Places to Go - Out and About, Museum Edition (Early December 2012)


Maryland Science Center's Life Beyond Earth Exhibit - We love the MD Science Center (though we hate the randomness of traffic along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway), unlike the Smithsonian museums the Science Center rarely becomes overly crowded and most of the exhibits are interactive, making it the perfect place to take children of all ages, even toddlers, who love the upstairs kids' room (click here for a past post). One of my favorite parts about the museum is that the admission price includes planetarium shows, which run almost every hour.

During our last visit we watched Solar System Odyssey, a cartoon about space travel and the possibility of colonizing a planet other than Earth. After the movie (perfect for kids), we visited the museum's new Life Beyond Earth Exhibit, where everybody had a great time. The exhibit includes - astronaut uniforms to try on, various containers so you can feel how the same object changes weight on different planets, a spacescape where kids can build their own space rover, blocks with rubber gloves so children (or adults) can learn how it feels to build things as an astronaut, a space station with various interactive video games, a photo corner, and interactive trivia on a huge touch screen tv. I love when exhibits offer enough variety to keep all three of my kids entertained. Wonderful.

As always, the rest of the museum proved fun as well - from digging for dinosaur bones to a pop-up activity where we built various 3D sculptures in the museum's auditorium. And of course everyone needs to lie down on a bed of nails sometime in life. Awesomeness. Click here to enter the museum's website.



Play, Work, Build at the National Building Museum - We've been big fans of the Building Museum for awhile, especially its Building Zone playspace (click here for a past post), but up until now the museum only had enough activities to entertain children for a few hours at most. Play, Work, Build changes this. This new upstairs play area contains - Lincoln Logs, connector sets, a huge section full of miniature parts for creating things, an interactive video wall, and (most importantly) a GIGANTIC IMAGINATION PLAYGROUND - full of tubes, balls, and various parts, which allow children to create whatever they can imagine (or carry).

The best part about Imagination Playgrounds is that they appeal to a large age range of children - T (3), P (6), and F (7) can all spend hours making "stuff" - from houses to villages to trains (okay, T's train didn't really look like a train, it looked more like a pile of blocks).

Last Monday I visited the museum with T, we spent about an hour in the Work, Play, Build exhibit and then, after a quick lunch at the museum's cafe, we spent an hour and a half in the Building Zone, which now includes a gigantic sandbox with two cranes and a play kitchen set, along with all the old standbys - various uniforms to wear, blocks of all shapes and sizes, a reading corner, and a playhouse. Click here for hours and admission pricing information.


You know it's been a good day when T becomes tired enough to chill out in the reading corner. And yes, the sword goes everywhere lately. He even sleeps with it.


The United States Botanical Gardens' Holiday Train Display - Every year the Botanical Gardens hosts a FREE! holiday train exhibit, with poinsettias, topiaries, and all sorts of other good stuff. I took T last Friday afternoon and (luckily) crowds were absent (lines often form on weekends and in the morning). He had a FABULOUS time running around spotting all the different trains. And I enjoyed the earth-toned nature theme, where (somewhat creepy) creatures seemed to literally be coming out of the woodwork. After the trains, we climbed the stairs to the top of the "jungle" and as cheesy as it sounds, it feels sort of amazing to walk above the trees for awhile. Click here for more information on the gardens and the train display. And on Tuesday and Thursday nights in December, free music plays in the conservatory, check the website for the schedule.

untitled (21 of 21).jpg

Explosions at the Sackler Gallery - In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery has a great schedule of events planned (click here for more info). Last Friday after we watched the trains, I brought T to see an "explosion" on the National Mall featuring smoke and a gigantic pine tree (click here to read the Post article about the event). On the downside, the audience was forced to look into the glaring sun to view the pyrotechnics. T kept saying "but it hurts to look that way, mom." "It hurts!" On the upside, the illusion of an exploding tree is somewhat impressive. Especially for free.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...