Habitot Children's Museum

Rating: 4.9 stars   77 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: Pmb 326 1563 Solano Ave Berkeley CA 94707 USA

Mission: Habitot’s mission is to help the broad community of parents and caregivers raise curious, creative and confident children. Hands-on exhibits and programs focus exclusively on early childhood.
Programs: * Hands-on Exhibits Six permanent exhibits and one temporary exhibit encourage imagination, curiosity, problem-solving, social interaction, communication skills and parent-child connection. Exhibits include Waterworks, Little Town, Wind Tunnel, Infant-Toddler Garden. The current temporary exhibit is the Rocketship 80,000 visitors a year * Public Programs include three dozen multicultural events and performances throughout the year in music, art, dance, performance, storytelling and puppetry. Special Family Literacy Nights foster reading readiness and Child Safety events help prevent unintended accidents among young children. 10,000 participants a year * Art Programs include a drop-in Art Studio (included with admission) with changing daily activities, an Art Reach program taking arts to low income community preschools, and on-site focused art classes for children in ceramics, mixed media, and painting. 45,000 beneficiaries * Parent Education includes an in-museum Family Resource Center of books and other parenting references, 50 parenting classes a year on topics ranging from CPR and chokesaving to positive discipline strategies, and Parent-to-Parent brochures on parenting topics 5000 direct beneficiaries * Family Outreach Program designed to make Habitot's exhibits and programs available to a wide audience, especially low-income families and at-risk children. We offer free field trips to Head Start and state-supported preschools, free admission days, subsidized memberships, class scholarships, teen parent programs, book give-aways and organizational and library memberships for clients of social service agencies, hospital programs, homeless shelters, literacy programs, and teen parent programs. 8,329 direct beneficiaries
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Habitot is welcoming and my daughter loves it! They change the activities on a regular basis, and my daughter is always engaged. We are so grateful to have a resource for our family.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We follow Habitot Children's Museum on their Facebook page regular. We are always impressed with the events they produce and the online presence they maintain. In today's world, having an effective, personable and engaging online presence is essential. We are located in Minneapolis making following Habitot online is how we stay informed. Regardless, we encourage our associates, clients, family and friends with children to be sure and visit them when in California.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more money so they can further their great strides.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I just love this place and everything it stands for. Our young girls love it too! It's creative, safe, friendly. Thank you so much for all you do.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep that funding going!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Habitot remains the one place that whenever my 3 and 5 year old visit, they leave with a smile. That puts a smile on my face too. No matter the season, no matter their mood or their parents mood, my children and I always find just what we are looking for at Habitot. It is a place my children can be active, climbing and playing. It is a place they can be peaceful, enjoying books with their parents. It is a place they can explore on 'their own' to help develop and foster their own sense of self. it is also a place where they can play with mom and dad - especially at the train table. BTW the train table is the place to learn about sharing. Habitot is a place for dramatic play and for letting the imagination grow. There is so much to Habitot, so many activities that vary by the season, all under one roof. Our family is very thankful for Habitot.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help it grow!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

An outstanding place to play and connect with the little people. Both of my kids loved spending time at Habitot and when I look around their bedroom the artwork and crafts that we've kept are mostly from Habitot. The art classes are superb utilizing high quality materials and expert hands-on instruction. The play space in the museum is so enriching and engaging for young children; they literally don't stop moving and exploring and creating from the minute they walk through the doors.

Staff are super friendly and helpful. As the name suggests it's a sanctuary for little ones and for young parents a guaranteed hit when you're looking for a special place to take your kids.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would say a better location...space needs to be bigger and allow natural lighting, heating and cooling systems.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Both of my boys, who are now 5 and 7, spent many mornings and weekends when they were toddlers and preschoolers playing and learning at Habitot. They enjoyed the African drumming lessons, painting on the art wall, dressing up as fire fighters, veterinarians, and astronauts, washing cars in the car wash and running boats down the water slide, shopping for pretend groceries, climbing through the wall tunnel, and so much more. Habitot was a place for them, their grandparents, their nanny, and me and my husband to play and grow together as a family. In fact, they still love visiting Habitot, even though they're onto their elementary school worlds now too. Habitot is a wonderfully creative and safe venue for young children and their families to explore together. When I joined the Board of Habitot a few years ago, I learned about many of the other wonderful contributions that Habitot makes to the community too. These are after-hours programs that much of the public does not see. Habitot opens its doors for gatherings of children with special needs; provides a safe place for parents who are recently out of incarcerated to reunite and play with their children; provides a welcoming space for GLBT families; and works with homeless families as well, and so much more. Habitot is a rare and wonderful place for all types of families in the Bay Area, and it serves a critical socal function as well. It also couldn't have a better leader than its founder and executive officer extraordinaire, Gina Moreland.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it an opportunity to grow with an expanded space, including outdoor space, that would allow it to serve an even broader audience, and provide it with more funding that would allow it, among other things, to expand its hours to serve even more of the public.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My son has been going to Habitot for three years and I have been impressed with Habitot from the beginning! My son loves to go there and I feel safe taking him to camps and other activities. My only wish is that it had the funds to expand so that it could meet the needs of more children and families in the area. The exhibits and activities are developmentally appropriate, and the staff are kind, trained, respectful and courteous! My son is five years old and he still loves going there!

I would love for Habitot to be able to expand, as I am confident they could then work with some elementary early grade students as well. Habitot is the best place for preschool children in Berkeley!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish Habitot had more funding so they could add outdoor areas, and also be able to offer some programs for kinder and 1st grade students. The experiences children have at Habitot could be life changing! My son is doing a "Construction Zone" camp this week. HIs eyes lit up when he saw the hard hats, construction tape, and other thematic parts. Habitot does an amazing job with the space they have. I can only imagine what they could do with a bigger space!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I was fortunate to spend a full year working as a graduate intern and development consultant for Habitot Children's Museum. Habitot is an incredibly unique organization that focuses on very young children and gives them a place to play that is educational, safe, and enjoyable. Every toy, game, or activity in the museum has ties back directly to helping children grow and learn through play. Given that we now live during a time when everything is about cramming a child's schedule full of structured activities, there is something so valuable in seeing an organization that understands the inherent importance of allowing children to play, think, and explore on their own.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to help them raise more money. Would love to help them find a brand new space that would allow them to expand and support a larger audience.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is a wonderful "indoor play/discovery center. It is an extremely parent and child friendly environment. Whenever I have accompanied families I work with to Habitot, I have found all of the staff, from the front desk person who greets you to the volunteers, to be friendly and helpful. The parents have loved having a safe and fun-filled environment for their children. In addition, they loved the handouts available for parents regarding parenting and child development. The children delight in all there is to do there. Particular favorites are the water play area, art room, and the "store." I love that the vehicles to sit in and explore change, as well as the "climbing wall."

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

love to have it situated in a place where parking was more available and not expensive (meter or parking garage).

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is a wonderful institution for 0-5 year old children and their families. The types of educational opportunities that they provide to this group are wonderful. They also provide a lot of programs for undeserved and at-risk communities who may not be able to afford museums. The impact they are creating in the East Bay community is very admirable and inspiring

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar