Friday, April 27, 2012

Braving the Crowds

 I really wanted to see the Indianapolis children's museum, but the entrance fees were pricey. I could not justify paying full price and I figured that my friend would not want to either. However, I knew that they had a free day for the public on the first Thursday of every month. They opened to the public after 4:00 p.m. and we decided to go. My first mistake was bringing in my stroller. I was worried about her blister and thought that a stroller might prevent further injury. It was so crowded that the stroller was really in the way. I tried carrying it on my shoulder, but it made a very wide load. Elda eventually helped me out by putting my stroller in hers. My greatest success was to bringing a bag of Keebler cookies with me. Yum. They were 90 calories a piece, but we could not stop eating them, especially since we had forgone dinner in lieu of seeing the museum.

The museum crowded, but very well done. The timing was perfect for Bee's current obsession with dinosaurs. The dinosaur exhibit was large and impressive. She was ecstatic. So happy! The girls were especially interested in all of the touch screen displays. 

Bee described how this dinosaur must be dead and she was observing the entire scene to hypothesize about what might have happened. 
 My favorite part of the day was when we went into the paleontologist area. The scientists keep their window open and they have several there who just talk with the museum guests. They let Bee touch several fossils and talked to her about some of the fossils they had found. She was in heaven. The scientists were actually pretty quiet, because Bee talked their ears off. She told them all about wings, about the pteranodon family, and about how she was a paleontologist when she was little. She went on and on and they were all entertained by her. She was so happy. The scientists were laughing and asked her lots of questions. They even joked to me about how my ears must hurt at the end of each day.

My favorite exhibit was the blown glass. The exhibit was in the basement and the entire ceiling was a transparent glass case that was full of blown glass in a variety of colors, shapes, and designs. This photograph shows only a small fraction of the entire ceiling.

The girls loved playing with these plastic globes and moved them from position to position on the "trees"

In the middle of the room there was a round, reclining sofa that  rotated slowly. Bee even sat on it. She enjoyed it, but did not understand that the purpose was to sit back and look up at the ceiling as the sofa moved. The glass was so beautiful. I loved it. Above this glass ceiling was a 40 foot statue made out of blown glass. This statue is in the center of the ramp that connects all of the floors.
 Little E. was so excited about the Mr. Potato Head exhibit. We decided to head there next. We arrived only to find out that there was a line, a long one. The line snaked in and around and then back out of one room that was designated just for that purpose. This is where the yummy double stuff cookies came in handy. Bee was in a great mood for some reason and entertained herself while we were in line. She made up a song and dance about how she could "stomp like a T-rex." She cracks me up.

The good news was that the number of persons in the exhibit was well controlled. When we finally made it in, it was not too busy to enjoy. We stayed here for a long time and the children happily explored all of the fun exhibits.
This must be Mr. Household Item Bug. Pretty creative idea, I thought.

This board wobbled and simulated snorkeling. In the big orange goggles there was a movie playing of fish and underwater life. I saw many a parent shake the board and startle their children while they were on it. No, I did not.

Again, she loves order and anything that has spokes that can be stuck into a hole. She organized these coral beautifully. She played alone in this exhibit and often picked activities where there were no children around. She wants to do things her way and she does not want anyone to change what she has done. She's an only child, enough said.

This exhibit represented coal mining. The children loaded the 'coal' onto the conveyor belt and the patient child in the white turned and turned and turned the wheel. She provided the manpower for quite a long time. Then the little pieces would run down another belt into another container. My child was inefficient and collected the 'coal' with her hands. There were not buckets available.

E. was smart and grabbed a bucket as soon as one was available.

Then we were off to the Lego exhibit, can you say crazy? There were people everywhere. It was too much for me.

Bee made up a story about the volcano and kept warning E. to get down. She warned her that the smoke would get her and that the volcano would burn her. E. was oblivious to Bee's ramblings and continued building her Lego creations. This was the toddler sized table. There were six or seven more tables, of varying heights, crammed into the area.

While E. waited in line to get a picture in the race car made completely from Legos, Bee preferred racing cars down this ramp.

Then Elda treated us to a ride on the carousel. Bee was thrilled and wanted to go again as soon as it ended. However, by that time I had had it with all the people and I was ready to get away from crowded rooms and from mean kids who grabbed toys right out of my daughter's hand. We eventually escaped the madness and headed safely home. Bee was flying high. She was so happy.
Thanks Elda for letting us come and crash with you. We had a great time and I loved seeing your growing family. Best of luck with everything and maybe we'll see you again when you're settled in Texas.

In retrospect, this museum is definitely worth the money. There was so much to see and do and the exhibits were educational and kid friendly. Everything was designed to be convenient to parents and children. I loved it. It would be worth the money just to go when it was not so crowded.


Tawnya said...

That does look like a good one. Maybe we'll try to go. :)

Shelly said...

I agree, it's amazing and SUCH a pain when it's full. We've done it twice because Jeff is off President's Day. Wish it wasn't always free.

Did you watch the big water clock? I remember that as a kid.

Jenny said...

Cool glass picture!

That's really cute that she talked to the paleontologists. Didn't she go through a dinosaur phase a year or two ago, too?