Saturday, January 30, 2010


We're trying to come up with fun indoor adventures for our kids that don't cost an arm and a leg and get us all out of the house.  Today's adventure took us to the Minnesota Children's Museum.  I had been there once before in that brief window of time between the births of Ellie and Riley.  I remember enjoying it then, and after today I am trying to remember why.

First, the price was $8.95 each.  Even Riley.  In my opinion, that is steep.  I am okay with it for someone Austin's age and older, maybe even Ellie, but to charge a 1 year old $9 is steep.  Luckily, I get a discount through Cargill so everyone enjoyed a $6.95 admission.  Even luckier, about 2 seconds before  that transaction was complete I found a coupon on the floor for $5 admission for up to 6 people so I had him use that instead.  I ended up saving us about $20 and was happy with the $25 price tag to get us all in.

The place was packed.  Also, for a place that caters to children and families with young children, it is one of the least stroller friendly facilities I have ever been in.  All complaining aside, the kids did have fun.  First we hit up the water area. 

My kids miss their water table (and summer).  Riley just might have stayed here all day if we had let her.

From there we went to the area that is set up like a city for people under 4 feet tall.  Rob stuck out like a sore thumb.  Our kids immediately piled into the dog house.

This was only about 30 minutes into our adventure and I was ready to pack it up and head home.  Instead, we headed down the "street" to the recording studio.  It's cute.  The kids get up on a blue screen stage with fake instruments and jam to some tunes and they can look up at the TV screens and see themselves being added to a music video.  Like a meteorologist giving the latest (cold) forecast.  We learned a few things here.

  1. Austin does not know how to play the guitar
  2. Ellie does not like being picked on and does a good job sticking up for herself(other small girl trying to steal Ellie's maraca and sticker)
  3. Riley is a dancin' fool!
After we signed our record deals we went to the "ant hill".  This is perhaps my least favorite part.  Remember when I write of the zoo and the little tunnels and how I don't like not knowing where my children are?  Well, multiply that by 10 and you have the "ant hill".  It's a maze of tunnels WAY too small for a parent and you cannot see the kids crawl around in there except for a small 12 inch square of screen every 10 feet.  Plus, there are numerous ways in and out.  At one point I could hear Ellie asking for my help but I could not find her anywhere.  I might have suffered a minor anxiety attack if we would have stayed there any longer than the fifteen minutes we did.

Moving on.  We went to see their dinosaur exhibit.  We thought Austin would really appreciate this part.  He zipped through most of it showing only mild enthusiasm.  Until he came to the Troodon nest.

He sat perched on these eggs for quite some time.  One lady came by and thought she'd strike up a conversation with him.  It went a bit like this:

Lady:  You sittin' on those eggs to hatch them?
Austin:  Yes.
Lady:  Do you think True-don's ate..
Austin:  It's Tro-o-don
Lady:  What do you think True-don's ate?
Austin:  Tro-O-dons ate leaves, and all kinds of stuff.

And then at this point the lady turns to me and says under her breath "Judging by the possum in that one's mouth, I'd say he's mistaken and they were meat eaters".  I was going to tell her that my son probably knew more about dinosaurs than most people in that room combined, but I didn't want to sound like the overly proud mom I am, so I instead just told her that, in fact, Troodons were omnivores and ate both meat and leaves.

By this time I wanted to bathe in Purell and we rounded up the troops to go home.  On our way to the car we went to a McDonald's that needed to be about 4 times the size it was.  Close quarters.

But, we made it home and accomplished our goals.  We all got out of the house and the kids had fun.  I didn't get my Purell bath, but I did take Austin to the gym to go swimming while the girls were asleep and I think the chlorine has never felt so wonderful.

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