When cold, rain, or heat strikes, one of the places I like to head to with my kids is The Playseum.  The Playseum is like a small, indoor city filled with places for kids to stretch their imaginations and creativity.  The Playseum is constantly getting new exhibits and activities so even if you have been before, give it another look!

The first area kids see when they enter is the fully-stocked supermarket.  Children can choose to be a shopper and push a shopping cart around getting veggies, pasta, or grabbing some milk from the kid-sized refrigerators.  Or they can choose to grab an apron and stock the shelves or take a turn at my son’s favorite, working the cash register.  Many kids will spend a long time in the supermarket if not redirected to the other areas of the Playseum.

Playseum in Bethesda

Next to the supermarket and connected by a tunnel is the firehouse, complete with firefighter hats and coats and a large firetruck large enough for several children to use at once.  Kids can also choose to play with one of several toy firetrucks in this room as well.  Next to the Firehouse is another of my son’s favorite rooms, where kids can play at a toy workbench and dress-up in a worker costume.

Playseum in Bethesda

The owner of the Playseum, Ms. Gina, has spent time in China and one of the results of her trips there is the China-themed room with a replica of a  traditional Chinese street market in front and a pretend Chinese restaurant complete with a kitchen, menus, tables, and chairs in the back.  Kids can also dress-up in traditional Chinese outfits here.  There is also a cute “old fashioned” room called Grandma’s Attic with a type-writer, tea set, and more.  Many children love the princess room filled with several ball gowns, “high heels,” a dollhouse, Barbies, and more.  It’s not unusual to see children walking around the Playseum in a fancy dress!

Another highlight of the Playseum is the Pet Shop.  Here, kids can observe, pet, and even feed bunnies, a bearded dragon, turtles, birds and more animals.  Ms. Gina is always happy to take pets out for children to play with.  The back of the Playseum is a big room filled with a pirate-themed puppet stage, train table, musical instruments, a foosball table, Legos, gears, a small slide and more.    There is also a room filled with balls and basketball hoops that toddlers all love.

Playseum in Bethesda

When kids are ready to create, they can head over to the extensive art room.  There are always free activities for children to do here, including the very popular wall that kids are allowed to paint on.  There are also some special paid activities, such as creating a handprint plate as a keepsake or painting a dinosaur or wooden purse.  All projects can be taken home the same day.  Kids can also make slime, get their nails done and more.

Playseum in Bethesda

Children love snacks and the Playseum does not disappoint.  There is room set-up with tables and chairs for families who prefer to bring their own snacks or lunch.  For others, there is an area set-up where children can make anything from mini-pizzas to mini pies or decorate cookies and cupcakes for a small fee.The Playseum has also recently expanded their retail offerings from used books to new books and toys.  The Playseum has many unique toys and costumes for sale you won’t see elsewhere.  Many parents like to do their birthday or holiday shopping while their kids are distracted by playing!

Playseum in Bethesda

Most of the appeal of the Playseum is that is allows children to explore at will and stretch their imagination and creativity.   However, there are two scheduled times per day with organized activities.  At 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily there is a storytime, followed by a creative snack (such as making a face out of cheerios and fruit), and a trip to see the animals and feed them any leftovers.  This is a highlight of many trips to the Playseum!

We recommend adding the Playseum to your bucket list this year.

Additional Information

  • Admission is $9.00 for children and adults. Admission is for an entire day and allows you to go in-and-out.  Some children leave for a nap or lunch then come back.
  • Regular hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Saturday hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Although the Playsuem is not open every Sunday, check their website or Facebook page to learn about “Secret Sundays” which occur frequently.
  • The Playseum welcomes playgroups.  If arranged in advance, the Playseum will offer free admission to adults on a special day arranged for your group.
  • To participate in any additional activities or purchase food, you can use Playseum dollars.  These can be used for purchases of toys and books as well.  $20.00 Playseum dollars are available for $15.00 or they can be purchased in smaller increments for $1.00 each.   Many parents like to give their children a set amount and let them decide how to budget their money.  However, many parents also opt not to do any additional activities and they are really not necessary to have a full day’s experience.
  • There is metered street parking available as well as a public parking garage a couple of blocks away.
  • Birthday parties can be held at the Playseum and there is a dedicated birthday party room.
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OK Editorial Team

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