A year or two ago, some of my cousins mentioned a fun, inexpensive museum they’d taken their kids to in Tempe. I’d never heard of it and kept meaning to swing by, but you know how it goes. Life happened and we never got around to it. So when folks from the Toddler Test Kitchen invited us to try one of their cooking classes, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only would we finally get to check out the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, where the Toddler Test Kitchen lives, but we now had the perfect activity for the last day of our spring break!
BONUS: they’re offering my readers a 10% discount! If you’re local or planning to visit the Phoenix area soon, be sure to grab the promo code at the end of this post!
Even though we arrived late—three kids, frazzled mom, end of spring break: you do the math—the museum staff was SO welcoming and kind. They checked us in and walked us back to the kitchen where the rest of the group was just getting ready to start. Our instructor Yaffi gave us a brief introduction, then all the kids put on their aprons and she walked us through a “hand washing parade.” Everyone had a station set up with pre-measured ingredients, bowls + spoons + mashers, and a stool for each little one to stand on.
I’m not gonna lie, the whole setup was pretty adorable.
Yaffi talked us through her recipe for avocado banana muffins step by step, teaching us about nutrients and ingredient substitutions and more as she went. My girls needed very little help to mix their batter. They happily mashed avocados + bananas and squeezed lemon wedges before stirring in oats + chia seeds + dates + cinnamon + whatever else the needed.
That was easily my favorite part of this adventure: I didn’t have to set up or clean up anything. Score! And because she’s a mom and knows how kids roll, Yaffi made sure the recipe was egg-free. Which is why I didn’t mind when Mila started going to town on her wooden spoon.
She is her mother’s child.
While our muffins baked, Yaffi read this adorable book about fruits + vegetables to all the little chefs. (I need to get a copy just so I can remember to eat lots of colors!) Then everyone sat down with coloring pages and crayons to wait a few more minutes.
Before too long…voila! Avocado banana muffins, made almost entirely by my littles. They were so proud of themselves.
And while the muffins weren’t very pretty, they were certainly delicious.
We didn’t even make it out to the car before the girls were asking when we can go back. I know Yaffi was talking about sweet potato gnocchi for an upcoming class and it sounds amazing, so…yeah. Sign me up.
Next time I definitely want to spend some time checking out the rest of the Halle Heart Children’s Museum. There’s a model of a monkey heart that my girls were reeeeeally interested in peeking at. Plus I think I saw some kids crawling through a gigantic artery sculpture? And that’s just the tip of the heart-health-related activities + exhibits iceberg. Since it’s affiliated with the American Heart Association, you know it’s all kinds of educational.
The Toddler Test Kitchen felt like such a hidden gem. I’m so glad we were able to go!
If you’d like to go cook stuff with your little ones, be sure to use promo code TTK-RealLife to get 10% off tickets to the Toddler Test Kitchen. The discount applies to individual tickets as well as the four class series option ($59 for non-members without the discount and a $72 value). The museum is located at 2929 S 48th St in Tempe. You can see available dates + upcoming recipes on the HHCM Facebook page, which will also link you to the page to purchase tickets.
This post is the first in a new series about our adventures in our home state. Arizona is a big place filled with so many things to do + see + explore, and I’m excited to share some of them with you! Are you local? Have you ever been to Arizona? Other than the Grand Canyon (obviously) what are some of your favorite places to visit here?