Today I had the privilege of visiting San Juan’s Museo del Niño (The Children’s Museum) with my son and my boyfriend, who (incidentally) was the photographer of this photo:

We tried to visit the museum yesterday, but it was Monday and apparently this museum is closed on Mondays. We found this out after trekking from Condado Beach all the way to Old San Juan on the bus, only to find the museum’s sad sign that read “Cerrado” -“Closed.”

Today was Tuesday, and the museum was, in fact, open so we had a chance to visit. Admission to the museum is $7.00 for children (ages 1-15) and $5.00 for adults.

Museo del Niño has classic children’s toys like the following:

You may recognize this vintage toy from any pediatrician’s office you or your child have visited since the 1980’s; or possibly earlier in time, but I can only speak for my generation.

In addition to classic toys, Museo del Niño also has more elaborate structures for children to play with. Such as the following:

And how about these?

In addition to these impressive structures, the museum also had traditional activities for children of varying ages to engage in. These included a dress up area with lots of mirrors:

A baby and toddler area with small houses for children 0-3 to run in and out of.

And much much more. In total the museum had three floors of activities for children. But I think the most valuable aspect of this visit was gained by a conversation I had with a museum employee. After exiting the baby and toddler area, he told us his thoughts on working at a children’s museum:

“Children are great,” he said “They are a lot of fun. It’s their parents that are annoying. When they stop their children from doing things, from playing. That’s what the kids are here for!”

He is a wise man. I couldn’t agree more. Places like Museo del Niño allow children to be themselves; to play freely. You can let your kid run around and go nuts. That’s what this place is for. As opposed to the rest of the world, where you essentially have to constantly silence your child and tell them to behave “appropriately” whatever that means.

If you are planning a visit to San Juan, visit Museo del Niño. You and your kid(s) will love it!

For more information on Museo del Niño visit their website here.