When we travel, we like to make sure that we do something that they children will get a kick out of, and we are willing to drive a bit for it. When we did our first trip of the year to Branson, Missouri – I figured, it wouldn’t be too bad of a day trip to head down to Bentonville Arkansas and visit the Scott Family Amazeum. The kids were not disappointed, and neither were their parents.
The entire museum was a bit larger than I expected. I’m not sure how I didn’t gauge the size from what I saw outside, but goodness I’m glad I wore my comfortable shoes. Oh, who am I kidding, I always wear my comfortable shoes when I travel, and ANYTIME I’m out for a field trip with the kids, so I was good.
We arrived a little after they opened thanks to car trouble in Branson, and the fact that there is no direct highway from Branson to Bentonville. We took back roads, and enjoyed wonderful bridges, including two single lane bridges that I wasn’t mentally prepared for. Amazingly, all of these bridges seemed to be over Table Rock Lake, so we got to see it from different points.
When you first walk into the museum, you’re greeted immediately by staff, and you see the HUGE gift shop behind them. This is where you want to request a slot for the Hershey Lab if you want to visit, otherwise you’ll miss out. Don’t forget to take a photo at the step and repeat to commemorate your time there. We were able to use our Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum membership to get in for free, because of the ASTC Program. If you’re a part of Association of Children’s Museums – you can get 50% off up to 6 admissions.
The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families. A museum with a foundation in the arts and sciences, the Amazeum encourages creativity, curiosity and community through exhibits, educational collaboration, and programs, workshops and camps. Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, tinkering hub, nearly one acre of outdoor space, and ever-evolving daily pop-up activities.
From there, we walked down the short corridor (with a bathroom stop first – TAKE THE STOP FIRST!) and immediately the kids wanted to jet off. There was a smoke ring machine, a machine that showcased how to balance beach balls on air, and more. There are several stations within the museum, so I suggest getting the map that’s offered. Just trust me.
You want to plan to spend about three hours or more there, and know that my kids were the perfect demographic for the museum. The twins are now seven and the ladybug is nine. They had a blast. I did see some toddlers there, and there is a specific spot for them to be able to toddle around without being bowled over by older kids.
My girls absolutely loved the log cabin, and homestead area in the museum. Collecting eggs from chickens, milking the cow, hanging the laundry and pulling up carrots made them giddy. Mostly because they could tell people that they actually knew how to do this stuff because “we have a farm at home!” Sir Twizzler kept the general attitude of leaving it. He loves eating everything from the garden, and that’s about the only time we can get him out to help us harvest. By the way, we’re totally building those laundry posts in our backyard, I have SO many ideas for them.
The areas in the Amazeum are really great for manipulatives, whether you OR the kids are thinking about it. It was definitely a full day of homeschooling. With science, technology, math and art areas in the museum. Below the girls are trying to figure out the best way to “tune” this tower so that the music coming from it sounds good to them, while Sir. Twizzler lays down a beat. After leaving this area, we went to a stop motion creation studio, and we may have had a bit too much fun.
I’m scared of heights and I’m still trying to figure out how much children aren’t. I always hold my breath whenever they ascend up into one of these tubes. My heart starts beating fast, and then I try to figure out how to get them out if need be. Can you tell that they enjoy seeing the horror on my face?
The day we went to the Amazeum, it was a balmy 55 degrees outside, so we ventured to their playground in the back. We only got as far as the climbing apparatus because it was begging to be conquered!
The ropes are heavy duty, and super safe, but of course, use your own discretion when allowing your child to climb it.
Our last event of the day was in The Hershey Lab, where we made Ancient Drinking Chocolate. This may come as a surprise, but I’m not a fan of chocolate – even less of drinking it. It was a fun experiment though, and the kids got a kick out of grating chocolate blocks! Sir Twizzlers face is how I feel inside. No worries though, we’ll try it again but maybe with milk?
You do have to register for the Lab, and it’s free, but make sure that you take a time that you can actually attend instead of holding that spot from other families. Each card covers four people, and because we were a family of five, we had to use two cards. It worked out in the end, but we would have shared with another family of three if we had to. Our experiment took a little over 20 minutes, and was self paced, so we could work comfortably. Once the shaking of the ingredients came to play – the kids went crazy. Adding orange peel, vanilla, cinnamon and even cayenne pepper to their drinking chocolate.
Be aware, the full sized truck cab that is smack dab in the middle of the museum is a hot spot for kids and their parents alike. We stood in line to get in to honk the horn, and, well, we stood in line for a while. I’m not a supporter of kicking people out of spaces but I do want parents to realize when their child is taking over a certain exhibit knowing full well there are several museum goers waiting to take their turn. We sauntered around for about an hour before that very same family decided they no longer needed to drive the big rig.
Mr. Houseful had a great time checking out balancing beach balls on air, and spent quite a chunk of time balancing three at a time. I love seeing parents break free this way. After I was able to break him away from his hideaway, we headed on home after a FULL morning and afternoon of exploring. We didn’t even hit all of the exhibits and were worn out.
Scott Family Amazeum
1009 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR 72712
Mon: 10 am – 5 pm
Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 10 am – 5 pm
Sun: 1 pm – 5 pm
CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Christmas Day (Dec. 25), New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
Please check their calendar for other variations of our hours.
Members – FREE
Kids under 2 years – FREE
Adults & Kids – $9.50