Upon my first visit to Habitot, it was love at first sight both with the facilities and the staff. It is a fantastic creative, safe and unassuming place where your child can let go of their inhibitions and reach beyond. The entire space is thoughtfully designed with the children’s perspective in mind making it an even more inviting space. I am honored to be part of the board and look forward to seeing Habitot grow!
Habitot is a fun and joyful place that fills a critical need in the East Bay by providing a safe and affirming place for all young children in our community to play and learn.
The Executive Director, Gina Moreland, and the great staff have focused on fostered a welcoming environment for all kids and their parents. This is reflected not just in the inviting physical space they have created, but also in the inclusive programming they have developed. Creating spaces that meet the specific needs of children experiencing homelessness, recent immigrant and refugee children, those with disabilities, and other groups of kids who can often be left out of the fun of play, are all enthusiastically welcomed at Habitot, and treated with dignity and love (as are their parents).
As a resident of Berkeley, although I'm not a parent, it's an honor to be able to support an organization so dedicated to helping all of our community's kids to learn and grow.
I have lived in the Bay Area for a long time and would often hear people talk about Habitot. Once I had kids I realized why it had such an amazing reputation. My two girls love visiting the museum and could play and learn for hours in end. They even had birthday parties there. As we continued to visit I learned about Habitot’s numerous inclusion programs for new parents, caregivers, and families with special needs. It’s not just a space to play, but also learn, and more importantly a safe space for the community to gather. It truly is a community resource. After meeting the founder, Gina Moreland, the mission to provide the community a safe space to help people explore their curiosity, creativity, and confidence really stood out. I happily joined the board and have been a proud supporter ever since!
I began taking my kids to Habitot when my oldest was becoming a toddler over one; she is now 9. I have watched my girls grow with the museum and learn to explore that greater side of themselves. Whether it's through the fire truck exhibit or the water play, they joy I see in their eyes when at Habitot excites. Habitot reminds me of the importance to connect with your creativity and innovation. It has been an important part of my life as a parent and what fueled me to become more involved in the organization.
I was recommended to visit Habitot from a dear friend and absolutely fell in love. As I walked in the door, I felt the joy of children exploring and playing. Gina Moreland, the Founder and CEO, toured me of all of the exhibits and shared countless stories of the positive effects Habitot has had on Bay Area communities over the past 18 years. I was most impressed by hearing how active Habitot is in engaging families of all backgrounds including multi-lingual and multi-ethnic families, foster and homeless families, as well as middle and upperclass families. Habitot offers affordable fees for all families and even hosts parent workshops to make sure everyone knows the positive effects of early literacy, socialization, and play in the growing brain. Habitot goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone feels welcome and a safe space in their discovery museum.
After my visit, I was so moved that I joined their Board of Directors and look forward to helping the museum expand their reach in serving kids and families in the Bay Area and move into their brand new building in a few years.
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!
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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....
I'm a father of 3 year old twin boys and have watched their curiousity bloom with Habitot's hands-on activities tailored for their developmental stages of being infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It's a perfect place for younger children, where they're able to touch everthing and explore on their own, just with your parental supervision. The size of the museum is fairly small, but considering it's focus on ages 0-5 smaller, children can spend enough time at each area without being rushed. The drop in art studio and waterworks exhibits are family favorities! After seeing the impact on my sons directly, I appreciated the importance of the Museum for all young children and applied to join the Board to further expand Habitot's reach.