Best of the Quad Cities: Best Day with the Family Print
News/Features - Feature Stories
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Wednesday, 13 February 2008 03:13

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

1. Happy Joe's

2. Chuck E. Cheese

3. McDonald's

 

Best Place for a Picnic

1. Vander Veer Park

2. Scott County Park

3. Ben Butterworth Parkway

3. Black Hawk State Historic Site

 

Best Entertainment Venue for Kids

1. Family Museum

2. Putnam Museum
& IMAX Theatre

3. Chuck E. Cheese

 

Family MuseumI'm ashamed to admit that before last week, I'd never been to Bettendorf's Family Museum (located at 2900 Learning Campus Drive). With its variety of permanent and touring exhibits, interactive activities, and education-based play areas, it always looked like fun, but my 15-month-old niece lives way out of town, and if you're a childless adult in his late 30s, the Family Museum probably isn't the place to be caught loitering. But then Reader voters named the institution Best Entertainment Venue for Kids and Best Cultural Venue for Kids - the perfect excuse for a visit! P.R. Coordinator Elly Gerdts was kind enough to give me a tour, and during the time I spent there, it was hard to determine who was enjoying themselves most: the little kids, who were giddily making music in Rhythm Alley and scaling the rock-climbing wall and watching colored balls shoot through air tubes in the new From Here to There exhibit; Gerdts, who happily described and demonstrated the museum's many hands-on activities and said, "I could talk about this place forever - I love being here"; or me, who got a particular kick out of the Amazing Acres gallery, with its miniature tornado, cloud rings you create yourself, and faux John Deere combine cab that allows tykes to engage in simulated harvesting. The Family Museum also features a makeshift farm and convenience store, an outdoor playground, and art, dance, and cooking classes for pre- through high-schoolers - as Gerdts says, "You can spend all day here. And people do." Personally, I'd love to return, if only I had a decent excuse ... . Oh, wait! Our managing editor, Jeff, and his wife, Pamela, just had a baby! Two-week-olds like museums, right?

- Mike Schulz

 

Best Cultural Venue for Kids

1. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre

2. Family Museum

3. Figge Art Museum

 

Best Museum

1. Putnam Museum & IMAX Theatre

2. Figge Art Museum

3. Family Museum

 

Best Playground

1. McManus Park (Rocket Park)

2. Empire Park

3. Vander Veer Park

 

Best Water Park

1. Whitewater Junction

2. Riverside Riverslide

3. Splash Landing

 

Best Toy Store

1. Toys"R"Us

2. Wal-Mart

3. The Toy Shoppe (Le Claire)

 

Best Place to Find Unusual Toys

1. Toys"R"Us

2. The Toy Shoppe (Le Claire)

3. Watermark Corners


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