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The Thinkery

In & Outdoor $$
Children's Museums
1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX
URL: The Thinkery  Phone: 512-469-6200
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Activity Overview

The Thinkery is a brand new take on the old Austin Children’s Museum. An open interactive place where science and families play side by side. Kids can connect ideas by doing, making and experiencing all sorts of cool things while having lots of fun in the process.

Things to See & Do

The Museum has 2 floors and each floor has many areas to explore. Each room has a fascinating theme with lots of hands-on opportunities for kids of every age.

There is a good-sized gated toddler/crawler area geared towards little ones, so, they are not left out. There is also a cozy reading area upstairs.

Light Lab is an interactive exhibit that lets children investigate the impact of color, light and shadows. Visitors can draw on walls with light from lasers, play with light to change their shadows from big to small, and build light structures using Lego-like mini blocks with LEDs.

Spark Shop engages older children and adults in learning experiences that are too big or too messy for the average family garage. Visitors will use tools and inspiring materials to design flying objects to launch in the projectile range.

Our Backyard invites guests outside to scale the heights of a universally-accessible, custom-designed climber, splash in a stream lined with native stone, gather on a log for natural science programs, or rest under the branches of a native elm tree.

Currents features watery science you can see, feel and hear. Visitors will get wet exploring the concepts of fluid dynamics and discover the connections between water and sound. Smocks and crocs are available as this activity is a wet one and should be enjoyed as such..

A favorite activity featires a plexiglass wall in which children (with plastic aprons on) can paint, use a spray bottle with water and a squeegee to make a big mess and be as creative as they want.

Kitchen Lab blends all the familiar elements of a kitchen space with a science lab. Equipped with real appliances, lab equipment and interesting materials,

In addition, without ever going into the museum, there is a wonderful outdoor playground across the street at Museller Park that you can enjoy any time, any day.

There are also ongoing workshops, camps & programs to take advantage of throughout the year.

The Thinkery Insider Tips

  • When to Visit: Weekends and school holidays are definitely the busiest times at the Thinkery. On most days in the week, visitors can expect group tours throughout the museum on Tuesday to Friday until 1:30 p.m. However, the first Tuesday of each month is “No Tour Tuesday” when group tours are not offered. Weekday afternoons are generally calmer, and their Community Nights are also a nice time to visit!
  • What to Wear: Dress in play clothes that you don’t mind adding a little wear and tear to. Smocks are available and most mess-related items are washable. With 2 water play options, bring an extra set of clothes and do all the dry activities first.
  • Recommended Itinerary: Play downstairs first, then go upstairs to do the farm and kitchen lab. Avoid the water play station directly at the top of the stairs until after the other upstairs activities. then go outside to the backyard. Kiddos can get wet at the water play area inside, and finish off get completely submersed in water outside.
  • How long to stay: Depending on your child’s age, and which programs you attend, the length of your visit can vary with each visit. In general plan to stay for 2-4 hours.
  • Re-Entry: You are welcome to leave and return to the Thinkery in the same day. Upon re-entry, you must go through the admissions line and verify payment by showing your receipt or Member card at a register. On busy days (i.e. weekends and holidays) be prepared to wait in line to re-enter the museum.
  • Dining Options: The Snap Pod (a shipping container turned food trailer) is in front of the Thinkery and offers a curated selection of items from Snap Kitchen’s seasonal menu. Inside the museum a snack area is available with tables and chairs, as well as a healthy food vending machine. You are welcome to bring food, however all food and drinks must be consumed in this area.
  • Accessibility: The Thinkery is wheelchair accessible at the main entrance and group tour entrance. Elevator access is available on both floors.
  • Parking: The new location features a lot of parking.

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