In full disclosure, we were able to visit Stepping Stones due to our membership to the Academy of Natural Sciences which has a reciprocal relationship.
Since becoming a parent, I have enjoyed finding new locations to bring my children, and museums designed specifically for little ones is an absolute pleasure. Within New Jersey, we have several great options; however, I have learned that outside of our home state there are some amazing places as well. I have made a point to adjust the itinerary to accommodate new stops during road trips just so we can visit a children’s museum, aquarium or zoo.
Located in Norwalk, the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum is well-known in Connecticut as well as surrounding states. Before you enter the museum you will be greeted by the train cars which guests can ride on for a nominal cost and impressively it is solar-powered. The museum has permanent exhibits such as Tot Town and Energy Lab as well as generous spaces for traveling exhibits. There is also a café and outside courtyard (which is shaded) and contains blue foam blocks that children can use for building. However, I have not heard a lot of folks locally mention this as a place to visit and I want to highlight how cool this location is and for some of us it is not that long of a drive.
Mommy University Presents
5 Reasons to Visit The Stepping Stones
The Energy Lab is an interactive exhibit where children can learn about energy and science. While my children are not learning the vocabulary, they are invested and engaged. Children can maneuver the plastic balls to travel throughout the 1,500 square space to witness various types of energy sources.
Do your children get enthralled by construction? The Build It exhibit invites children to imaginary play as they can pretend to hammer, nail and paint a home. As they walk through the construction site, they can also see the various layers of the building.
Designed for younger children, Tot Town has many interesting hot spots for engaging infants and toddlers. From carpeted floors with a long mirror for pre-crawlers to the baby zone which has activity mats and toys to keep babies engaged, there is so much in this space to enjoy and explore.
For us, this was the perfect space for lunch time. It is an outdoor space that has a canopy plus it is filled with blue foam blocks. While we enjoyed a few minutes to relax, our children discussed and debated how to build a home using the blocks.
In the center of one area, right after the entrance, is a stunningly tall display enclosed by glass with protruding levers. Children and adults can push and pull all the levers so that they can change the direction of the marbles inside this complicated maze. It’s a fun experience for the entire family.
This is our second trip to Stepping Stones and it will certainly not be our last. The museum has a phenomenal gift shop which sells a lot of toys that Mommy University has reviewed. While the Color Coaster is considered the only permanent exhibit, the other exhibits I mentioned were at The Stepping Stones when we last visited.
We are planning on returning to Stepping Stones this fall because their two traveling exhibits were so impressive, and we don’t think we spent enough time exploring. Children can easily spend the entire day at this museum, but since within a few miles is the Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk is quickly becoming one our favorite places to visit.
You may also enjoy: