We’ve all heard various experts, parent bloggers, and friends share how good museums are for brain development, family bonding, and to get your kids off of their tablets. Researchers at University College London even discovered that trips to museums can extend life expectancy. (No joke, click here for that story.)We’ve also all heard absolute horror stories of children breaking a 100-year-old lamp, getting left behind during a tour, or causing a scene that makes the whole family leave early. Stories like these can make anyone hesitant to pack the kids in the car and take them somewhere to learn. At Glensheen we completely understand these hesitations, and we’re here to walk you through an experience with kids at Glensheen. After this blog we hope you feel confident and ready to take your kids on their next big adventure!
Let’s get the need to know stuff out of the way. At Glensheen we are always striving to make the experience family friendly. That’s why we have changing table’s in both the men’s and women’s restrooms. We have stroller parking at the entrance of the mansion, and paths that take you through most of the estate grounds. We also have self-guided tours which means you can show up 30 minutes later than you planned and no one is the wiser. With no deadlines and no time limits we hope the experience is stress-free.
-No set tour times
-Accessible paths throughout the estate
Perhaps you have a newborn and are desperate for a date night but aren’t ready to get a sitter. Maybe you are the lucky guardian of someone in their “terrible two’s”, or maybe you have an oh-so-precious-four-and-a-half-year-old who says “what’s that” almost once every minute. All of these little ones are more than welcome at the mansion! With Glensheen’s self-guided tour you don’t have to worry about “keeping up” with a group or guide, everything is at your own pace. It also means if you need to go to the potty in the middle of your tour, you can do that. Or if being inside the mansion just isn’t happening, you can go outside and run around on the mansion lawn.
Worried about tantrums or accidentally breaking something?As far as breaking things goes, Glensheen’s collection is behind ropes and stanchions and all the important stuff is out of reach. Tantrums? no problem. Glensheen has friendly hospitality staff stationed throughout the mansion to show you the nearest exit to get you and your kid some fresh air. Once everyone is happy again you can just come back into the mansion and pick up where you left off.
Glensheen also holds treasure hunts — this means that there will be anywhere from 10–25 objects the kids can play a game of eye-spy for. If they find all of them (or do the best they can) they will get a reward from our gift shop at the end of the tour. This “treasure” is usually a unique temporary tattoo! These objects can be anything from our pumpkin hunt in October, our Elf hunt in winter, our Leprechaun hat hunt in March, and our rubber ducky hunt in the spring.
Sometimes when kids grow a little older it’s harder to keep them engaged. At Glensheen, all of the vibrant colors and cool statues do a pretty good job of keeping them entertained. Just in case they need a little bit more competitive direction we have created a Treasure Book! The Glensheen treasure book can be purchased for $1 at the ticket house. The book uses Tim the Fox to guide you through all of the rooms on the General Admission tour.
Who is Tim the Fox? Way back when the Congdon’s lived on the estate there was a friendly family of foxes who had their den on Glensheen’s grounds. Currently Glensheen is visited frequently by a couple of foxes, the one we see the most we decided to name Tim. Tim loves to relax in the sunshine, munch on berries, and discover all of the nooks and crannies of Glensheen’s estate. Tim’s knowledge of Glensheen makes him the perfect pal to help you hunt for treasure! Every room has a specific object or design that the kids can eye-spy. Trust us, this works. However, you might be speeding through the mansion quicker than YOU would like to since they will be racing to out eye-spy one another flying from room to room.
Tweens and Teenagers
By this time most kids have a smartphone, an attitude, and a new found talent for eye-rolling. What they also have is a developing brain that is helping them form their own beliefs, make their own hobbies, and dive into things that are becoming interesting to them. Glensheen showcases art and trades that still exist today, whether it’s the amazing art work, the stained glass, the sculptures, or the woodwork there is something to be appreciated by everyone. Glensheen is also the perfect place to learn about strong women who helped change their communities for the better. To give you a taste of what you can learn at the mansion, check out our latest blog on the Women of Glensheen.
One of the most alluring parts of Glensheen are the sensational Instagram opportunities. We allow non-flash photography inside the mansion, and there are plenty of amazing natural landscapes on our estate, this means that you have plenty of backgrounds to choose from that can help take your selfie to the next level. Whether it’s on top of the stone arch bridge, skipping rocks by the boathouse, or in the reception room with a gold ceiling, their social media is sure to gain an extra boost from Glensheen content.
If your kid is 17 or older, congrats! You safely guided them to adulthood, soon your kid might be off to a gap year, a trade school, or some type of college. Savor all of the moments you have left! Glensheen presents a great place to slow down, relax, and reconnect, all while surrounded by beauty and nostalgia. Pack your kid’s favorite foods and have a picnic on our grounds in the spring, fall, or summer. Come winter, go ahead and strap on some snowshoes and adventure around after your tour. No matter what you end up doing, Glensheen will be a great memory, and if you’re lucky it just might become a tradition. To learn more about Glensheen and what we offer head to www.glensheen.org