Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 Deweese Pkwy,
Dayton, Ohio 45414
⭐I have a lot to share about this place ⭐
Some days are just perfect for Day Trips and today felt like one of those kind of days. But with it being so cold outside – we needed an indoor locale to check out. I’ve been thinking about visiting here for quite awhile – but hadn’t pulled the trigger until today.
A few things before we get started
1) I took a lot of pictures but I’m only sharing a few but some of the magic of this place is discovering things as you go – seeing what’s around the next corner. We don’t want to ruin that for anyone – so just sharing a small portion of what this place has to offer.
2) I’ve only visited here once – typically I prefer to visit a place several times before dropping a review but I feel that I got a decent vibe of this place from one visit.
So let’s start this thing…
Half off admission if you use a Cincinnati Zoo or Museum Center pass! We used our Zoo pass – it was about 7 dollars for adults and 5 dollars for kids 3 and up with our half off discount. Definitely worth the 21 dollars it cost us to get in. Free Parking! 💰
They have lockers to rent for a dollar AND a coat room. The coat room had me SO HAPPY because one of my biggest annoyances is having to cart around my entire family’s coats at an indoor exhibit. I’d normally just try to leave them in the car but it doesn’t work when it is THIS cold so the coat room made me a happy lady.
Two floors of exhibits. Every exhibit has some interactive features whether it be computer games/features or something as simple as a box of dress up clothes to match the theme of that exhibit (IE: NASA labcoats for the space area). The exhibits are extremely diverse – everything from space to a treehouse area to a discussion of Egyptian and Japanese culture.
One of the primary features on the main floor is an “under 4” play area. It contains som and a water table. The water table is not as big or as messy as the one at Cincinnati Children’s Museum but it’s also not as exciting. There are some boats to float down stream and a few spraying features. Little Ones will Enjoy for just the right amount of time and you’ll be able to move on. This area is not totally enclosed so runners can escape.
The zoo area is beautifully designed and perfect for little kids. The exhibits are at eye level for the small ones and feature crawl through spaces and a lot of fun animals to see including an armadillo (who was my absolute favorite! He ran on an exercise wheel like a hamster. Who knew???)
A lot of imaginative play opportunities here. An adorable grocery store step-up with plenty of baskets – no carts – so less toddler cart brawls to deal with. 😂 They have a pizza shop imaginary play area which is one of the most unique things I have seen and was actually equipped with the necessities of play including chef aprons, pizza toppings, Cutters.
I was in awe over the veterinary animal care imaginary play center. Each kid can pick a “role” such as a zookeeper or vet, put on the appropriate costume, and then pick an adorable animal out of the cubby. There are various stations – such as an exam station with veterinarian tools – to care for your animal. It was innovative and unique.
You are able to bring in your own food and there is a comfortable area on the second floor with cafe tables, microwaves, and vending machines.
Parking was convenient. A lot of steps to get from the parking lot to the building but they do have a drop off area to let guests out who may not be able to tolerate the climb.
The bathroom does have a “small potty” which is a miniature flush toilet marked on the stall as being small. 👍🏻 Also stools provided in the bathrooms for little ones to wash hands.
Items in the gift shop were reasonably priced. My son got a plastic dinosaur for 3.99 and my daughter got a set of baby boats for 6.99.
Staff are all friendly. 😁
New Dinosaur Exhibit just Opened Today! We have weird luck with dinosaurs and also visited COSI on the first day of their Dino exhibit by chance. It’s cute and kid friendly.
The Not so Good
Adjacent to the toddler (under 4) area is a water table area for older kids and a slide.
We did not do the slide and unfortunately – I deleted my picture of the slide. The slide goes from the top floor of the museum to the bottom. But the Slide seems like a royal pain in the butt. You can access the top of the slide by climbing the rope net climbing structure to the second floor or going up quite a few steps. And then you slide down the slide back to the bottom floor. It is expected that parents accompany children both at the top and the bottom due to the fact that once at the top – kids can freely run off in any direction and get lost and at the bottom – same thing. So if you’ve got multiple kids to one adult- especially young children or if you cannot slide yourself – this is really quite impossible.
The bathroom situation at the current moment is not ideal. The bathroom is only on the second floor as the first floor bathroom is being remodeled now through March. It’s a bit of a hike if you are in the downstairs space exhibit and need to trek upstairs with a dirty diaper kid. ✌
Also the changing table – while not the worst –
Is not great either. It’s an awkward counter space that is a bit too low and a bit too in the way.
There isn’t really an enclosed play area here. There are a lot of different play areas and imagination zones but I find that this place would be difficult for young kids unless you have man to man coverage. I can’t imagine chasing my toddler around and my baby girl. I would have Been exhausted. So unless your kids are law abiding citizens and enjoy doing the exact same things – I really wouldn’t recommend this place as somewhere to pack up and expect to have a leisurely day of play if one adult is responsible for multiple young kids.
We spent nearly 3 hours here and didn’t do everything. There is a lot to see!
We arrived slightly after 9 and had the place almost to ourselves until about 10. When we left at noon – it was pretty busy.