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Magic House vs. Myseum: Where To Go

St. Louis is home to two very similar children’s museums, but which one is right for you?

St. Louis is home to two very similar children’s museums, but which one is right for you?

If you have kids you already know about the Magic House in Kirkwood, one of St. Louis’ hot spots for tots. In fact, if you grew up around here, you probably visited the House as a kid yourself—the Magic House has been entertaining families for 34 years!

But the interactive children’s museum now has local competition in the form of Town and Country’s Myseum. How do they compare? Which one should you take your kids to on a chilly winter day?

We recently explored both locations on busy holiday Mondays when the kids were off school. Here’s what we found out.

Location: The Magic House is in Kirkwood, off Lindbergh.  Myseum is in Town and Country in the Lamp & Lantern plaza (near the Melting Pot). Both are pretty easy to get to and near major highways.

Hours: Myseum is generally open later more often, making it easier for working parents to visit on a weekday. Check here for hours to the Magic House and here for hours to the Myseum.

Price: The Magic House charges $9.50 per person. Myseum charges $10.95 for kids up to 17 but adults are only $5.95. This makes Myseum slighter cheaper, however coupons for half off one child are easy to find for the Magic House, which evens up the score. (Both admit infants under one for free.)

Size: The Magic House is much bigger! It’s 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor fun. The Magic House says you need at least four hours to see everything. You will be exhausted if you try to see everything here.

Myseum is smaller and occupies a single level—still, it’s listed at 20,000 square feet! For comparison, 20,000 square feet is the size of the Magic House’s 2005 expansion. You’ll still need a couple hours to explore.

Age Range: The Magic House has something for everyone if you poke around, but the group that flocks to it is definitely in the pre-school to second grade area. My oldest son felt like he was getting too big for the House around ten. A LOT of stroller moms visit the House with their tiny tikes and a section--the Little Bit of Magic--is just for pre-schoolers.

Myseum is more suited for kids over 5, but still tops out around 12 in my opinion. It’s not a good place for pre-school kids--not many exhibits are suitable or understandable for little kids.

What’s the same? Both attractions are educational and fun with hands-on experiments. Both have science and music areas, a giant slide and a shadow wall (which captures your shadow on a light sensitive surface). Both encourage imaginative play. Both require an adult to wander around with the child to explain how experiments work.

What’s the big difference? The Magic House has large scale make-believe areas, like an entire pint-size village and a replica of the Oval Office. It hosts traveling exhibits both indoors and outdoors. A special area is set aside for toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Myseum has a few things the Magic House doesn’t have, like giant Lego-type blocks, a bounce house, maze, dinosaur dig area, and a “sea” of pool noodles suspended from the ceiling that kids plow through. Myseum also has a veterinarian office with stuffed animals as patients.

Food: The Magic House has the Picnic Basket Café and the Myseum has a soda cooler and snack bar with candy. However, Myseum will stamp your hand and allow you to leave to eat somewhere else and come back for more fun. The Magic House does not allow you to come and go.

It’s this mom’s opinion that the Magic House is better for little ones, especially toddlers and preschoolers. Myseum is a better fit for kids older kids and no fun at all for little ones.  Kids in the middle, around five to eight, will enjoy either one.

If you want to keep track off all the free stuff I find for you to do with your kids, you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook or just Subscribe to get me in your reader.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

The Magic House March 01, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Thanks for sharing this blog! We love to heard feedback about visits to our Museum. One thing I did want to make sure your readers knew though - The Magic House does allow visitors to come and go during the day. We do ask that you keep our Magic House stickers on so that we know you have paid for the day however. Not sure when your last visit was but this past year we have had several new additions, and many which we have found older kids to enjoy like our Rams Training Center where kids can kick a virtual field goal, and our new Art Studio with inspiration to draw a still life, sculpt and learn about different types of art. And of course we still have the Can You Solve A Mystery? exhibit that is also geared toward an older child who can use deductive reasoning to solve the mystery - or just enjoy climbing through the ductwork of the museum. If you haven't had a chance to visit us in a while we would love for you to come and check out what's new!
Denise Bertacchi March 01, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Wow! How did I miss the sticker tip? I didn't know you could get back in...thanks for sharing.
Jaime May 09, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Wow- didn't know that either! Great info.

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