Friday, September 4, 2009

Pacific Science Center 2009

When I woke up yesterday morning, I suddenly realized that September 7th was Monday. That meant my plans to go to the Pacific Science Center sometime next week to see the Animal Grossology exhibit before the last day (September 7th) wasn't going to work. The day had crept up to me way to quickly. At first, I thought we'd just go on Monday but then I wondered why they would end an exhibit on a Monday and Scott reminded me it was Labor Day. Well, I didn't want to go to the science center on a holiday weekend so I made a last minute decision to go yesterday. We got dressed, packed a lunch, called our neighbor who had expressed interest in going with us, and headed out.

When we arrived, the weather was perfect...sunny and warm. As we waited in line to pay admission, someone we know from church came up in line behind us. I don't know them well; however, Mika knows the oldest son pretty well from Sunday school and Awana. We decided to stick together.

The kids' first request was to play with the water experiments outside. So, we headed straight there:

Sam and Josh had fun aiming these water jets at some spinning targets. The last time Josh was at the science center he couldn't reach or control any of the water controls on his own. Today, he discovered and tried out several of them.

Here's Mika playing with another water item. I believe this one involves pushing a button and water shooting out of a fountain in the middle of the water. If you hit it just right, you can make one burst of water shoot through the last one as it is falling.

After the water toys, we headed to the outside deck upstairs. The high rail bike was open. I've been to the science center several times and it's never been open so I wanted to try it. Sam was disappointed that he couldn't do it due to his weight. You have to be at least 100lbs. By the time I went around the rail, I wouldn't have allowed him to try it anyway. While very safe, it is very terrifying as well. This blog has some good pictures that will give you an idea of what the high rail bike is.

After that, we headed to the grossology exhibit. The kids enjoyed it. I was disappointed to find that there was nothing actually gross to see, do, and touch. The closest we got was a set up where you can smell four mystery smells and try to guess what they were. The smells included skunk and musk. Other exhibits were cartoony giants with various activities demonstrating such things as how cud travels through a cow's stomachs and how hairballs form and get forced out. Josh was particularly enamored with the cow because we just had a cow themed week for his "school."

By this time, everyone was hungry so we headed outside to eat. Josh was more interested in terrorizing the pigeons. If you look closely at the photo, you can tell he's midstride in a run...his feet aren't touching the ground.

We finished lunch and headed into the dinosaur exhibit. Josh took one look at the T-Rex above the exhibit entrance and was not happy. I sat down on a bench to nurse Madelynn while Josh tried to wedge himself behind me and hide. He claimed to be tired so I let him climb into the stroller where he wanted the cover down. I placed Madelynn's blanket over the rest of the opening. Josh stayed hidden in the stroller the whole time we were in the dinosaur exhibit. He fussed everytime I tried to lift the blanket to check on him. I guess watching Jurassic Park a few days ago didn't help.

From there, we headed to the insect area. Josh was finally out of the stroller again only to be terrified of the giant animatronic insects that move in that room. I managed to get him past the giant fly and he was ok. He loved looking at the real bugs though. We saw the tarantula and black widow, noting the tangle web the latter had woven. (We just learned about spiders so it was perfect.) We also looked at the scorpion, centipede, and millipede which are on the agenda for this coming week.

We found this girl holding a Madagascar hissing cockroach for everyone to pet. Sam's petted one of these before. Josh showed no fear. Mika even overcame her usual discomfort and touched the cockroach too. I was so proud of her.

We moved from cockroach to butteflies. Josh loves the butterflies. Unfortunately, he also loves to stomp on bugs on the ground. The last time we were here, Josh saw a butterfly on the ground just inside the door and promptly tried to stomp on it. Fortunately he missed. Knowing this, I got down to his level and told him, "Do not touch the butterflies. Do not catch the butterflies. Do not step on the butterflies." I repeated it several times. He did good at first. Then, while my eyes were adverted, he picked up a yellow caution sign and used it to try to smoosh a butterfly only inches away from it. We left immediately! While waiting for the others, Josh got to sit on a bench and not play. He showed his unhappiness about the situation with giant tears rolling down his cheeks.

After the butterfly house near disaster, the big kids wanted to check out the giant chess board. There was another man and boy playing with it. Sam stood to the side watching the game until he saw the boy make an illegal move to capture the man's pawn. Sam, with his need for everything to be correct, immediately tried to correct the situation. I had to step in quickly and tell him to let them play whatever rules they wanted to play. When it was his turn, he and Mika decided to play wizard's chest. He and Mika replaced the queens. The boy above was one of Mika's knights. An employee chose to be one of Sam's pawns.

After playing for a while, we left to vist the tidal pool touch tank for a bit before heading home.

The kids really like the science center. I should probably consider a membership and go more often.

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