Over the weekend, I took my daughter and one of her friends to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. While it is mostly geared toward the younger crowd (around 4 to 6), the older kids (7 to 10) will have some fun as well.
There are a number of areas to explore. The first floor has a carousel (which I didn't count as 'exploring'), a water-themed play area, a transportation area, and a sky-themed area. The water area has smocks for little ones so they don't get soaked. A river, which is arm-height for children, moseys around the area. The kids use various buttons and levers to move rubber ducks and boats through the waterways. The sky area has things like a two-seated bicycle that moves flat 'umbrellas' when you pedal. There is also an area where you can build an airplane out of foam pieces, send it up to the ceiling, and see how it floats back to the ground. In between the water and the sky is the transportation themed area. There are cars to build, a SEPTA bus to 'ride,' an SUV to fix up at the service station, and some construction vehicles to pick up balls.
Heading downstairs, the second floor (yes, I think it's weird that the bottom floor is the second) has an Alice in Wonderland themed area, a centennial area, and a...I'm not sure how to explain it other than a play area. The Alice exhibit is wonderful. There is a huge maze that the kids run around in to see various pieces from the story, as well as various characters. This was the biggest hit with our crew. Next to that is the centennial area. To be honest, this was the most boring of all the exhibits. There was little for the children to do and all of the historical stuff bored them. However, next up was an area filled with "dress up" areas. There was a construction set, a McDonalds set, a hospital set, a grocery store set, a shoe store set...and probably more that I forgot! In each set, there were costumes for the kids and various items for them to use to play pretend. However, it was quite crowded.
Amid each section, there were separate areas for children under 3 to play. However, we didn't have any children that young with us so we weren't allowed in those areas. There was also a very good puppet show that engaged the kids and their imaginations. I have to admit that I thought the kids would be bored there. I was under the impression that the museum was geared toward the 5-year old are group. While that is true, there are still plenty of things to keep the older kids occupied. It was a really nice way to spend a couple of hours.