Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Gilbert Museum to the Rescue

I woke up Wednesday morning needing to get out of town.  I was at one of those points emotionally that I needed to probably just cry, but when you are watching a toddler, that's not so conducive.  And, the last thing I needed to do was to sit in the house and try to entertain her, knowing that I had very little to give.  For the record, the "feeling down" was mostly in relation to Brayden, his grades, and the lack of support I was feeling from all but one of his teachers.  In all honesty, I couldn't tell you who I was most ticked at!  (And, by the end of the day, I did get the opportunity to process it all.  I can't say any of it has really improved, but I'm coping better).  

So, I ventured up to Salem's Children's Museum.  With the membership we'd purchased at the Science Factory, visits like these were free.  The drive time there and back in the sunshine to listen to worship music was obviously an added bonus to do the day.
The first room we encountered as the grocery store - and that's always a hit with this girl. 

Next up - the coolest room at the whole place.  It's a dark room, so Whitely was initially scared about going in, but once she caught on that our actions were being reflected on to the screen, she loved it.  

It went through a different pattern of how it reflected images.

And, there were props she could utilize.

This was the China room.  

Whitley was intrigued, but this dragon kite hanging from the ceiling, had her initially ready to walk by the room altogether.  SCARY!

But, we got her in there - what a brave girl.  

And, I had to take a selfie with the panda (Whitley was scared)...  just to prove I was there!

This museum is actually several different house-like buildings with each room being a different attraction.

This was the vet clinic.

And this wall was magnetized, so you could move the pipes into different arrangements and then have the balls bounce through.

The foam pieces actually floated in this turbine - located in the aviation room.

A very cool train room that paid tribute to Mr. Gilbert - who the museum was named after - that designed so many of the vintage toys our parents grew up with.  

As enchanting as the different interior rooms are, its the outside of this museum that really makes it something special.  The space is HUGE!!!  

It's safe enough as there is only one way in and out of the outdoor play area, but wow, could you play a mean game of "Hide and Go Seek" with all of the nooks and crannies of these wooden structures.  I had to keep a close eye on Whitley.  

And, then, we both found something else to keep a close eye on.  There was a squirrel that was OBSESSED with pulling up this rope.  It would not let it go no matter how close we got.  (Which, for Whitley, was only this close.  A squirrel that caught up in a rope and not phased by people might not be in its right mind!).  

I have no doubt that when school's out - this place is packed with kids playing indefinitely, and moms sipping their lattes at the picnic tables so happy to have them outside playing with imagination.  

We ended up our experience in the sand - digging up dinosaur bones with another little girl- who got a kick out of me pulling her up a short slide (attached to the platform where I was taking these pics).  Do it once with Whitley - who tends to giggle loudly - and pretty soon we are attracting attention.  =)

 I look forward to the opportunity to introduce this place to Christi and Elsie - and, of course, return on a day when my mood is a little less blue....

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