I am very happy to present this cheat sheet for Walnut Creek's Lindsay Wildlife Experience for preschoolers, as part of our continuing in our series: The three-year olds guide to everything fun in the Bay Area! Do you have an opinionated three-year old? If so, I’d love for you to add to the body of knowledge available to other parents. Just get in touch.
Good news: everything at Walnut Creek's animal rescue and museum is great for a three-year old! Even the gift shop… sigh.
My three-year old, Sawyer, and I checked out the Lindsay Wildlife Experience with high expectations of a “petting circle” and little awareness of what else we might find. He was happy to run, climb, glue, and stack his way around the exhibits at lightning speed.
The biggest draw to this small museum is the live animals available for petting and observing right up close. As a big fan of the show Wild Kratts, I thought he might show extra interest in the live creatures, but he was off and running to the next thing.
Because this museum is small, you can feel comfortable that a visit of 90 minutes or two hours with a curious preschooler will be rewarded by many interesting things to see, do, and touch. The only time I felt like I was stuck in a corner or missing the good stuff is when Sawyer wanted to spend extra time reading books and relaxing in the toy area.
Sawyer sincerely enjoyed:
- Manzanita room downstairs with a reading nook, crafts, puzzles, and games. We made a black kitty together and I think he did puzzles for seven hours straight (parent exaggeration!)
- Petting the rat, Misty, for two seconds with two fingers gently (although he was highly confused that this so-called petting circle occurred by children lining up single file to pet a small animal on a cart!)
- Browsing and begging for nearly every item in the gift shop
- Playing with other puppets and toys
- Touching every part of each exhibit
- Reaching in to identify the mysterious items in the box
I tried to pin down what Sawyer's favorite things were and he just repeated his enthusiastic mantra that he loved “all of the things.” And his mean mama didn't even let him explore the super awesome outdoor play area, which you won't want to miss.
More details to plan a visit
- RATES: Your 3-year old costs $8.50 the same as other children age 2-17; $8.50 Adults; $7.50 Seniors 65+; Free for Members. Discounts or free admission to certain other children's museum or science museum members. Check the lists or ask at the desk.
- HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm; Tuesdays are for members only.
- WEB: lindsaywildlife.org
- GETTING THERE: Located at 1931 First Avenue Walnut Creek, CA 94597 and it took about 25 minutes each way from Berkeley with free parking. Or 1/2 mile from Walnut Creek BART.
All opinions are mine and Sawyer’s.
[All photos by Heather Flett for 510families, all rights reserved]