Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Review of The Morris Museum

If you think museums are just for lovers of fine art, think again! Morris Museum in Morristown offers some wonderful, hands-on exhibits for children, as well as interesting works of art, artifacts, rocks and minerals, live shows and more! Read on to see what this fabulous little museum has to offer! And just so you know, this was not a sponsored post- I am just sharing my honest opinion with you.
So Where is the Morris Museum?

The Morris Museum is located in Morristown, New Jersey, not far off of Rt. 287.  Click here for hours, admission prices and directions.


What Can I See There?

I visited the Morris Museum about a decade ago with my students on a field trip, and at the time I thought they were missing something. Since then, they have improved the museum so much,  I was impressed. There are plenty of hands-on activities and exhibits for the little ones. They have permanent exhibits and temporary exhibits.  My son loved many of their permanent exhibits, especially the train room:


The Mega Model Train Exhibit is always a huge hit with The Jersey Momma's Boy. It's not always on display so check their website to make sure it's up and running!


There's also a Rocks and Minerals room:



And a Dinosaur Exhibit!


                              Dino-Mural !        

                                                      "I'm just sittin' in a dinosaur's nest..."

I also loved their Mammals Room.  But there is a lot more to see in the museum (check out their website for a list of their permanent exhibits).


The exhibits are a mixture of hands-on (levers to pull, buttons to push, etc.) and visual, so don't worry about your kiddos getting bored.  There is an entire room of music boxes and mechanical music machines.  Kids can push buttons to hear them play and listen to special headphones (although, oddly, The Jersey Momma's Boy does not like the automatons- they frighten him a bit).  This is usually a favorite exhibit for the little ones! The Jersey Momma's boy was more impressed by the animals, dinosaurs and Legos. So other permanent exhibits besides Mammals, Rocks, and Minerals are:


  • Mechanical Music and Automata (they put on a daily presentation to explain some of the automatons and music boxes, and it's actually REALLY interesting). This room is easy to miss- there is a glass sliding door that opens for you to enter.
  • American Indian artifacts
  • The Dodge Room (paintings/sculptures)


Festivals

Morris Museum holds regular family festivals that are included with the price of admission. Check out their festivals page for a list of what's coming! Family festivals in the past have included Dr. Seuss Day, Astro Day, NJ Makers Day, Dino Day and more! Kids can create make and take projects, participate in songs, games or read-alouds, and many other fun activities.

Theater

The Morris Museum also houses The Bickford Theater, which sometimes runs plays and shows for children.  Check out their theater page for a calendar of events.  We've enjoyed some wonderful children's shows here, including a presentation about seeing eye dogs from The Seeing Eye in Morristown. 

Camps

The museum also offers camps and classes for children of all ages.  Family days and events are also planned throughout the year, so check their Programs and Events page for more info.  You can also schedule birthday parties at the museum.

The Art of the Brick

The Art of the Brick Exhibit, featuring work by Lego artist Nathan Sawaya, was amazing. It occasionally visits the Morris Museum, and is definitely worth catching if it comes back again! Always check their website for upcoming exhibits, and sign up for their mailing list so you don't miss what's to come! There were plenty of Lego sculptures to see, and the museum also set up Legos and Duplo blocks for the kids to play with downstairs when this exhibit ran.


It's amazing to wrap your brain around the idea:  these are made entirely of Legos!  


Jersey Momma Tips

*This is a small museum, with exhibits that change as well as permanent exhibits. Check their website in advance to see what exhibits you'd like and what you can experience.

*There is no cafe or place to eat, although there are picnic tables outside (I think they might have recently added small tables in the lobby).  If weather permits you can bring your own picnic lunch. There are not too many local places to eat, except maybe the Friendly's down the road in Convent Station.

*There is a small gift shop near the entrance if you're a souvenir shopper. The Jersey Momma's Boy is not a fan of gift shops but he LOVES this one. SO many fun little gadgets and stuffed animals, rocks and minerals (and even jewelry for the mommas!).

*Check their hours- most days they do not open until 11am, and they are usually closed one day a week.

*Bank of America cardholders can visit the museum FREE on the first Sunday of every month.

*Visit the Morris Museum at www.morrismuseum.org

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