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  

Habitot Children's Museum is an excellent place to give your child an immersive educational experience. As an educator, I often refer families with young children here and receive rave reviews afterwards. Keep it up Habitot!

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? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a grandmother of two small children aged 2 and 4, Habitot is a lifesaver. The kids always have a great time. The space is always clean with lots of choices of activities from a train table, water fun, and of course, pretend food for shopping and cooking (a family favorite).

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

One of the best Christmas gifts I received last year was my Grandparent's membership to Habitot. I think I enjoy it as much as my 3.5 year old grandson and 20 month old granddaughter. Habitot is always clean and friendly with lots of support staff providing fun activities and play opportunities for the kids. Its a safe, caring environment that I take advantage of frequently.

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

extend the hours to include a few afternoons per week.

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?

2012

How did you find this group?

Recommended by my daughter.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

What a Spectacular Place! Perfect for me - a grandmother with 2 year old twins and their 3 year old sister. We open the door and they are off for morning of discovery and we adults just stand back and watch. No matter how corded it is they seem to figure out how to interact without adults getting involved. It is a very unique place. There are so few places designed for preschoolers. I just learned about their outreach programs for mothers and their children on the fringe. I am going to become a member and support this very worthy local endeavor - definitely an important asset in our very diverse community,

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been an employee for Habitot about a year now and I still can't get enough of it. It's the cutest place I've ever been and all the children love it. The only downside is their crying when Habitot closes. I recall one girl last week screaming "I WANNA STAY AT HABITOT FOREVERR!" Habitot is a great non-profit that any kid would be lucky to experience. I plan on bringing my new baby cousin very soon =].

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is a great resource for parents. It's a wonderful location for entertaining children of multiple age levels and interests, giving us moms time to take a breath and even get a conversation in while the kids engage with art and creativity activities.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

For my 2 year old grandson and I, Thursday is "Habitot Day!" We have been regulars since Anthony turned one-- and we just renewed our membership! On the way there, Anthony tells me what he will do first and what he will do next. Although he originally bee-lined for the train table, he is now quite the devotee of Elise's and Nora's art projects. (I am amazed at the clever ways these ladies engage the children in art-- from salt painting to chalk and water on contour maps!) My grandson has certain children he has come to be friends with; they squeal in delight when they see each other! Whether it is the water room or the wiggly wall or spaceship or pillow and reading room, Anthony has really grown both socially and intellectually with this program. I can remember the little guy who toddled from one activity to another; now he is much more sustained in the processes! I am so thankful for this rather amazing and creative place to come and have fun in a stimulating, safe and educational way. The exhibits change periodically so there is always a new twist on what is presented, along with the oldies. We are all so fortunate to have this creative play place with its amazing and supportive staff. As a teacher in public schools for thirty years, I would say I am pretty clear on an engaging environment for children; Habitot is definitely that! I have used the parenting book library as a good source of ideas and the toy lending library is a kick! What fun to try out a new toy or game for several weeks. Come on by if you haven't done so. You will certainly leave with a smile!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a volunteer at Habitot's Family Resource Center, I maintain the museum's collection of books for parents and caregivers. Currently I'm working on developing the collection to include titles of interest to families with young children: sleep, discipline, education, siblings, recreation, single parenting, etc. I'm a recent graduate from San Jose's MLIS program and volunteering at Habitot has given me real-life experience in cataloging and collection development, as well as insight into how an organization on a tight budget operates.

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?

A lot

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot offers great programming to help support me as a parent aswell as being a great welcoming space for my child.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I've taken my preschoolers here a few times and they always enjoy the space. I love all of the different areas they offer. The face painting and rotating dramatic play area are always big hits! I love the kitchen/ store area and the climbing wall. The space is a decent size and entertains a wide range of developmental ages. If I could choose one thing to improve it would be the air circulation, it always feels a bit stuffy (but of course the kids are always too busy playing to notice!). A final note, the volunteers and staff are always friendly and greet us with giant smiles. As a preschool teacher, I appreciate them making us feel so welcome!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

As an early childhood educator and mom, this is one of my favorites! My daughter always leaves exhausted because she has been so filled with excitement, good people and great experiences. EVERYTHING is hands-on and inviting. Some areas are predictable (i.e., quieter reading area, snack area, infant space, resource library), and others are often new and exciting (i.e., art area, rotating exhibits). It's intimate, with great staff, and I know my daughter is safe (even if I lose sight of her for a moment). They also have numerous programs to benefit the community (Parents Night Out, Days for children with Special Needs, Free Days for Families in Need, etc.)! What more could you want for a young child!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a parent and an early childhood education professional. Habitot is a fantastic place for young children! My daughter is just 2 and she asks to go to Habitot regularly. We've been members since she was 1. It's usually a bit of an ordeal to get her to leave :). EVERYTHING is child-friendly, and "whole family"-friendly. The creativity, variety and simplicity speak just a bit to the unbelievable quality - displays, materials, workshops, cultural presentations, staff, etc. There is clear attention to detail in every nook and crannie. My husband and I love walking in there, and just letting our daughter go free (once we pass the gift shop corner). I only wish there were more locations, for more families to enjoy.

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?

2011

Was this review helpful?