Friday, April 3, 2009

Pacific Science Center

KMPS, a local radio station, offered their listeners a chance to go to the Pacific Science Center last Monday for only $1 admission. Not one to let a low cost outing go by, I printed up the coupons and the kids and I headed up to Seattle.

The last time we were at the Pacific Science Center, Josh was quite a bit younger. It was interesting to watch how he responded to everything this time.

Mika and Sam loved this giant, moving scorpion. Josh, on the other hand, was terrified of it. There was no way he was getting close enough to be part of this picture where the kids pretend to be afraid. He also didn't like the giant praying mantis or the giant, talking human fly.

Right away, we headed for the butterfly house. Mika loves walking through it. I welcomed the warmth. They take you into the butterfly house in small groups. You first stop in a room where they brief you on not harming the butterflies. No you can't touch them. If they land on you, shake your clothing and they will fly away. And definitely don't do what Josh did...try to stomp on the first one you see just a couple feet inside the door. He just barely missed it! In this photo, he's point one out. His version of butterfly sounds something like "howhi".

Josh also pointed out the koi in the little pond in case we missed them.

Here's a rare photo of me; usually I'm the one taking the photos. I'm pointing out some different butterflies on a nearby plant. They have some of the prettiest ones there.

Outside in a courtyard, they have several hands-on water activities. The kids love the water wheel. Josh wasn't quite as enthused. Of course, he's a full year under the recommended age.

I waited until after we saw most of what we wanted to do before heading to the exhibit area for toddlers. I knew Josh would get stuck here for a while so I let the older kids explore the rest of the room. They spent most of the time in the other water feature, the tidal pool.

Mika was delighted to find this little climbing wall. Josh tried really hard to climb it, too, but the hand holds and foot holds were a bit too far apart for him.

I believe this wall was in the same area as their newest exhibit, GPS Adventures. GPS Adventures was a neat little exhibit. After choosing a card, you work your way through a maze finding four stations. At each station, you follow the directions to locate the door key code. You then punch in the code at the door to be admitted into the station where you stamp your card. (If you are short on time, you can cheat and look under a flap in the door for the code but I recommend letting the kids work the puzzle.) If you are smart, unlike us, you'll look at your card and the station number and stamp it in the correct place. Along the way and at each station, you'll find all kinds of information about various uses for GPS systems, geocashing, and other equipment you might use in GPS activities (like hiking and the 10 essentials). After finding all four stamps, you take your card to an area where you match your card with a key and find out your "treasure city". You can't do this unless you stamp your card properly. It was an interesting little activity.

We were nearing the end of Mom's energy level when we found this giant table and chairs. It was a lesson in perspective. A 6 foot tall man would appear to be only 3 feet tall when sitting at this table. I used it to explain that this is one of the ways that they used to make the hobbits look so small in The Lord of the Rings movies.

One the way back to our car, we had to stop at these small statues. The kids love playing among them.

While I didn't have the energy to stay all day and see everything, it was a nice excursion. If you haven't had a chance to go there, I highly recommend going. It's a fun place for kids and adults alike.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

Wow, looks like a super visit! Good thing Josh did not squash the butterfly your whole family may have been banned from the science center forever ;)

Suswan said...

I LOVE that picture of you. :-)