I love chocolate. My kids love museums. A museum exhibit about chocolate seemed like a win win situation for us all. The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia currently has an exhibit going on called Chocolate: The Exhibition. I took the kids there on a quiet Tuesday and we had a blast. When you enter the exhibit the first thing you notice is the smell of chocolate. It was a good thing we had eaten before entering. The exhibit is really interesting as it tells about where chocolate actually comes from (cacao seeds) and the history of how it went from a rare rainforest tree to a common sweet enjoyed by everyone today. The exhibit will appeal to kids of all ages. My twins just turned four and they enjoyed learning from a museum staff person about the trees and pods where cacao seeds come from. Many parts of the exhibit were hands-on, including a computer simulation showing the different steps of how chocolate goes from a seed to a candy bar. The exhibit was relatively small but very interesting.
We were left with a lot of time to explore the rest of the museum. The twins most enjoyed the newly renovated Outside In on the third floor. This is ideal for kids under the age of eight. Besides having live animals for them to look at and touch, there is so much for them to play with and explore. When you first enter there is a huge tree that lists animals which are hiding. They had so much fun climbing in the tree while trying to find the various animals.
I had to drag them away from this giant chalk stone which they could have stayed at all day.
They were fascinated with this bee hive and the bees that were traveling through a tube to the outside.
No trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences is complete without a visit to Dinosaur Hall.
On our way out we stopped in to visit the butterflies which they loved seeing up close.
The chocolate exhibit is what originally attracted us to the museum but we ended up enjoying so much more. Four is a great age for exploring the museum. If you will be in Philadelphia during the upcoming holidays, this would a great place to visit with your family. They have some fun special events coming up including Dinosaur Days and Hot Chocolate Bars. There is really something for everyone at the Academy of Natural Sciences.
Disclosure: I was provided with passes to the museum in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.