Jul 102012

Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Last week we had the chance to take our little Monkey to the Museo del Nino (Children’s Museum) in San Jose, Costa Rica.  He and his cousins had a great time racing around in the play area and exploring all of the exhibits.  My main complaint is that we didn’t have enough time to see it all!

The building itself was once a prison!  (I prefer to think it looks like a castle).  According to the museum’s website, the building was converted into a national cultural center in 1993, and the Children’s Museum opened in 1994.  The building also houses an art gallery and theater.

View from the Museum

The museum sits on top of one of San Jose’s many hills, giving us this amazing view of the city.

Recycling, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Exhibit on recycling: “Educating for today and tomorrow.”  Of course, environmentalism is all the rage the world over, but it has special meaning in Costa Rica, which prides itself on being “green.”

Recycling, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Teaching the kids how to recycle different kinds of glass.

Recycling, Children's Museum, Costa RIca

Practice sorting glass, aluminum, and paper in a toy kitchen.

Jupiter, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Can you guess how many Earths would fit inside Jupiter?

Planets, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

The planets

Franklin Chang Diaz, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

A representation of Costa Rica’s most famous astronaut.  Franklin Chang Diaz has done quite a bit to promote science and technology in Costa Rica, including construction of a plasma motor for NASA.  The prototype arrived in Costa Rica just about the same time we did.

  Earthquake, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Earthquake simulator (very appropriate in Costa Rica, where earthquakes are very common!)

The Planet, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Model of the earth

Indigenous Pottery, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

As a student of history and anthropology, I of course loved the cultural section!  Here is some indigenous pottery.  Costa Rica is still home to a number of indigenous peoples.  Historically, they were strongly influenced by the great pre-Colombian centers in Mexico and Guatemala.

Indigenous Drum, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Indigenous drum

Caribbena Heritage, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s African heritage: While there were African slaves in colonial Costa Rica, most black Costa Ricans today are descendents of West Indians brought to the country’s Caribbean coast in the late nineteenth century to build the railroad.  The province of Limon is still heavily influenced by this Caribbean heritage.

Campesino Exhibit, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

An exhibit of traditional rural life.  My little Monkey loved getting to ride on this saddle!

The Province of Costa Rica, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Unfortunately, the text is hard to read in this picture, but this is an interesting write-up about colonial Costa Rica.  Costa Rica was actually part of a much larger Central American colony, ruled out of Guatemala.  For this reason, most Central American countries gained independence from Spain at the same time and so celebrate their Independence Days at around the same time.  At the beginning, there was talk of forming a single country, but that was never realized.

Spiders, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

Alright, alright, enough of the history stuff!  Let’s see some bugs!  These huge spiders were crawling up one of the walls in the museum.  (Don’t worry, Mom, they are just pretend!)

The Jungle, Children's Museum, Costa Rica

A view of the “jungle.”

The above is only a very small part of what we saw that day!  We will definitely visit again on our next trip to Costa Rica.

This post has been shared at Wordless Wednesday Again, Hardly A Housewife, and Magic Onions’ Friday Nature Table.

  7 Responses to “Wordless Wednesday: Children's Museum (Museo del Nino), Costa Rica”

  1. What a wonderful place! I especially loved the one where you compare the earth to Jupiter! Thanks for linking up to WWA!

  2. Yes, we had a great time! Thanks for the visiting and for hosting “Wordless Wednesday Again”!

  3. That looks like such a cool place! I would love to visit Costa Rica someday! Our Natural History Museum in Milwaukee has a huge rainforest exhibit, which is 2 stories of Costa Rican Rainforest. That’s always been my favorite part of the museum!

    Thank you so much for linking up with me, I’d love to see you back next week!

    Christy, http://hardlyahousewifeblog.com

  4. Thank you for the information. I will go to C.R soon and I was thinking to take my children to this museum. I wasn’t so sure about it but you just convince me.

    • Wonderful! We had a great time, so hopefully you all will, too. The cost of admission is pretty low (can’t remember exactly how much), and if you don’t want to take found there is a pretty reasonable little restaurant just inside. Please stop by afterwards and let me know how it was! There is also a Parque de Diversiones (amusement park) that is a lot of fun, or Parque de la Paz, which I believe has a duck pond for the kids. Have a great trip!

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