Habitot Children's Museum

Rating: 4.9 stars   78 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: 4 stars  

Such a fun and magical place for kids. Love that there's always a new few crafts to try and the main area changes themes but the train table stays the same. My son will experiment with all of the exhibits but core time is spent there.

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is an amazing place for children. They provide an exciting, clean, and safe environment in which children can paint, play, imagine, create, and learn. For members they have a toy library (which is a fabulous idea) and they have all sorts of programming and interactions with the community. I have attended a parenting lecture there which was very helpful and my daughter has gone to several of their class, which were wonderful. They change a couple of their major exhibits every 6 months, some of the other ones more frequently, and have different things in the art room every day. We could come here every day and my daughter would be ecstatic. When she started school they mentioned that she seemed very comfortable from the beginning and I think this is in large part thanks to Habitot, where she interacts with a range of children in a safe environment. It is also an amazing place to watch your child grow up in, as they play with the toys in different ways at different ages.

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

Life-changing

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This was the first Bay Area place for kids we visited once we decided to move here. It is a great place for babies on up, and it is so fun to see kids grow with the place and place grow with the kids. We love the innovative new exhibits like the rocket ship and doctor's office, and that there are a lot of constants like the water area and tot garden. It's a great place for ungs kids on various ages in the same family to play together. Love it!!

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Went there with my 2-yr-old and 3-month-old a couple months ago. I love the products in the museum store--it's a one-stop shop for encouraging my toddler to learn through play. Every time I go to Habitot I walk away with something--that day with 5 items! Wish I knew they had such a nice raincoat and rain boots selection before I settled for Target's only display model, which was more expensive than what Habitot had there!

Previously, when I brought my toddler, he could not keep away from the water table. This last time, he went everywhere and it was just a joy to see him enjoy himself. Going to Habitot gave me so many more ideas about indoor play to start having at home. The price of admission, when compared to the bountiful ideas that I got when I attended, was minimal. I also appreciate they have a resource library and that was how I read the latest copy of the East Bay Moms newsletter.

Although they have a toy lending library, which I wish I could make the most use of, I do not trust my toddler with them at the moment. It would have been useful to know about this library before we had invested in all these look-good toys that only held my toddler's interest for a couple days or weeks at most. Looking back, if we had invested in a year's family membership, we would have actually SAVED toy money!

Plus, they actually promote play, not all the academics that I keep seeing when visiting preschools. I felt for the first time that it was a permissive space and I could let my toddler wander from space to space within the museum.

Best of all, it is in downtown Berkeley, very walkable and commutable for a mom who does not drive. I am so grateful for such a precious resource in our local community! Yes, it's not Disneyland or Six Flags, but at least I can be sure my active toddler is enclosed in a safe space and cannot run too far from me to catch him (very important when you've got an infant strapped to your front as the sole daytime caretaker).

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

Life-changing

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

As a stay at home mom I need things to do with my 2 year old. Habitot is his favorite place to go. One of his first words was "tot-tot", which he said anytime we were nearby. It is a wonderful place for young children. It has many stimulating activities and it is great place to teach him how to interact appropriately with other children. I love that they have little art projects that encourage him to be creative and get messy. We also frequently check out toys from the toy library. I appreciate that the membership price is very reasonable as we are on a budget.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Going to Habitot has been great for my son's social development. He learns to share and take turns there.

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

extend their hours and make Habitot bigger.

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

We LOVED Habitot on our visit--lots of hands on sensory and art activities and a number of educational exhibits that we haven't seen at any other children's museums--I love the lending library and they make great use of the space that they have, but I would love to see what they would do with a larger space. I removed one star just because the space was a little small (kids LOVE this place) and pricey for my large family--I wish there was a sliding scale/multi-use discount. Hopefully, with more sponsorship they can get a larger facility and may be able to lower the admission cost. It really is a FANTASTIC place.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Habitot Children's Museum

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

Get a larget space, and offer discounted admission/lower admission price

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is a great museum for the little ones. It is small enough that they don't feel intimidated but large and diverse enough to keep their interest for several hours.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my child's enjoyment of the place.

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

make it stay open for longer hours during the weekdays.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

In the safe fun enviroment, Habitot even offers me a moment of reading through their educational hand outs, toy recall info, or simply sipping tea while my child is having a great time playing there.

Daily/weekly art project they offer is also mind-opening, giving parents a new view of using everyday material to make things fun for kids.

Habitot offers Camps and parents night out which my son always has so much fun that it is exciting for both of us to apply.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son learned a lot to share toys with other chileren. I got most updated info on toy recalls. I was reminded basic parenting skills and info which encouraged me well.

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

With the current capacity of Habitot, I cannot think of anything....it will be nice to have windows and A/Cs.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

When we first moved to the area two years ago, it wasn't easy to find activities appropriate for a 15-month old so we were thrilled to discover Habitot. It has been fun to watch our son's interests in the museum exhibits evolve over time, but he still has his favorites. What a great place for early childhood play and development!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The growth of my child

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

Have it be open longer hours.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Habitot is such a fantastic place to take young children to. It allows them to explore and play in ways that are not normally available to this age. The art area is warm and welcoming and messes are encouraged. The water play area encourage exploration and experimentation. The changing exhibits are educational and age-appropriate.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My children engage in the world around them differently.

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

Increase the hours!

 
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