Author note: Hi! My name is Dan Hartman and I have a bias here. My wife and I have four kids under 6. This means I have first hand knowledge of how terrible museums treat parents and young children some times. Especially house museums. So we have spent some time trying to make the experience better. If you have other ideas…please let me know — [email protected]
How is Glensheen family friendly?
1. The Classic Tour is more interactive and immersive.
We have added many new parts to the tour to make it more immersive and interactive for people of all ages. For example there are new pathways into rooms, such as the Living Room, which now brings you deeper into the room and into the Library. Or in the Breakfast room, you now can walk out to the windows and really get a better feel for the room. Lastly as of a couple of weeks ago, we added a new path in Marjorie’s room, so you can walk right up to the bathroom which has its own custom Lilypad stenciling.
Also, we have added several elements for more interactivity, such as the hands on stereoscope which allows you to see many historic photos of the estate in a 3-D effect. The kids love this one.
2. Tour is Self-guided
There will be over 10 guides stationed throughout the home providing you information if you desire, but you are no longer on a guided experience, which can be less than great with a toddler. Now you and your family can take as much time or as little as you want when you take the Classic Tour of Glensheen. Plus, if you need to leave the tour temporarily (say for a child’s needs), you can return back into mansion when you want.
Plus — new to this year we have added the optional “Passbook” which provides information on the different rooms you are visited with increased general knowledge of the estate and family as well.
3. The Treasure Hunt will keep your young minds busy
This summer we are bringing back the widely popular Treasure Hunt booklet for kids which all ask the kids to try and find items in every room of the mansion. It is kinda of like an eye-spy book for kids as they tour the mansion. In the booklet is also a small amount of information as well. This way the kids may actually learn more while on tour as well…and maybe Mom and Dad as well.
What’s the cost? The booklet is only a $1. This just covers our cost of printing the booklet — we kept this cost down because we are trying to keep cost down for families. Our goal isn’t to make you spend more. Our goal is to have you and your family be inspired by Glensheen as much as we are.
4. The Grounds are a blast to explore
Kids can explore the Formal Garden
Kids can explore the Vegetable Garden
It is 12 acres on Lake Superior to run around with a stone arch bridge, vegetable garden and a formal garden with a three tier terrace. In other words…there is plenty to explore for kids.
Also, there is just a lot of green space to chill.
Kid-friendly lawn space all over
5. Our bathrooms are family friendly.
Normal changing tables with spare diapers and wipes, in both Men and Women bathrooms.
Oh yeah.. we also have step stools so kids can better reach the sink.
In our bathrooms in the mansion we now have parent friendly changing tables. We no longer have the changing tables attached to the wall, but rather an actual changing table, with shelves below the table. This way you can set your bag or other items on the shelves versus the floor. Which makes life a little easier with one hand on a child and the other shuffling items to clean up a kid.
Plus — we provide spare diapers and wet wipes. Because we know…sometimes life happens.
We also have stools for the kids to reach the sink…little sad it took us this long to do.
6. New Picnic area — called “Lake Superior Beach Club”
Don’t miss the new lakeside picnic area… which also may benefit Mom and Dad more directly if you tour goes past 4pm.
New Lake Superior Beach Club
Crazy amazing Lake View
Awesome for skipping rocks
Endless supply of skipping rocks.
In addition to being a place to bring a picnic lunch, if you come at night local eatieries are willing to deliver food directly to the table. So imagine having a great Northern Waters Smokehaus Cajun Finn, and it would be delivered right to you at the table.
Also, at the table are board games to help pass the time.
Alcohol service from 4pm to 9pm every night in July through August
Yep, you read that right. After 4pm, Bellisios’s will be serving local craft beer and popular domestics and of course wine.
By the way… the sunsets do not look bad from here.