This past weekend the boys and I enjoyed a wonderful little museum forty minutes from our home. This is the first time I've ever been to a county museum--I was impressed! We got a late start and I had to use all my persuasive powers to get Henry in the car. Since it was already noon, it was my hope that his brother would nap on the way. It was worth a try--I just had to get out of the house!
It had been a very trying morning, so I made a quick visit to the Starbuck's drive-thru. (I guess I must be officially, hopelessly addicted since the caffeine actually makes me calmer.) With an iced vanilla latte next to the driver's seat, I felt ready for adventure. Henry learned a new word and repeated it for at least five miles. Venti. Venti, venti, venti...
As it turned out the Golden Legacy Exhibit was perfect for my both my sons. So often, kids' destinations are geared to children just a bit older than my boys. This museum had several rooms temporarily dedicated to the stories and illustrations in classic Little Golden Books. The best part is that it was an interactive exhibit. There were many colorful play spaces (including a huge train table) for the three and under set. However, children up to age seven would have great fun here.
Compared with the costly experience of going to a city museum, the price was certainly right. There was no charge for parking. Since the boys were free (under age 4) and I had a dollar-off coupon, the afternoon cost us a very reasonable $5. You won't find that kind of deal in the Big City.
I was familiar with many of the books but I must say, we own very few of them. Our visit made me want to buy several of the titles for our home library. One of the books showcased was The Red Lemon by Bob Staake. I had never heard of this story. A large area was painted with lemon trees and filled with green beanbags. Liam climbed up, over and through this structure as I read the story to Henry. The illustrations are different than most other Little Golden Books but absolutely charming. It's a fun book, one that I ordered online as soon as we got home.
Suprisingly for a cool, rainy Saturday we had the exhibit to ourselves. It would have been nice for Henry if there had been a few kids to talk with and play trains. On the other hand, we were able to spread out, use all the materials, read the books and climb the displays without disturbing anyone.
There are other rooms in the museum but I wasn't sure the boys had enough energy or interest. The additional exhibits certainly piqued my curiosity so I'm planning on another visit. When we were in the car starting for home, Henry actually said, "That was fun, Mom"
Wow! For a boy who spent hours refusing to leave the house, crying when I put on his shoes and struggling to get free of the carseat a few hours prior--this was a huge realization. I had been feeling guilty for not honoring his request to stay home on a Saturday. I'm glad I pushed for this activity--it's impossible for little ones to conceptualize new experiences before they happen. We'll look at the photos from our day at the museum and talk about the visit often. Maybe Henry will come to realize it can be fun to try new things. There may be hope for the Aquarium after all...