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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I interned at Habitot Children's Museum for a three-month period earlier this year, and throughout my internship I was constantly impressed by the staff and director's enthusiasm and dedication to supporting the museum's mission, providing resources as well as a safe, creative learning space for Bay Area families. Habitot is a unique organization in its steadfast commitment to its function as a community resource, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work directly with its staff and director.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Habitot is an organization that I donate to happily, knowing that the money will be utilized to the fullest extent and to support those most in need. Habitot has a powerful mission and does meaningful work in our community. I'm thrilled to support them!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.