkway from the 3rd floor of the parking garage ($8 to park but the Explorium will validate for the Victorian Square garage) which connected both sides of the street. It was rainy and cold out, so we really appreciated never having to be out of cover from the car, to the Explorium, to the pizza restaurant we ate at across the street and back again.
The Explorium is one of the oldest children’s museums in the country, and while it doesn’t look old, it is a smaller children’s museum than I’m used to. You enter and leave through a hallway that holds their “gift shop” and purchase your admission stickers for $8 each. I did think this was a little pricey for the size of the museum, however, I do think the $90 annual family membership would be a good deal if you live in, or frequently visit Lexington. Inside, the museum boasts nine different discovery zones. Appropriate for Lexington, it opens with a horse exhibit, as well as many other areas including a large area for 3 and under that looked great for little ones . On the second floor there are areas with dinosaurs, Adobe Indian dwellings, space activities, insects, and other areas. The pirate exhibit was a lot of reading with little interest for my little ones, while the bubble room held their interest for a long time. Unfortunately, the water table area was under construction when we went, and the kids were not able to check it out.
The Explorium has some other perks, including the Open Art Studio (open 1:00 – 5:00pm daily) just outside the museum that is included in the admission fee. The kids stopped to color life-sized outlines of themselves and enjoyed being able to add glitter to the pictures. There is also a Lil bookworm Club for Pre-K through 1st grade on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:15am in a room just outside the museum entrance. And the Explorium hosts several great events on their calendar including Mother’s Day Out and Parent’s Night Out.
What I did like was the freedom to come and go from the Explorium as we pleased as long as we were wearing our stickers. We left to get pizza at LA Gourmet Pizza. For a large pizza and drinks for all 6 of us, the bill came to under $20 and it was very good. We also stopped by “The Sweet Spot” and got some chocolate covered peanut butter Ritz crackers for each of us for just 50 cents a piece- delicious! You can pack lunch and eat at tables within Victorian Square.
I feel like the Explorium would be best for kids under the age of 8, although there were some puzzle activities even I couldn’t figure out. They do have an area that is just for little ones under 3 with a small water table and cushioned play area. While I feel some families may be able to make a whole day out of the Explorium (like Stephanie’s), I think others would be done in a couple hours. It would be a fun stop to include in a day trip to Lexington, but I would have some other events ready in case your little ones want to fly through it as fast as mine would.
Written by: Caryn
Photos by: Stephanie