Fun Finds For Mom

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

Phoenix got a new museum this summer — and what a museum! My parents took the kids to the new Musical Instrument Museum shortly after it opened, and they were pleasantly surprised at how much the kids loved it. They jokingly asked them if they liked it more than Disneyland – and they said they did!

I took the kids there a second time right before school started, and not only was it a great museum for the kids, but I really enjoyed it myself. When you get your tickets, you’ll be given a set of wireless headphones for each person. They have a pretty amazing system where the headphones are activated at each display, so that you can hear the music that corresponds with the instruments and video you’re watching.

I recommend starting off in the Experience Gallery where the kids can touch and play instruments from around the world. They loved striking the big gong, and playing a variety of xylophones, drums, guitars and other percussion instruments.

From there, we headed upstairs to the instrument Collection, which is organized in large galleries by country and continent. Holy instrumentoly – the collection and displays are incredible. I never truly appreciated how music is such a common thread among all people. No matter how big or small, poor or rich, populated or remote their country is — people from every corner of the world have found a way to make and enjoy music. At each station, there is a display of the country’s instruments, sometimes alongside a traditional garment from that area — and a video playing on a flat screen showing that instrument being played. As you move away from one station and toward another, the music on your headphones fades away and the next starts playing. The sheer volume of instruments is pretty crazy. I could have spent more time exploring, but after an hour or so, my kids were ready to take me back downstairs and show me the video in the Orientation Gallery — I guess we should have started with that!

If you live in the area, and haven’t yet visited the MIM, it’s a great way to escape the heat and do something fun and educational with the kids.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids 6-17, Free for kids under 6, and $13 for seniors.

Do you have a favorite kid-friendly museum — in Phoenix or elsewhere?

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Full disclosure: I received complimentary media passes from the MIM for our museum visit.

Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010 in Activity, Kids