Road Trip: The Works Museum

Having a friend who lives far away is tough because we miss them, but it also means we get two places to explore together!  Last week, I packed the kids up and we headed to Newark to visit Alyson and her son, Colton at The Works Museum.

It was all highway, taking 161 until it turned to 37 and then we got off onto route 16. Do yourself a favor and look at an actual map every once in a while, because the little iPhone screen will not show you that this is the SAME ROAD that Velvet Ice cream is on and you could have easily combined these road trips.

Admission was $19 for the three of us, which wasn't too bad, but next time I'd like to stay longer to make use of the admission fee. If you are a COSI member, you get in for 50% off. Parking was free and easy, but be careful when you pull back out of your spot because the lot centers around a one way street (and 3 hours later, you won't remember that and it can be awkward).

Right away, I was impressed with the cleanliness and organization of the discovery areas. There are staff members circulating to reorganize and to politely make sure kids aren't climbing up to play with the full-size skeleton display (surely my son would never do that??)

Similar to COSI, there are certain areas appropriate for different age groups, but the little ones were free to explore wherever they liked. We liked the Tyke Lab the best, especially because it was a secure area with a locked gate. Hooray for confinement with lots of fun imaginative play activities! There were dress-up clothes, blocks, a cafe, a market, fire truck, doctors office, puppet show, ball-run, and train table stocked with clean items in excellent condition.

Other areas included take-apart stations with tools (real and pretend tools), exploring the body, building and racing cars, and all sorts of wonderful STEM activities. Every kid was engaged and happy!

We walked around the outdoor courtyard for a little bit, where there are some hands-on sound experiments and a train car they can explore. Apparently members can rent the train car for birthday parties for FREE!

We went upstairs to the historical area, which included (gasp!) rotary phones, lots of train displays, and the featured exhibit of Jerrie Mock. This OSU grad was the first woman to fly solo around the world and hails from Newark. The kids loved getting into the plane.

Down the hall, we could explore what a little town would look "in the olden days" and even sit inside a room to play board games together. This area was hot hot hot because of the awesome glass-blowing studio below it.

We ate our packed lunches inside (you can bring lunch, but can't walk around with snacks to keep the facility clean). There is a cafe across the courtyard and a sitting area in a garden on the side facing 1st street. Bonus: If you walk down 1st Street to the end of the block, you will likely see a train. My kiddos wanted to camp out and wait for the train to go--it was definitely a highlight!

Across 1st Street, there is The Works Letter Press and Wood Shop, where you can stop in by appointment or during special events. And as I mentioned before, pair this with your trip to Velvet, and you'll have the perfect day trip. Have fun!

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