When I was a feature reporter for a local news station, I used to spend hours perusing websites and newspapers and magazines for people, places and events to feature. On one of my regular “story idea hunts” I came across news of AHA! A Hands On Adventure Children’s Museum grand re-opening.
The museum, geared toward kids under 8 years old, had just relocated from one location in Lancaster, OH to another.
I’d never been to the first museum, but their new one – located near River Valley Mall – is fantastic.
After doing the story for the news and talking to the fabulous, passionate, amazing Executive Director Wendy Gregory, I brought my son back for a playdate. He isn’t walking yet, but they have a “plop zone”, plenty of crawling space, water table and other spaces that work even for non-walkers. When Alexander IS finally walking, this place will be an even better option for a play date.
I don’t even like calling AHA a museum because it makes me think of a stuffy, non-kid friendly, space where you can’t touch anything and AHA is the complete opposite of that. It’s totally hands-on and perfect for little kids (even non-walkers!) Exhibits include an art zone, ball mountain, bank, bingo lake, science zone, water table and plop zone for children 24 Months and under.
According to their website, AHA! is a 8,000 square foot adventure space featuring more than 35 hands-on exhibits and activities for children ages 0-8. The nonprofit museum provides a place for children to learn as they engage in their most important “work” of play.
And for warmer days, their outdoor portion is a fantastic place to run around. It has a “kitchen”, slide, boat, scooters and plenty of space to roam.
In addition to AHA being a place you can come Monday through Saturday (and Sundays in the Winter months), they also host special events like Fun Art Friday, Science Saturday and Messy Monday.
If you do plan to make a trip, it’s a good idea to check their Facebook page. There they “warn” visitors about field trips, in case you don’t want to share the space with 50 screaming kindergarteners.
General admission is $8 per person. EBT card holders are $3. Infants 12 months old and under are free. They also offer memberships.
(At one point, members of COSI received 50 percent off admission their first visit. Not sure if this is still happening, but you should definitely ask if you’re a member of COSI. Plus, they’re part of the ACM Reciprocal Network that reciprocates discounted admission to each other’s members.)