The Children's Hands-On Museum (CHOM) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is located at 2213 University Boulevard. The non-profit, private organization began as an idea during 1984 with a group of children from the TARGET program in the Tuscaloosa County Schools. The museum opened on the campus of the University of Alabama during 1986, it moved during November of 1988 to Tuscaloosa and was reopened during January of 1989.
The permanent exhibits at the museum were designed to trigger the curiosity of children about the community and get everyone involved in participatory education. Children's Hands-On Museum is open Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 4pm. The facility is closed for all major holidays and Sundays.
Members of the museum are admitted at no costs while everyone else pays a small fee for admittance. The charge is $5 for those ages one to five and $8 for those ages three and over. Seniors ages sixty and above pay a reduced rate of $6 for admittance to the Children's Hands-On Museum. Once the price of admission has been paid visitors may leave the facility and return provided they have a Readmission Card from the Reception Desk. The card is good for the same day and has to be shown when returning to the facility.
CHOM is self guided and allows visitors to actually touch the exhibits and displays. The length of the visit is entirely up to the visitors. There are different guidelines for school tours however. The facility is the only one in Alabama to offer an exhibit specifically for babies. Newborns and toddlers up to three years of age can enjoy the Once Upon a Farm exhibit that was designed specifically for them. The exhibit even comes with a Nursing Nook.
The Children's Hands-On Museum does not allow pets or outside drinks and food to be brought into the facility. Downtown Tuscaloosa has a number of fine dining, family and fast food restaurants close to the museum in addition to picnic facilities at Capital Park and River Road Park. The facility offers School Programs and other options for groups tours; additional information can be obtained by contacting the facility directly.
Parking at CHOM is free of charge in the parking deck found a block away from the facility on 7th Street and 23rd Avenue. Visitors can park in any legal space they find downtown as well. During the week there is a two hour limit on parking with parking tickets in the amount of $15 from the city if the time limit is gone over. Visitors can not park in loading zones found in front of the museum.
The Children's Hands-On Museum is the ideal spot to take children since the museum was designed specifically for them. Whether you're in the mood to take the kids for the day to let them wander around or you would like to send them on a structured trip with the school it's an amazing learning experience. Those interested in additional information should contact the facility directly.
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