High atop Devou Park in Covington, Kentucky sits a little museum that boasts Kentucky heritage and a unique NaturePlay park outdoors. The Behringer-Crawford museum is home to the famous two-headed calf, an impressive train display, and interactive multi-cultural exhibits. Here are a few tips you need to know before bringing your family to this hidden gem.
The Museum is located inside Devou Park. Pack a picnic and plan to spend an afternoon at the museum and then enjoying the park. There are plenty of playgrounds including the one next to the museum. It is conveniently located minutes off I-71/I-75 and with a little help from GPS you will navigate your way through the park to what appears to be a huge mansion. There is a parking lot with a decent amount of spaces. There is no charge to park and the entrance to museum is located a few hundred feet from the lot. The museum is handicap accessible and has an elevator so all patrons can enjoy the museum.
There are Four Floors
A unique feature to this museum is that there are four floors that guests can explore. You are greeted by the enormous Kentucky Trolley when you walk in and can view the train display. Admission is relatively affordable at $9 adults and $5 for children over 3. Memberships are also available. You can opt to take the stairs or the elevator to access the other floors. Each one is themed: Riding the Rails, Rollin’ on the River, and Up, Up and Away.
Take heed: the stairwell doors are left open which may not be ideal with a toddler still unaware of the danger of stairs. My little one tried to make a break for them – so keep a watchful eye on yours! It is an additional stress when visiting with multiple children. The museum has many corners and turns which can make keeping track of more than one child challenging.
There are interactive exhibits mixed in with heritage heirlooms and artifacts. Some parts of the museum are not little kid-friendly. Special exhibits, and certain areas are best left to be explored by older children and adults. There are scavenger hunts and maps designed especially for older children to help them discover and learn during their visit. There are, however, fun areas for toddlers to play like a train table, kitchen area, and the Rollin’ on the River riverboat. “Fishing” off the riverboat was a highlight on our trip. A full out tantrum did ensue because she was not allowed to touch the big taxidermy bear, but hey that’s life. If you are going with younger kids try to glance at a few of the interesting artifacts on display, like the bell from the iconic Island Queen Riverboat.
The entrance to this park is located right off the parking lot to the museum. The park is free and open to the public. Little ones can create their own outdoor adventures by venturing into log cabins, a flat-boat or stroll through the beautiful butterfly gardens. The park is also handicap accessible and is open from dawn to dusk. Another great thing about this park is that it is fenced in! The little cabins even have chairs and tables made of stumps. The perfect spot to take a snack break!
The museum offers special events geared at families. On the third Tuesday of the month they host Tot Tuesday, which includes story time, sing-along, crafts and snacks. The cost is that of general admission plus $1 for the craft.
The holiday toy train exhibit is a Kentucky family tradition. Come delight in over 250 ft of model train track, Thomas the Tank and more. Check the website for more details.
My Two Cents
I personally enjoyed the museum, however I felt that it wasn’t the best fit for my daughter at 15 months. Having the doors to the stairwell open with a toddler running wild proved to be stressful. Many exhibits are aimed for slightly older children. I found myself constantly chasing her and guiding her away from edges, precious heirlooms and other things she shouldn’t get into.
The museum does their best by placing activity stations and interactive exhibits on each floor for tots to explore, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my little ones curiosity. Children who are two and up should find this museum fascinating. Now, I will be back to visit the NaturePlay Park again. This fun park is perfect for all ages and really sparks their imaginations. There are benches, a slide and a cruise line swing in addition to the cabins.
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