Children's Museum Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Hours and Admission

What are the Children’s Museum’s hours?

The Children’s Museum’s hours of operation are:
▪ Monday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
▪ Tuesday: CLOSED
▪ Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
▪ Thursday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
▪ Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
▪ Saturday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
▪ Sunday: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Sunday mornings, the Children’s Museum is closed to general admission for our Member Mornings from 9:00 – 11:00am. During this time, museum members can enjoy the Children’s Museum privately.

Occasionally, the Children’s Museum is closed for routine exhibit maintenance and deep cleanings. Please sign up for our newsletter or check our calendar for updates.

Is the Children’s Museum closed on holidays?

Yes, the Children’s Museum observes the following holidays and is closed to both general admission and museum members.
▪ New Year’s Day
▪ Easter
▪ Independence Day
▪ Thanksgiving Day
▪ Christmas Eve Day
▪ Christmas Day

How much do you charge for admission?

▪ Museum members: FREE
▪ Infants 11 months and younger: FREE
▪ General admission: $16

For complete information on museum admission, available discounts and annual memberships, check out our Visit page.

Does the Museum have free days?

No, the Children’s Museum does not have free days. We do offer discounts to families receiving government assistance with our Access Program.

What if we can’t afford to pay admission?

The Children’s Museum does not turn away visitors due to lack of funds. Families are welcome to visit the museum by making a donation of any amount in place of admission. To participate, tell the front desk staff that you wish to enter under the Open Door Policy.

We also offer discounts to families receiving government assistance with our Access Program.

Why do adults have to pay for admission if they won’t be playing?

During a visit to the Children’s Museum, adults are invited to explore the exhibits together with their little ones. As a non-profit organization, daily ticket sales and annual memberships keep the Children’s Museum open.

We purchased admission to the Children’s Museum this morning.  Can we re-enter if we go out for lunch and want to come back?

Yes! Inform the front desk on your way out and you will receive a return sticker.

General Information

What kind of activities does the Children’s Museum have?

The Children’s Museum offers a variety of self-directed, interactive experiences that encourage exploration, experimentation, and discovery. We can also provide maps and museum story guides for a more guided experience.

What is the story behind Ella’s Art Studio?

The Loving Ella Foundation generously donated funding to create Ella’s Art studio in memory of Ella Bisbee, a very young artist from Sonoma County.

What age range is the Museum designed for?

The Children’s Museum is designed for children ages 0 – 10.

Are strollers allowed in the Children’s Museum?

Strollers are allowed in Mary’s Garden only. Stroller parking is available at the entrance to the garden.

Where can I store my personal items?

Open cubbies are available in the lobby on a first-come, first-served basis. Please do not leave valuables in the cubbies.

Food and Refreshments

Do you sell food at the Children’s Museum?

We offer healthy snacks for sale in our Gift Corner, but we do not have a concession stand or any type of food court.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages to enjoy at our outdoor picnic tables.

Where can we enjoy a snack or lunch?

There are a number of outdoor picnic tables in Mary’s Garden. Food is not allowed in any of our exhibit areas. Please enjoy all food at our picnic tables only.

Picnic tables are for family dining only and are expected to be shared. Staff may ask families to give up their table after 30 minutes of use if there are others waiting to find seating. Tables cannot be reserved or saved, and birthday parties in the picnic area are not permitted.

Where can I nurse my child?

The Children’s Museum does not currently have specific nursing areas of the Museum, however we do have a comfy couch in the Family Resource Center (located in the Science & Imagination Gallery), as well as benches and picnic tables in shady areas.


How do I get to the Children’s Museum?

The Children’s Museum is located in Santa Rosa just off HWY 101. Take the Guerneville Road (Exit 491) and head west. At the Guerneville Road/W Steele Lane split, keep straight onto W Steele Lane. The Children’s Museum will be on your right, just after the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Can I get to the Children’s Museum with public transportation?

Yes, the Santa Rosa City Bus (Route 11) stops directly in front of the Children’s Museum.

Where should I park?

The Children’s Museum has limited facility parking and on busy days it can fill up quickly. Please only park in our parking lot or on the public streets. Better yet, check out public transportation options.

We ask that visitors not park in the Charles M. Schulz Museum or Snoopy’s Home Ice parking lots.

Admittance and Conduct

Can I drop my kids off to play?

No. Adult supervision is required for all children at all times.

My parents are here with me and are watching my child, may I sit and work on my laptop while they play?

We encourage all of our visitors to interact and engage with each other and their children. Even if your child is being supervised by other grown-ups, we ask visitors to save their work for another time.

Limited space at shared tables also makes laptop use and other similar work an activity best saved for another time and place.

I am an adult and would like to visit the Museum by myself? May I?

For safety reasons, adults not accompanied by a child are not allowed in to the Museum unless they have arranged an appointment or tour.

Please contact us by phone or email ( if you would like a tour.

I want to bring my 1-year-old into TOTopia, why can’t my 5-year-old come as well?

TOTopia is a multi-sensory experience designed for infants and toddlers only. This exhibit offers crawlers, early walkers, and toddlers a safe and stimulating environment to explore.

If you have older children, we recommend bringing another adult to supervise them in the other areas of the Children’s Museum, while you enjoy this space with your wee one.

At times, the Children’s Museum is too loud for my child. What can we do?

The Children’s Museum has a limited number of noise-reducing headphones available to borrow when you ask at the front desk.

If you have a children with sensory processing differences, ask us about our Sensory Friendly Afternoons.

Can we have our shoes off while in the Children’s Museum?

No. For safety reasons, shoes must be worn at all times and in all areas except Totopia.

Why can’t I put my feet in the river?

The water in the Mini Russian River exhibit is not treated with chemicals. Only UV filtration systems are utilized to allow fish and frogs to share the river as it filters into the wetlands area. Putting feet in the river adds germs and pollutants which make the water dirty and unfit for play and creature habitats.

Events and Groups

Do you have a list of your events happening at the Children’s Museum?

Yes. Events are listed on the Calendar and on the Events page.

Is there a limit of how many children a single adult can bring?

Yes, we require 1 adult for every 4 children visiting the Children’s Museum.

Do I need to make a reservation to bring my group to visit the Children’s Museum?

Yes, groups are required to make a reservation ahead of time to receive group rates. Unregistered groups will be expected to pay full price, and may be turned away at the door due to capacity limits.

For complete information on group visits to the Children’s Museum, please visit our Group Visits page.

May we celebrate our child’s birthday at the Children’s Museum?

Absolutely! We offer multiple ways for visitors to host events at the Children’s Museum both during and after hours.

For complete information on parties at the Children’s Museum, please visit our Party page.

Supporting the Children’s Museum

How can I support the Children’s Museum?

Your support is vital now than ever. Please help us continue our mission to inspire curiosity and creativity through joyful, transformative experiences. Donate today.

We are also always welcoming volunteers to help with daily Museum operations as well as special events.

Or, consider adding the Children’s Museum to your estate plan with legacy giving.

Can I volunteer at the Children’s Museum?

We are always welcoming new volunteers to help inspire a lifelong love of learning in our community’s children. For information on volunteering and how to apply to volunteer, please see the Volunteer page.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes, donations are tax-deductible in the United States. The Children’s Museum is a registered 501(c)(3). Our US federal EIN is 20-3496878.


Upcoming Events

Newsletter Signup

Please Note: The Museum will be CLOSED for the Annual Gala, Time to Wonder, on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26.