Today was an all-out Family Fun day for us! On Superbowl Sunday, Dan got called in to work for an emergency meeting, so he had promised us to take a day off sometime in March to make up for it. Originally, we were going to visit the zoo, but since it never got past 45 degrees, we decided to try an indoor venue instead. We settled on this awesome children's museum called Hands-On House in Lancaster, PA. If you live within a few hours of it, you should definitely go. If you don't have your own kids, borrow some. It's that cool. :)
The first exhibit is "In Your Backyard" where you can construct birds and fly them from a treehouse, race cars, catch magnetic fish in a pond and measure them, and paint your face. Noah wanted to look like a kitty cat, so I gave him a nose and whiskers. Then we were off to the "On the Farm" exhibit.
On the Farm, you got to play with tractors, barns, and animals. You also got to pick corn, drive a tractor, milk a cow, and see how chicken farming works. Eggs would come down for you to put on an assembly line and send to be refrigerated. Noah said that was his favorite part.
After the farm, there were some really cool blocks to play with (Dan made a great tower) and a dress-up room with a stage, costumes of all kinds, and props so you could act out a story. Noah wasn't so interested in performing, but he did put together an interesting costume combo: a tiger suit, a fedora, and an umbrella...I guess it was Lion King meets Singin' in the Rain...
Then, we found my favorite thing, the "Corner Store": a huge, kid-sized grocery store where they lined the shelves with empty boxes, cans, and fake food of all kinds. You could shop, use the cash register, and bag your purchases in earth-friendly shopping bags. :) The first time through, we just let Noah go at it and put whatever he wanted into the basket, which he thought was great fun. I was really amused to see his choices: milk, butter, pasta, cereal, donuts, bagels, apples, corn, ground beef...it could easily have been my shopping cart at Weis on any given week. Monkey see, monkey do!
After he'd done his own shopping, we picked up one of the pre-made lists they provided and had him help me read it - he could tell me the number and often figured out by the pictures just what he needed.
Finally, we headed to the Machine Shop exhibit where Noah got to make "Whatcha-ma-giggles" on an assembly line. The safety goggles cracked me up.
The whole experience was a ton of fun for all three of us. I was impressed at the quality of the exhibits and how nice everything was despite the muber of kids using it every day. It was $7 per person, and they have a family membership deal for $75 which I'm sure we'd buy if we lived closer. Noah had a ball, and when you add that to our lunch at Panera and cookie date at Starbucks, it's no wonder he told us on the way home, "Noah have fun today." Mama have fun today too.
After we got home, the only thing Noah wanted to do was "gwocewy store," so we decided to get creative. I scoured our cabinets and our recycling for boxes and containers we could use to make his own store and we set it up in our fun cube storage downstairs in his play area. We gave him three dollar bills and a "credit card" (actually my full size MyPanera card) to use when he paid and just today my mom and dad brought over my old cash register for him to play with. He's addicted to shopping...wonder where he gets that from?