Friday, June 28, 2013

Museum Report: Discovery Center of Springfield

We loved the Discovery Center of Springfield! It was the kind of museum my kids could visit twice a week and never get bored. Four floors of exhibits and we barely even saw two and a half. The kids built towers, bridges, airplanes, waterways, ramps, and parachutes. The girls loved the preschool area, and Stellan quickly became obsessed with a spinning exhibit. Let me explain it: there was a big flat metal disk that spins like a record player; visitors can then balance small wheel-like discs on their edge to make them rotate perpendicular to the "ground plate". If you do it right, once you let go of the standing wheel, it will continue not only to spin on its edge, but revolve around the plate. Once you've got a few of those wheels revolving, you can try rolling a billiard ball across the plate. It was Stellan's favorite exhibit of the entire trip.

The entire Cook family rates this one two very satisfied thumbs up. I only wish we lived closer!

Bonus story to reward you for making it to the end of this post: We were all on the first floor in the preschool room when Stellan mentioned he needed to go to the bathroom. Since Kevin had just taken Rachelle, it was my turn. Stellan and I headed to the second floor, and got sidetracked by the aforementioned exhibit. As we were enjoying it, I was chatting with a museum employee named Matthew. He and I were discussing this and that when we heard the intercom: "Attention parents: are you missing a little girl? She is blonde and three years old." Matthew and I looked at each other and laughed, as we talked about the crazy things one hears over the intercom at a museum. Half an hour later, Kev and the girls made their way up to find us. Imagine my surprise when he told me the missing girl was our very own RaRa. She had sneaked out the heavy glass door trying to follow Stellan and me, unbeknownst to Kevin, Stellan or me. She lost sight of us quickly and got herself lost, then found by a staff member. Oops. It was a good lesson to learn early on in the trip, and one we didn't repeat for the remaining 6 weeks.

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