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Habitot Children's Museum

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children's Museums, Family Services, Human Services

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

Community Stories

138 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

My 4 and 2-year-olds love our visits to Habitot. We've been visiting the museum for over 3 years. They love, love, love the grocery store, wind tunnel, and water room. Everyone naps well after a morning at Habitot! I joined the board of Habitot as I feel very strongly about it's mission to provide a wonderful space for kids in our community to play, learn and explore. Habitot does fantastic outreach to make the museum accessible to all children. And it plays an extremely important role in supporting parents. I am very thankful for Habitot!

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

My three-year-old and one-year-old have a blast every time we visit Habitot. They enjoy every minute of the water room, the grocery store, the wind tunnel, the art room, etc., etc. I love watching my boys exploring, creating, laughing, and pretending at Habitot. We go as often as we can and it never gets old. Habitot also offers helpful hints related to the exhibits that I find really helpful as a parent. For example in the art room, they have a wonderful handout about how to help foster creativity in your child. Habitot is a wonderful resource. I also love that after a morning of fun at Habitot, my boys take fantastic naps in the afternoon!!

Julian F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a wonderful experience volunteering here. Everyone is dedicated to the wellness of the community and the families. Being an artist myself, I believe Habitot is a great creative hub for young learners. Very inspirational space!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful spot for my son. A safe place for freedom and exploration

Elizabeth144

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have taken my 18 month child to Habitot since he was 10 months old and its been an amazing place for him to explore. I know its a safe, clean place for him to play from the infant area where he was tumbling as he learned how to walk to the water area, we've loved being around so many amazing families.

Stephany T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Habitot Childrens Museum is an amazing place for children and parents.
Families are given empowerment through education and hands on activities that are easily translated for home use. Children are supported at every developmental stage and the museum is laid out thoughtfully and expertly. Some exhibits are ever changing but most are predictable reflecting the need for stability in environment which facilitates the comfort level needed for expanded learning through play.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm a proud Habitot Board member and believe tremendously in its mission. Not only does Habitot provide a safe, clean, stimulating environment for little ones, but it also does significant and meaningful community outreach. Events such as birthdays for homeless children and dedicated time for LGBTQ families means that all families and children feel welcome and accepted. Habitot is extremely deliberate and thoughtful in its design of exhibits - all of which keep the imaginations of kids alive and create genuine space for them to explore, test, and learn in a safe environment. It's really a magical place!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I found Habitot through my daughter. What she discovered is a world of exploring, imagining and creating whether it is in the art studio, piloting the rocket ship, catching leaves in the wind tunnel or running the restaurant. She has enjoyed hours and hours of fun and learning at Habitot and even after 4 years continues to love going there every week!

What I discovered is there is no other place in the bay area that serves pre-school children and their parents like Habitot! Serving on the Board of Habitot has opened my eyes to what a crucial role Habitot plays in the bay area community. Habitot through its services and programs impacts tens of thousands of children and families and reaches out to the most vulnerable including teen parents, homeless and foster families, formerly incarcerated parents, children with special needs, LGBT and low income families.

Habitot is a truly special place that bring kids alive, what ever their circumstance, and inspires them to learn through hands on play and provides the support parents and caregivers need to help give kids the bright future they deserve.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

My daughter just turned 5 and has been going to Habitot since she was 1 and still absolutely loves it. We have gotten tremendous use and value from the membership program given my daughter declared Habitot a must have visit every week (unlike any other place we have a membership).
I see her imagination run wild as she dresses up as a fire fighter, takes orders in the restaurant, figures out how a car wash works, goes shopping for food and builds the longest trains and tallest buildings she possibly can.
What I also see is her jumping in to navigate on her own because things are her size, overcoming issues like being sensitive to noise when she plays in the wind tunnel and learning to share and talk with other kids she doesn't know.
As a parent I have used many of the tip cards on fun ways to help your child learn and enjoy getting emersed in the activities with her. We have gone to all of the museums, exploratoriums, hall of science, etc. in the bay area but none of them seem to capture and keep my daughters attention like Habitot does. There is no other place that serves the younger children like Habitot does.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1 Jo__15

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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."

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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).

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

kathimall

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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,

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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 =].

Julie64

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a Vision Impairment Specialist with Blind Babies Foundation and I have found Habitot to be a perfect play space for the little ones I serve. Their exhibits are so thoughtful , experiential and age appropriate. The staff is always warm & welcoming.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter loves this place and so do I. Some of her first words were "Go painting again?" The staff is amazing. They manage to keep the place clean and organized. After our first visit we became members.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a creativity expert. I write and lecture on creativity and the creative process and am one who helps other understand and embody creativity as a way of being. And I have a two year old daughter who by far is my biggest teacher. As children, all of us are naturally creative. We observe, we experiment, we aren't worried about what others think nor afraid of failure. As we more towards adulthood our natural creativity tends to take a back seat to our need to fit in. Some of this is good. But too much of this robs us of the best part of our being human, the ability to imagine, to wonder, to flow, and to love, all of which are core aspects of the experience of creating. Fortunately for Bay Area residents, Habitot present an inspiring, stimulating environment that is a hoot for kids and parents alike. Side by side, by watching my daughter break all the rules, using her hands instead of the paint brush, pouring water on her own shoe, and being unabashed in everything she does, I get to reclaim my own innate, full body creative potential. Habitot also is filled with pith reminders about the natural creativity of children and how to encourage their natural desire to explore and play. The staff is friendly and maintains the sense of compassion, even when we parents catch ourselves trying to get our child to do the project "the right way." I love going there and following my daughter around, knowing that she is safe and can watch and learn from other kids. I wish all cities has a place as inspirational and kid friendly as Habitot. Undoubtedly, with a strong sense of these young one's creative capacities firmly established, the world will indeed be a better place!

Jennifer111

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will try to express how grateful we are to have Habitot in our area. I truly wish every city had a place for parents and children like this to go to. First, the price is more than reasonable. Second, they consistently change the themes so creativity is running wild that rubs off not only onto the kids but onto the parents as well. Third, I'm so happy my daughter can play in the water area and get wet without me having to clean up after as well as do so-called messy projects there with paint and glue and again, i do not need to spend my time cleaning up after. Most of the staff (volunteers?) are exceptional. And the only thing I wish is that this place was open longer hours. We love you Habitot! We refer so many people to you!

Sally M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot offers a wonderful learning and play environment for young children. Both my 5 year old and 20 month old daughters absolutely love playing at Habitot. From dressing up as astronauts and playing in the rocket ship to splashing about in the water room, there is always something fun to keep their bodies and imaginations active. We are yet to partake in any of the classes offered (due to a clash with pre-school times) however we plan to join in over the Summer. You can find photos and a write up about our first visit to Habitot at the following link: http://littlehiccups.blogspot.com/2012/02/habitot-childrens-museum.html

Amy_25

Client Served

Rating: 4

My children and I love Habitot! As the mother of a child with special needs and a typical toddler there are few safe, fun places that I can take both of them to. Habitot is definitely one of them. There is so much great sensory play, including the water exhibit, the wind tunnel, and the art studio. The fun we have had together in the art studio is unlike anything we have ever experienced, and I didn't have to clean up after it! :) I also enjoy reading things from the Parenting Cart. I have learned a lot that way.

Client Served

Rating: 4

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

rmgt

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!

Krina M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

We took our two year old daughter few months ago and she had a blast there, especially in the space area in astronaut dress and the water fun area. I highly recommend Habitot to any parents with toddler or school age kids.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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).

Board Member

Rating: 5

Habitot Children's Museum has meant a great deal to my family - especially to my two daughters. Hardly a week goes by where the older one does not ask to go to Habitot. The younger one, well she cannot talk yet, but I see how big her smile is when she is there. We have been to Habitot so many times over the past few years to take classes, for our daughter to attend camp, for birthday parties, for parent's night out, and to attend the museum. After each and every single visit we have walked away glad we came. We say this not just because our kids have fun there. Habitot is more than just a fun place to play. We say that because Habitot has helped my children grow, nurtured their curiosity, and stimulated their development. Habitot has also helped my wife and I with all of the wonderful things Habitot provides parents. From parenting literature to the book library to the toy library to parents night out, Habitot supports parents and care givers. I will not forget the time when my then 2 year old daughter had a difficult time sharing at the train table and I looked up and saw the brochure on sharing and taking turns on the wall. Nor will I forget the first time I took our younger daughter in to the area for pre- and new walkers and saw her crawl through a padded obstacle for the first time. Moments like these with our kids are very precious for my wife and I. We thank Habitot for providing so many smiles, and so many lessons.

Donor

Rating: 5

My family is proud to continue to support Habitot with annual giving! We started going to Habitot 4 years ago - and bought a membership on our very first visit. Habitot is such an amazing gift to our community - and the youngest, most innocent segement of our community - that we wanted to go beyond just being members to show our support. Many small, though meaningful, annual gifts to Habitot help the Museum continue to serve all of the segements of our population, not just those who can afford it.
It is truely amazing to watch my family and others in our community grow and develop a life-long love of learning while exploring, playing, and creating at Habitot. And Parents - Habitot is not just for the children - a big part of their mission is directed at US! I have experienced growth as a parent through their reading materials and (FREE) workshops. Supporting Habitot really does help our community flourish from the ground up. Thank you fellow supporters and thank you Habitot!

Jenni W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a nanny of three young boys. Twins ages 4 and the youngest is 9 months old and Habitot provides something fun for each one of them. I've been taking the oldest boys to Habitot before their brother arrived and even today, 2 years later, the excitement of Habitot continues. The exhibit that changes frequently is usually one of their favorite places in the museum because they get to transform into firemen, veterinarians, or another fun, imaginative people or things. The twins have very different interests and its nice to go to Habitot with them because I get to interact with each individually, in a safe environment, doing something THEY love. One loves to play waiter and chef in the kitchen, play trains, and read in the cozy book room, while the other loves to do all things art, water play and face paint. Even though the place is small, we usually find at the end of our time visiting, there were still things we were unable to do because the space is used so well. Every place you turn there is another fun activity/adventure to grab the kids' attention.

With the 9 month old, the toddler/infant area provides a nice place to let the little ones move without needing to be right on their tail. However, I have found that there really isn't any place within Habitot that isn't suited for a little one on the move.

As the adult, my favorite part of Habitot is the grocery/kitchen area. I love this area because I get to play "customer" while all the kids, not just the kids I nanny for, pretend to cook for me, serve me food, and interact with me in such a fun way. In some ways the kids and the adults get to switch roles and I can watch as their brains and imaginations grow.

Habitot provides a safe environment for young kids to interact with others in their community doing imaginative play, art, water play, and even household activities. I believe this organization is a necessary part of the community and I will be taking the kids I nanny for and eventually my own children there for years to come.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My children beg me to take them to Habitot, even my 6-year old. It is a really creative space where kids can play and develop their imaginations. My children love to pretend they are astronauts as they climb aboard the spaceship exhibit wearing space gear and they like to pretend they are running a car wash in the water play area.

Habitot is more than just a children's museum. It is a place for parent education and it helps parents connect with their kids through play. In addition, Habitot has special playtimes for kids who would normally not get to go to a children's museum such as homeless kids, disabled kids and kids of teenage mothers.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Both my 3 year old and my 13 month old very much enjoy what Habitot has to offer. My 3 year old especially enjoys the art. I love the art studio because she gets to express herself artistically and I get to let her do it without worrying about the mess that I would if we were at home. My 13 month old loves crawling and cruising around and is always discovering something new! As a stay at home mom, Habitot is a lifesaver!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have a grandparent membership to this place and it is wonderful. I can bring my grandson (now age 3) and he has a wonderful time in a fabulously stimulating environment. Now he points to Habitot every time we go past it and wants to go inside to play.

Client Served

Rating: 4

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

grs.astro

Board Member

Rating: 5

My wife and I have had our son's 1st and 3rd birthday parties at Habitot, and clearly we've found it to be an excellent place to host our friends, and for young children to play and learn. The exhibit space is modest in size, compared to some larger children's museums, but it is very well designed and thought out. Our son looks forward to going to Habitot every time. He's had alot of fun there for several "Parents Night Out" drop-offs (the rare dates my wife and I can manage in our busy lives, and w/o grandparents or other family living in the area). He also participated this past summer in a couple week-long "summer camps" (4 hours/day), learning and exploring science, and interacting with children and adults from outside his preschool/day care. Great experiences all around, and I'm very proud to be a supporter and fan of the museum.

Sunnie K-P

Board Member

Rating: 5

My 14 month old enjoys the activities at Habitot so much, I wanted to see how I could become more involved to help this great organization thrive and be available for future generations. I recently joined the Board of Directors to help Habitot continue the good work it currently does!

Dana234

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing atmosphere, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and amazing exhibits for young children. I took my friend's two young children here when babysitting one day and they loved it. There are many opportunities for free admission and involvement such as safety classes and parenting workshops that are beneficial for everyone to know. I have been to the museum about 5 times now and always have had a wonderful experience.

Andrea234

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to rent the museum out for my sons 4th birthday. What an amazing experience. The staff was fantastic and the intimate experience of sharing the museum with their friends and family was something we all enjoyed.

This is a special place to introduce young children to - a place that changes the way they see things, and through their eyes how you see learning and growing all over again....

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 2 yr old grand baby LOVES Habitot! It is ideal for his age group, as it provides free choice of a variety of educationally stimulating, creative activities, while engaging in side by side play and beginning sharing and social opportunities for this age group. Parents, grandparents or caregivers shadow their young ones, nurturing them, helping them as needed, and encouraging social skill support as needed. Additionally, the friendly, very helpful and positive staff facilitates the various activities, including art, the inexpensive "store", the toy lending library, the snack area, et. The care that goes into the staff's initiatives is seen in the beautiful choice of colors and textures used in the art activities, the special classes offered in music, cultural celebration, etc., I am so grateful to Gina and all the staff at Habitot for providing such a rich, affordable experience consistently for our very young, most precious toddler population.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful environment for young children to have the opportunity to explore their environment freely and safely. I went with a family whose child typically has a very difficult time with transitions into new environment. Upon arriving at Habitot, he just eased right in, and started exploring each of the play areas on his own - with a BIG smile on his face! Their warm and welcoming, kid-friendly decor made all the difference!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a great place for young children and parents. The staff are helpful and attentive to individual needs. I am a case manager for a transitional housing program. Habitot let us bring some of our families for a free day of play and parent child interaction. This was a wonderful opportunity for our children to enjoy new experiences and for the parents to observe their children in new situations and observe and learn some much needed parenting skills.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is such a worthwhile and engaging experience for both the child and the parents. Their encouragement of hands on exploration and learning for all kids- whether they have special needs or not is extraordinary.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful space for children to explore. There are so many opportunities for children to learn and play with their peers and families. We have had several field trips with the families we work with and their children with special needs. Habitot has a fantastic outreach program for the special needs community and we look forward to our visits every year!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful space for kids. We have taken groups of special needs kids that we serve (ages 0-3) to Habitot, with no admission fee for the families. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the space is well-organized. There are many activities for the kids.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is very welcoming to all children and families and has made exemplary efforts to reach out to the special needs community. They have worked with our early intervention agency to set up several free afternoon open playtimes for the children we serve and their families. These events have been an overwhelming success and the families we serve have been so grateful for the opportunity to bring their children to this interactive play environment. Habitot is an exceptional asset for families in the East Bay.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity Habitot is an amazing safe space for kids to learn and explore... unlike similar places that are for-profit, Habitot welcomes children with all kinds of backgrounds... children with special needs, children of teen parents, diverse families, etc. They also promote community safety through their sessions and the carseat checks they sponsor, sessions on CPR for parents and baby-sitters, bike safety, water safety, etc. An amazing resource for the community!

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot is a wonderful, safe space for toddlers (and parents) from very diverse backgrounds to come together for fun and learning. Unlike other local play centers that are for-profit, Habitot's services are accessible to families with limited resources through collaborations with community programs. They have a variety of programs to promote child health, safety, and early childhood education.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Habitot is a great place for kids to explore and learn. All the exhibits have a lot of thought put into them and are interactive and fun. Habitot provides an enriching learn and play environment and provides programs for toddlers and young children.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Habitot has a wonderful combination of activities for kids up to age 5. We love the water play room- our son absolutely loves to play in water and this space is set up for group and individual water play. The waterproof smocks really do help them stay a little dry. We also love the painting room and the facepainting. Our son loves to sit in front of the mirror and paint his own face (he is only 20 months old). Of course that is usually after he has spend a long time at the rotating exhibit -fire engine, spaceship...with fun costumes to wear and buttons and phones and wheels and seats that all seem so real and exciting to him. Additionally it is a great space for him to spend time around many other children since he is not in childcare yet. It is also wonderful that there are rooms for quiet time and eating as well. The classes that are offered are a bonus. It is a relatively small space which can feel crowded on rainy weekend days but it is plenty of space for a young child and he can run around without getting lost. The layout makes the space feel bigger than it is!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found out about Habitot from my Nanny when my son Luke was about 18 months old. We have been "regulars" ever since and he's just turned five. Habitot has a fantastic mix of activities for all sorts of kids - including super active ones like my son! Their "standard" mix of activities, like their train table and play store are well done and well suited to young kids, but it's their "unexpected" activities that really won Luke over - like a whole room dedicated to water play, complete with kid size water proof aprons and the wind tunnel! The pièce de résistance is the Space Ship / astronaut play space, with costumes for the kids and a kid perfect play-inside Space Ship. The Ship's instruments are made out of things like old phones and computer keyboards, so the kids can pick of the pieces and push buttons without too much concern about hurting anything. Luke can and has played in that Ship for hours. Habitot also has a few quite spaces for reading and a peanut-free snack and lunch area. All in all, I would say Habitot is well thought out and well run. I'll be sorry when Luke is too old to go there any more!