THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM!
We took a trip as a family during Jon's spring break to the Children's Museum in Saint Paul. We had a GREAT time! Next year, we might invest in a membership. We left early in the morning with very detailed directions of how to get to the parking ramp near the CM. We had also printed off directions of how to get back onto I-94. We always get hopelessly lost in Saint Paul.
We started in the "World Works" section of the building, where kids can put on light shows, play with water, and manipulate kid-friendly machinery like pulleys and conveyor belts. It was like a basic introduction to physics. Abigail was most fascinated with the water. Maybe it was because we started with it and she was getting tired by the time we got to the later exhibits, but she loved splashing in the water! She's always loved baths, and her newest thing is staking out the bathroom waiting for someone to walk by so she can pester them until they lift her up to "wash her hands." Jon loved to show Abi how things worked and he gave her confidence to try new things on her own. (It takes a little prompting to get Abi to be independent.)
Next we visited the "Our World" exhibit which featured a mini city bus, a restaurant, a grocery store, a post office, and other places in our community for the kids to role play in. This area was a little too old for Abigail, but she did enjoy putting things in her grocery cart! She pushed it around and around until she got stuck in a corner and couldn't figure out where to go from there :)
From there we went to "Habitot" which was like a big indoor toddler-sized activity gym! There were two levels and several areas that were broken into different animal habitats. A woodsy area that included a swinging bridge (which scared Abi at first, but she got the "swing" of it!), a cave area which included crawl spaces and a cave with fossils in it to touch, a frozen tundra area where you could stand on a frozen pond and look at the fish under your feet and build with igloo blocks (Abi mostly liked looking out the window), a prairie section with rolling hills to try to walk up and down, and a lake area (where babies lay around and look at the fuzzy cat tails!) It was here that Abi started to get a little tired. But we helped her out the best we could, and she did enjoy the slides and she even climbed a rope ladder!
The last exhibit we visited was "Earth World." We will probably start here next time, because I think she will really enjoy this! There's a little creek with pretend amphibians to play with as well as an aquarium. There's a big ant hill maze that Jon went through with her and a tree house area where some of the workers will have real animals on display for the kids to see and touch. Abi got to touch a snake! Don't worry, we put some of the anti-bacterial goo on her afterwards!! We didn't get to stay at this exhibit long before Abi started to get cranky, so we made our way out the door for lunch.
We went across the street to Mickey's Diner (a historical landmark in Saint Paul, and if it's not it should be! It's a 50's diner/grille located in an old dining car.) Since it was Saint Patrick's Day, we got to watch a bunch of people walk by wearing funny clothes - including a very old man in a green suit & top hat and orange socks! They were making their way to the parade which we didn't get to see. We'd pressed Abi enough for one day...time for a nap!