Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Our Fun Day!
Last Wednesday the electricity in our neighborhood was completely shut off for an emergency replacement they had to do nearby. It was going to be off between 1 and midnight - that's a long time for no air conditioning and high 80's outside! Usually the kiddos go down for naps about 1 and wake anywhere from 2:30 on, but I decided it was already too warm in their rooms, no way they were going to sleep and we needed to get out of the house till it cooled down. I got to thinking about the different things we could do and the Indianapolis Children's Museum popped in my mind. We recently bought a year's membership there so I knew we could go for free and stay as long as we like up until closing time at 5pm. My husband doesn't work too far from there so he could even swing by after to work to join us.
I decided that was it and we were off. I grabbed a backpack filled with delicious snacks and cold drinks and out the door we went! I didn't tell either of them so it would be a surprise when we got there. My son calls it the "Dinosaur Museum" because of the cool dinosaurs that are breaking through the front of the museum and also the ones trying to climb in.
When we arrived I could tell it was a great day and time to come! There was almost no one in the parking garage which is so wonderful because you know that you can take your time and really play with everything they have to offer there. The Children's Museum is so large you can't possibly do EVERYTHING in one day which is what is great about the membership-visit anytime and spend as little or as much time as you like. Love it!
When we parked the kids were both psyched, they love it here and couldn't wait to get in. We crossed the sky bridge from the garage over to the museum and checked in. Immediately they wanted to head up a few floors to the area called "Playscape". This is an area just for little ones(mostly 5 and under) to play and get some of that energy out. They can play with water, sand, garden, ride a raft, climb and slide, play with trains, and so much more. The really little ones even have areas of their own to discover and they have a great Mother's room for quiet time. They both went straight for the sand area which was completely empty so they had it all to themselves.
A few minutes into their playing a museum employee came around ringing a bell pulling a wagon and singing "Preschool Storytime, follow me if you want to read a book about carousels and do crafts". She was going up to the top floor (4th) by the carousel to read a book and do crafts with the kids. I gave Austin and Kairi the option of staying to play or going up and they both said they wanted to go up for the storytime where they listened quietly and "made" horse and giraffe carousel animals. (Unfortunately at the end of storytime we couldn't ride the carousel, it was closed for maintenance)
After that we stayed on the 4th floor and went to the "ScienceWorks" area where you can learn how things work. They like to play in the water area where you can build dams to make the water change the direction it flows. They also visited the kitchen area where you can learn about the different types of food you can eat and which ones are healthy and which are not. Then it was off to the construction area where you can drive a truck and shovel "dirt". Last at the Scienceworks we went to the ball area. I can't remember the name for this area, but it was always my favorite when I was little. Trips to the museum always bring back wonderful childhood memories for me. They played there for a good half hour, it was great! The video I have is really short and sideways(you can get the idea), when you lift a ball onto the rails it will drop and go around creating a chain of effects and you will hear bells ring, balls dropping and other things along the way. It really teaches them how one movement can affect others. So much fun!
By this time it was nearing 4 o'clock and my husband was going to be coming over to join us after work. We went ahead and made our way down the ramps to the main floor, stopping a couple times along the way at anything that caught our eye. We walked over to view the dinosaur exhibit "Dinosphere" which is near the entrance, but we didn't go in very far this time around. We go there every time we come so the kids were ready to see the other things the museum had to offer today. As we walked up front we walked past the HUGE water clock and I explained how it works. It was one of my favorite features of the museum even when I was a kid and it is just really awesome how it works. The water really does flow through every tube and it actually keeps track of the time. It is located on the main floor, right past where you walk in and past the food court area.
When my husband arrived we decided to stay for the last bit of time that they were open, this left us with about a half hour so he took our son and went to play, while I took Kairi and we went to the Barbie Fashion Experience. That is where my Barbie Review post came in, she LOVED it here! I won't go into all the details again, but she played here for the rest of the time until the Museum announced it was closing and it was time to line up for the end of the day parade.
At the end of the day, the Museum announces it is almost ready to close and everyone can get in line at the very top of the museum, the 4th floor, and we all parade down the ramp to the main floor while being led by Rex the Dinosaur. All of the children get flags to march down with and it is a great way for the museum to be sure everyone leaves in a timely manner with minimal upsets, though today my son did not want to go, he was pretty upset.
All in all we had a GREAT day and I can't wait to go back with them. It is amazing how fast they learn and how much fun they can have doing it. Every time we go they learn something new( I do too!) and I know they have so much fun while they are there! We didn't even come close to visiting half of the museum, it is so big. I have to say, if you are ever in Indianapolis and you have kids, this is one place you MUST go, trust me, you kids will love you for it!!
More great photos of The Children's Museum from the Web: