Friends, I have a feeling it's going to be a long winter. I have cabin fever and it's only the second day of January. Sigh.
This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I gave the kids five choices of where they could go:
A) to Michaels to choose a project to work on today.
B) to the zoo (we haven't been to the MN zoo since Camille was a baby).
C) to see the movie Frozen (the kids have never been to a movie theater).
D) to the MN Sea Life aquarium at the Mall of America (never been here either).
E) to the MN History Center.
I left the MN History Center last because, quite frankly, it was lowest on my list. It's a place I've wanted to visit for quite awhile, but I didn't think it was really a "kid" thing. This past year PBS has been advertising it off and on, because they have a Then, Now, Wow exhibit just for kids. The kids have begged (literally) off and on to visit it solely based on the commercials from PBS.
Guess what the kids chose?
I threw in one last "but it's all the way over in St. Paul." That didn't really work either.
Alas, we went to the MN History Center.
...which turned out to be VERY VERY COOL- for kids and for adults.
Our kids are all young enough that they were free (yeah!!), so it only cost us my ticket to get in. $11 well-spent. The Then, Now, Wow part had way more interactive AND educational stuff than I thought it would based on the commercial and the website, and the rest of the museum had enough kid-friendly stuff to keep them interested too.
Camille says that everything was her favorite part.
Blake's favorite part of the museum wasn't actually in the kid-centered Then, Now, Wow exhibit, but rather in the Greatest Generation exhibit. He and Camille came across a display that allowed you to assemble artillery as it moved along a conveyor belt. He could have spent hours there. (And somehow I missed taking a picture of this...)
What I actually did manage to take pictures of...
The kids were actually pretty reluctant to approach the buffalo. Actually, I was too, at first. It looked very real. You could lift up the hide from the stomach and the leg, remove the inner body parts/bones, scan the parts at a code reader, and then listen to the computer tell you what each of those parts was used for.
They enjoyed assembling a giant map of MN.
The yoke and plow was one of my favorite parts, since we've been reading the Little House books- specifically Farmer Boy, which talks a lot about the yokes and oxen and plowing. You could see light bulbs going on in their heads. :)
Cool view of the Capitol!
Abby's favorite part was riding in the wagon in the Open House exhibit.
Last picture, guys...I promise. :)