In our state, they have what’s called a ZAP tax. That stands for Zoo, Arts, and Parks and the theory is that these taxes help subsidize these activities so they can be nice (and sometimes free!) for the general public. Monday was the quarterly free day at the Museum of Natural History. We have been to the museum several times, but never since they moved to the new building.
I told you before that my elementary-aged kids are off-track, so it ended up being me, Grandpa, Drama Queen, Teach, Crafty, Sport, Scout, Curly, and Baby Doll. We all piled in the van except for the Drama Queen. (She had been waiting in line for 2 hours to checkout at Roberts Going-Out-of- Business sale and she said she would wait for the three people still in line ahead of her and then drive herself downtown…some people will do anything for a bargain! I wonder where she gets that from? Hmmm….)
When we finally got within a mile or so of the museum, we saw signs pointing to the additional parking. This couldn’t be good. But we turned into the lot anyway and hauled the kids to the shuttle stop. This actually turned out really well for us. The shuttle dropped us right at the front door. The driver was so nice he even pulled over and loaded up a few people as they struggled up the hill with their strollers and little ones.
I was so worried that the museum would be crowded! We had been in the old one on free day before and it was so crazy you could hardly get close enough to the exhibits to see inside them. But this new museum was amazing! I’m sure there were hundreds of people scattered around, but we had plenty of room to roam and play.
And I do mean play. Nearly all of the exhibits are interactive. We put together puzzles, looked through a microscope, shook down a small building with a simulated earthquake, and studied the effects of erosion on sand in a huge water table. Sport got a little extra attention because of his scout shirt and we are excited to report that he completed the patch to add to his vest.
In one of the children’s rooms they had a fake stream with fake fish and insects. Scout was absolutely convinced they were real and she refused to touch them! Curly loved the animal puppets except for the eagle. When he put his little hand in it, he started to cry because his hand was too small to make the large wings flap.
Three hours raced by and the only one who wanted to leave was Baby Doll. She was pretty tired of the backpack by then. We enjoyed it so much I am actually thinking of going back with the entire family and PAYING for it…I know, crazy, huh? You all know how cheap I am. But check out all these fun pics we took. Sadly, Teach forgot her good camera so you only get cell phone stuff. If we head back, I’m definitely taking the real camera…and the shuttle.
** Bossy here. I added two links that give information on free entry days for the rest of the year. You can also follow NHMU on Twitter. This museum did not pay or offer any compensation to my mom for her blog today.