Situated at the Centro Centro Costarricense de la Ciencia y la Cultura complex in the capital of San Jose, Costa Rica, the Museo de los Niños is a children’s museum. The interesting thing is that the museum was first housed in what was once San Jose´s old military prison called Central Penitentiary. The place Housed stories of horror, crime and violence for 80 years. Closed in 1979 this museum was abandoned for more than 12 years. On April 27, 1994, as an notion of the first Lady of the Republic of Costa Rica, Mrs. Gloria Bejarano de Calderón, the Museo de los Niños (the Children’s Museum) was opened. Mrs. Gloria had the vision of developing a center of knowledge, science, entertainment and culture. Now this museum is an amazing place for the kids to play, learn, laugh, discover and explore. Not only for the kids but also it is an interactive fun experience for all the family. In its 40 exhibits exploring outer space this museum consists interactive displays educating children in various topics from Astronomy and the natural planet and ecology to science,and everyday life in Cost Rica. For the kids this museum has a fun house with an earthquake simulator. In this museum the kids will find a part that reflects the life of the previous residents housed therein.
Roberto Brenes, journalist from the Children’s Museum said that the opening of the Children’s Museum is an example how happiness won the Fight Against darkness. In Central America this museum has made history as the first interactive museum. The cells which were used as jail, were transformed in educational rooms for the kids.
This museum is one of the projects of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture (Centro Costa Rican Science and Culture). This institution houses three other important projects for Costa Rican culture- the National Gallery, the National Auditorium Theatre and a zone for young people.
Mission and Vision:
Museo de los Niños has a mission to represent the Costa Rican society to the world of knowledge and represent its culture, art, customs through the interactive participation and by optimal service that give employees the general public. And the vision of this museum is to become one of the largest educational institution cultural and artistic projection of the country through its participation and engagement and collaborating.
Each year the Children’s Museum is visited by around 296,000 people. In the 40 interactive rooms, all the visitors including kids and adults can learn and enjoy fun time. Each of the rooms develops based on different topic. By visiting these area, the visitors will be able to gain some knowledge about the universe, Costa Rica, nature, animals, human body, electricity, radio, archaeology, television, recycling, Egyptian culture and also about the ways of transformation and many other topics.
In the anniversary of the Museum, Children’s Day, Christmas and in other holidays, the visitors including kids and adults with family can enjoy special activities. During the mid-year vacation more than 50,000 visit this museum. According to Brenes who is working at the museum for 9 years, this museum also arranges summer camps and other surprises during the vacation season. The entertainment activities arranged by the museum are combined with moral and ethical lesson such as to make the kids familiar with friendship, happiness, effort, patience, perseverance and wholeness. This museum tries to make the kids learn by playing and exploring. The main objective of the museum is to help the childrens to be dynamic, critical and creative.
Museo de los Niños
San Jose, 4th Street, north of 9th Avenue
Tuesday to Friday 8am to 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30am to 5pm. Closed Mondays
1100 colones or appx. 2.20 for adults and 800 colones or appx. $1.50 for children
Phone: (506) 2258.4929