Planning a visit to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

Planning a visit to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

We've driven by this place dozens of times, usually on our way home from someplace, always saying "we should go visit". Last week my brother-in-law took his kids and posted some really nostalgic pictures. With the weather turning a bit cooler this weekend, it seemed like a good moment to visit finally.

Admission for the under 10-year-old set seems to be free, then there is youth and adult admissions all under $20.  

Looking forward to our first visit.  

I really enjoyed my visit to the museum, but then I am somewhat of a nerd. My kids started with a good visit, asking lots of questions, but after an hour they got bored and tired. I did try and engage them with stories and questions, which worked to a limited extent, but in the end, we had to leave before visiting everything.

My thoughts for when we visit again

I should visit by myself first. Usually, I like to go experience things like this initially with the kids. However, I probably got hung up on quite a few things from the early days of computing that were probably boring for my kids. 

Have an escape plan for the first signs of boredom. There were a few more hands-on exhibits both in the primary exhibition and in side galleries. We probably should have stepped away to play Pong or to see the IBM 1401 Demo Lab rather than just persevere through the exhibit. There is also a small cafe in the front that looks like a nice place for a snack. There are also some nice outdoor tables and chairs to enjoy on warmer days. 

Prep the kids with more stories and computer history. Next time I should find some stories and maybe a couple of old movies to show the kids what these computer workstations used to look like. We had enjoyed Hidden Figures not too long ago, it might have been a good idea to give that one a fresh look. Glass Bottom Boat with Doris Day had some trippy computer scenes too. I'm sure there are other great movies to find using these older computers. Maybe even try some of the old computer games and other software on

All that being said, I really enjoyed the museum. It was surprisingly crowded the Sunday we visited. We saw some very nostalgic history (for me at least), and I would totally go visit again. But do some prep first to make sure everyone stays engaged. 


Check out this swanky kitchen computer!