Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Checking Out the Portland Children's Museum

I feel like I got jipped with our kids.   We had this treasure of a place we could have taken them as little ones (particularly on those long impossible-to-keep-entertained days).  But, due to the word, "Museum" in the title - I avoided the Portland Children's Museum like the plague.  Why would I want to take my squirrely kids to a place to look at artwork or admire sculpture pieces?  And, that kept us away.  

That is, until Christi suggested it as a place we really ought to check out with the girls.  Okay.  I'll give it a try - if not for any other reason than to get out of town, get to see Kaela, keep the kids occupied, and see Bridgeport Village Mall all decked out in holiday garb.  

This was the day after I had done my baking extravaganza, so we had plenty of treats to eat on the road trip, and mercifully, Christi was willing to drive my vehicle, because I was so sleepy-tired.  Whitley was especially a fan of the frosted sugar cookies (my faves too!). 

When we got to Bridgeport to meet up with Kaela, I let Whitley out of the seat while we were waiting...and while she was eager to shed some love to Elsie, she was not a fan of having to be strapped back in for the short drive to the Museum.  ("It's short, I promise!  It's not the two hour drive you just had....")  

We had kind of a rough start entering in to the Museum.  It had begun a downpour just as we had finished changing the girls into their outfits, so much so that even with umbrellas, we were getting soaked racing to the entrance from the parking lot.  Then, we couldn't get the umbrella to stay secured in its closed position.  Then, we realized we had to put a parking pass actually inside the car (back in the parking lot).  Just as Christi volunteered to run back and do that, (leaving Elsie who's definitely in the mom-cling stage crying in Kaela's arm), Kaela accidentally hit the Iced Chai out of Christi's arm and splashed it all over the floor (and perhaps a few people's legs).  I'm pretty sure the Children's Museum Staff were deliberating as to whether or not they'd allow us entrance!

But, we got there - and right as you walked in there was this giant "frame" you could walk behind and pose from - which really makes for trippy pictures as it looks like a post-shot add on.  

I was immediately impressed with this Children's WONDERLAND (see, that's what they should call it...this place is far too much fun to be titled "Museum"....but maybe, now that I'm in on the secret, it's a good thing, as other folks might stay away like I did!).

This was the bulldozer room, with all these little rubber pieces to scoop and shovel that looked like rocks.  Whitley was loving it, that is, until, she spotted the bulldozer creature suspended from the ceiling.  Scary!  End of that room for Whitley...

Elsie LOVED it, though, so they played a little longer in there while we moved on to the "Grocery Store".

They had carts, a scanner that beeped, a cash register, and food to fill up or bag up.  So fun!

"Will that be all, Mam?"

Next up, the "Performance Room" - which was where they could put on performances with costumes, a stage, and audience area.

I had a lot of fun putting on the animal costumes, particularly the hoods over my heads, and chasing the girls.  They were getting quite the kick out of it...

Elsie found the musical instruments...

And, then...THEN Whitley found the microphone.  

"Attention, folks, if you'll take your seats, I'll be starting shortly".

Oh but wait!  "Tech folks, we seem to have a problem here - this mike isn't working!!"  "Sound check, please!"

Her fans were getting disappointed...

That stance! - Hoping and waiting the mike would turn on so the show could go on.  Sadly, it did not.  This wasn't like the one on display in, in the end, it just wasn't worth it.  :(

Oh, the disappointment!

Next up the "Light Up Room" - 

Then it was the "Transportation Room".  Whitley could have spent a lot of time here...

We moved on to the "Dolly Room" (with some questionable looking dollies that were way too anatomically correct for little kids).  Elsie chose to boot the baby out of this cradle and use it herself.  

"Hi Baby!"

This room was a huge hit!  It was a seasonal room - and we actually shut the door to keep ourselves in there for a while so the kids could play without our hawk-eye supervision.  
 Those white "snowflakes" are actually bath tub loofah balls.  Ingenious!

"Excuse me, Whitley, you are getting in the way of my picture of Elsie"!

This room also had arctic creatures in the form of puppets.  There was some cuddling going on.

And this kind of cuddling too.  =)

The next room had this little bouncy bull dude that was such a hit, it was purchased by us later to give to Whitley for Christmas.  

The final stop in the Children's Museum was the "Water Room".  Christi wisely advised that we wait until the end as the kids can get pretty wet which would not be fun if you still had the rest of the place to explore.

Whitley was not a fan of this water apron, so she stripped it off rather quickly - which had her running around in tights and a tank top.  Who's taking care of that poor little girl anyway?

Again, if I hadn't come up with a really good distraction motivation for leaving, I think Whitley could have spent all day here!  

Upon leaving/entering, there was this little dentist station with a crocodile.  Whitley couldn't decide if she was intrigued by this guy or scared of him - so she tried to brush its teeth as far away as she could - and wouldn't stay long enough to get a clear picture. 

But, she was willing to use the giant brushes on her own teeth.  Kind of gross, Whitley.

Meanwhile, Elsie, Kaela, and Christi had convened in the lobby to have a snack before we left.  

I used "French Fries" as the enticement to lure the girls away from this magical place, so soon enough we had returned to Bridgeport Village to eat at Joe's Burgers.   Whitley couldn't wait!

But the sight of this HUGE tree stopped her in her tracks!

This little eatery provided our lunch the last time we all got together (after the zoo), so we were looking forward to tasty burgers and fries.  However, this time around, the burgers were a little on the raw side...Christi and I compared notes after the fact and shared how disappointed we were.  

A great pic of Kaela and Elsie standing in front of the heated gazebo where we ate our lunch (and the girls chased pigeons).   

I did my own chasing of this little one while our meals were being prepared...

But, I wasn't bothered as it turned into that perfect kind of photo moment.  OH THE JOY!

I doubt that will be the last time I'll be visiting any of these places.  All in all, it was a very magical day with some VERY SPECIAL girls!

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