Thursday, May 8, 2008

Orlando Science Center

Today was our first of many trips to the Orlando Science Center. We purchased a family annual pass since we plan on visiting the museum frequently. I was excited to learn that our family pass also allows us unlimited viewing of the IMAX movies, entrance to the planetarium functions as well as entrance into hundreds of other museums all over the country. I doubt we'll be traveling all over the country within the next year, but there are 5 or 6 other museums within an hour or two drive to check out on our list.
The first place we visited was the children's area. Everything there was little people sized.
Daddy would have been so proud of his little grease monkeys.
We took a break from playing for a little bit when we heard the call for story time. The story today was The Wide Mouth Frog. The kids are crazy about this story. It is adapted into a song for the Music with Mar class that we've gone to up in Kodiak. And when they heard it was going to be the Wide Mouth Frog, they asked if Mr. Froggy and Miss Tania were here, too.
They worked as a team picking oranges and sending them on the conveyor belt to the orange juicer.
Then we visited the area that Joshua was waiting for...the robot exhibit. The kids all recognized Rodney Copperbottom from the movie Robots.
Joshua practiced using this robotic crane to move different shaped blocks from one side of the table to the other.
While Grandpa and Daniel watched a movie about robots in the space program. I see a trip to NASA in our near future.
There was a neat table set up for the kids to make dish washing robots. The kids had to plug in the wires correctly and assemble all the pieces in working order.

This was proving to be a bit difficult for Daniel. But he hung in there with the big kids. It's hard to remember that he's only 2 years old.
We enjoyed an interactive robot demonstration during which the kids got to manipulate some smaller robots.
While Joshua and Grandpa took a few extra minutes to check out some other robot things, Megan, Daniel and I continued looking at familiar robots. There was even a C3PO on display. Daniel recognized him right away.

Most of the bottom floor of the museum is an exhibit about nature. We checked out little alligators, box turtles, catfish and a few other animals. Then we visited the beachy area looking at coral and shells.

Coming out of the beachy area, there was a museum worker with a snake around her neck. Daniel said in his very Daniel way, "hey, lady, c'mere, I need to touch your snake". So, she cheerfully obliged and Daniel (and Joshua, too!) took a turn at touching the snake.
After lunch, we went to the dinosaur exhibit. The kids enjoyed digging for dinosaur bones.

This big dinosaur periodically growls and lowers his head and wags his tail. It's really cool, unless you happen to be 2 years old. Daniel screamed like a girl and climbed up my leg yelling, "pick me up, the dinosaur is going to eat me".

None of the other dinosaurs moved, thank goodness.
Moving on from the dinosaurs, we visited an exhibit about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
The kids were more interested in the stars then the exhibit, since this one seemed a little too old for them to get.
Megan enjoyed watching a movie that was projected onto a sphere. It showed the different planets and she was able to correctly identify Earth.

We had time to kill before our scheduled IMAX film, so we went back down to the children's area to play in the water table.

It really was pretty fun down there. We could change the direction of the flow of the water and race our boats from one end of the little pool to the other.
Joshua did a great job of keeping dry while he drove his boats in another water table.

Daniel looked adorable flying in the little red plane. He was making sound effects and everything.
Megan flew the other plane. Notice she doesn't have any passengers? None of us are even remotely interested in flying anywhere again for a really long time.

Taking a break from the indoors, we walked the little loop of Lochaven Park, which is lined with other museums and theatres. We walked down to OMA (the Orlando Art Museum), to see if they had any offerings for children. It was a total score - not only do they have a fantastic military discount, they have crafts for kids on Thursdays at 1pm for only $1 per child, and their featured artist next month is a children's artist that does cartoons for a Disney show.

Another fountain means more pennies.
The kids attempted to get a picture with Grandpa, but a swift breeze got everyone damp from the spray of the fountain. I have to admit it felt good!
We walked back to the OSC to watch our IMAX movie about the Bayou. About 30 seconds into the movie (it was loud and dark), I had Megan on one knee and Daniel on my other.
It was a great day, all the kids had fun. Daniel slept for about 30 minutes during the movie, and the big kids slept the whole way home.


Mrs. Darling said...

What a full day you all had. Looks like lots of fun!

Rachel H. said...

WOW!! TALK ABOUT AMAZING!!! What a great place--seroiusly! And a very fun day!! These kids probably feel like every day of like with you as their mom is HEAVEN!

The Day family of 4 said...

What a great learning tool! I can't wait to get to the real world and show my babies all kinds of cool stuff! You are such a great educator Mary, really... keep up the good work, and keep on enjoying the sun. I'm sure you have heard about our despairing rain... yuck! Say hi to the kiddos for us.

Lisa said...

That looks like a great place to visit, what a lot you've been doing. Grandpa looks like he's really been enjoying himself too!