Thursday, October 9, 2014

Museum of Science & Industry

Yesterday we took a family field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.  It was an absolutely wonderful day, and the kids had a blast!

Groupon had an AMAZING deal, allowing us to get a family season pass for $89.  This pass includes a year of free visits, free parking, ten free IMAX tickets, discounted prices for special exhibits, and a free ‘bring a friend’ for every museum visit.  We added up what it would cost our family to visit for a day (admission & parking), and it was exactly $89.  That means we get a full year of museum visits for the same cost as one day at the museum.  We are VERY excited!

The museum was not crowded at all.  Employees were walking up to our kids, interacting with them, asking the kids questions, and teaching them all sorts of neat facts!  I’ve never been so impressed with a museum trip.  I’m sure that’s partially because it wasn’t crowded, so the employees had plenty of time to interact in this way!  It might not always be so impressive as it was today, but we sure enjoyed it!

We were among the first to go through the new Numbers in Nature Mirror Maze and exhibit that opened yesterday.  The kids really enjoyed it!  Here, an employee is doing a card trick with the boys in the middle of the mirror maze.

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Once you’re through the mirror maze, there are a variety of hands-on exhibits to explore patterns found in nature.  Some of it was too hard for the kids, but there were a lot of really neat things, too.  I missed this, but Alex told me on the way home that he got to see the red blood cells in his eyes.  Keith confirmed that they had done this together.  Neat!

This interactive mirror exhibit was really fun!  You interacted with your ‘skeleton’ on the mirror, trying to reach for yellow rings.  It determined your height, your ‘wingspan’, and a few other facts about you.

(If you want proof that I came on this trip, I’m in the mirror…)

more activities in Numbers In Nature -
examining patterns on your hand, learning about doubling/multiplying coins
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The boys loved this climbing wall…


The Balcony Drop was fun to watch!  They roll out a ‘measuring wall’, drop things from the balcony, and you get to determine which you think will drop fastest, which will bounce the highest, etc.  The lady asked for a volunteer to stand close while they dropped water balloons, and our shy little Alex ran up to volunteer!  He shared his name, answered her questions, and everything!  (shocking!)

watching a large bouncy ball

water balloons coming down!
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Science Storms was another exhibit that the kids really loved!  We walked in as the 40 foot vortex demonstration was taking place, so the kids stood back and watched as the visitors interacted with the tornado.  When the next demonstration was announced, Alex ran over.  No one else showed up, so he got his own personal tornado experience with the museum employee!

Alex is just to the left of the tornado,
releasing a balloon on a kite string into the vortex


(Video – you might have to click through from email/blog reader to view it)
Yes, I did say, “Our son is interacting with strangers!”
because it’s impressive that he’s brave enough to do it!

All three children enjoyed creating their own mini vortex in this exhibit.
I love the excitement on Max’s face!
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Alex creating an avalanche

Max releasing a hot air balloon
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solar powered race cars – my boys probably played on this for half an hour!  (But only because no one else was waiting for a turn – the advantage of an uncrowded museum)
A museum employee came over, asked them questions to determine what they understood, and helped the boys learn a few new things about solar power!



Max creating a tsunami

model train exhibit & old trains – they loved this, too!

science demonstrations – watching her make elephant’s toothpaste


This was a REALLY neat farm exhibit, but I find it so funny that my children were so in love this it.  We live in a farming area; we visit the dairy farm and pig farm from time to time.  We can see tractors all the time, yet it’s still completely fascinating to my kids!

Jensyn is moo-ing like a calf

kids combining with Daddy
(Is that a verb?!)

Jensyn & Daddy in the tractor (not combine)
back at the combine for more fun!

So, we’ve watched live piglet births more than once…
yet Max was totally fascinated with the statues and video of the farrowing barn.
He was giggling like a madman at the piglet grunts!

(another video because I want to remember Max’s crazy laugh)

more farm exhibit fun…



May I just point out that it’s scary how much of our food contains soy? 
That’s what they’re learning about in the computer display below…

Fairy Castle
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Idea Factory – they played in here for a LONG time!  What a fun, hands-on room!

Jensyn cracked me up –
she couldn’t figure out how to pump this,
so she was holding the handle and jumping up and down instead!



We barely covered half of the museum yesterday, and we were there from opening until about 40 minutes before closing.  Jensyn was sobbing when we left, and Max asked if we could go back tomorrow.  I’d say they were very impressed with their experience!

I’m sure we won’t always take so many pictures, but as it was our first visit their with our children, it was really a joy to capture their excitement in pictures!

When we were putting the kids to bed last night, I asked each child to tell me their favorite part of the day.

Jensyn – I liked the water and the balls! (Mommy translation – The Idea Room)

Max  - Seeing the trains with the marble (Mommy translation - the Swiss Jolly Ball…this is no surprise, as the giant marble run is one of his favorites at the Indy Children’s Museum)

Alex  - I *knew* you were going to ask that!  I don’t have a favorite; it was all SO MUCH FUN! (Mommy note – this is quite impressive, as he can ALWAYS find something to complain about, no matter what the experience! I think this is the first time he’s EVER been completely excited about a family outing, without finding fault in something.  YAY, Alex, for having  a truly positive attitude!)

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