It was another great day down South! I typically blather on about all the luscious eats and enviable shoppes in historic Savannah and, outside of Forsyth Park and the free water taxi that runs from River Street to the Westin, I’ve neglected to talk much about what to do with your littles downtown. I get loads of emails asking about this and today we spent a whole day in the historic district having fun with the kids.
Savannah Children’s Museum
We were thrilled to spend our morning at the brand spanking new Savannah Children’s Museum. Phase one of the project, the Exploration Station, has just been open less than two weeks and is positively outstanding! Located in one of the original structures at the Georgia Railroad Museum, it’s a stunning and whimsical place where you and your littles can lose yourself for hours.
On the upper level of the Exploration Station, we sifted through a sand and water table for shells and constructed dams and played with the water valves to see what would happen!
We built a “Pokemon Machine” with life sized tinker toys…
…and had a grand time building a ball course with foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates at the Imagination Playground.
And before sliding down the giant green swirly slide to the lower level, we belted out some big music.
The lower level is literally overflowing with things to engage minds and imaginations. Our first stop was the Exploration Maze – you never know what’s around the next corner and we found everything from Lego stations to chalkboard walls!
The dress-up closet had loads of fun costumes and Cookie adored parading around like a knight. We spent a great deal of time playing the life-sized games – tic tac toe, connect four, dominos, chess and checkers. This is an aerial view of that portion of the museum.
Mother and I ogled the four tiered planters, lush grass and container vegetable gardens with everything from herbs to squash! The Storybook Nook was incredibly darling. Of course, my fast-paced crew didn’t sit long enough to enjoy it. I think this was the point in our visit when Mother suggested we visit without them next time :-)
We all loved cooling off in the misting stations…multiple times in our visit.
And we spun like silly on this strange but fun contraption.
There were tons of areas for constructing and deconstructing (of course) with blocks of all sorts.
The baby spent a good long while “painting” at the chalkboard tables. One of these would be a fabulous addition to our back yard play things. (Catch that, Honey??)
All in all, it’s like no place I’ve ever been. And the whole time you are just marveling over all the things these walls have seen over the last 160ish years.
If you go:
- The museum is only open from 10AM – 2PM so add it to your morning agenda.
- Every part of the museum is outside. Dress appropriately and consider being there when they open. Savannah is HOT and HUMID!
- Outside food and drink are not permitted. There are water fountains and water is available for purchase.
- Tickets are $7.50 and are purchased in the Railroad Museum gift shop.
- Parking is free!
Georgia State Railroad Museum
The Children’s Museum is connected to the Georgia State Railroad Museum – the world’s largest and most complete Antebellum railroad repair facility still in existence. If you have a train lover in your midst, it’s worth a visit!
The huge and historic trains were just awe inspiring. And the littles loved seeing a “real live” fully operational turntable like we’ve learned so much about from our “cheeky” friend Thomas.
The grounds were also quite impressive and Mother and I loved reading all of the plaques explaining what the train yard was like back in it’s heyday.
The architectural features of the smokestack were quite lovely and certainly unexpected for a train yard.
The museum offers various daily programming – from guided tours of the office cars and rolling stock to turntable and blacksmithing demonstrations, it’s a ride into our country’s past!
If you go:
- The museum is open from 10AM – 4PM.
- It’s hot and humid and entirely outside so dress appropriately.
- There are tons of fine gravel paths and I hated that I had on flip flops. Wear closed toe shoes!
- Check the Train Ride Schedule for dates and times.
- Parking is free!
The Express Cafe
Afterwards, we headed over to City Market and enjoyed a delish lunch at The Express Cafe. This has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember and it’s barely changed a lick in twenty-five years. I always looked forward to Sunday lunch here after mass at the Cathedral. Just like always, I dined on the Hermitage sandwich (cream cheese, avocado, sprouts, tomato, cucumber on sourdough) and a Heath Bar cookie. Note: there is no kids menu but mine split a ham sandwich.
Ellis Square Sprayground
We wrapped up our day downtown at the Ellis Square sprayground. It’s free and open seasonally. While the littles let out their last bit of steam (I wish), Mother and I sat in the shade and sipped on Italian Peach Sodas from lunch.
So that, my friends, is how to entertain youngish kids in downtown Savannah. Not nearly as glamorous as shopping at the Paris Market and lunching at The Gryphon Tea Room, but fun nonetheless!