Saturday, June 29, 2013

Museum Report: Union Station Kansas City

First, to be clear, we went to Science City at Union Station without knowing it would be complete madness. We didn't realize that the day of our visit was the day of the Union Station Maker Faire, a huge event with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors. It was crazy, wall-to-wall people and machines, buzzing, whirring, humming everywhere. It did not help that our children were finally as tired as they had every right to be after being on the road all day more than once, motel room nights and a week's allotment of PB&J crammed into 2 days. They were completely overwhelmed, and I couldn't blame them.

We were very impressed at the start of our adventure here when, before we'd even walked through the doors, we heard the two guys from up on the grand stand and got really excited. So we stopped to watch their demonstration (they're the Diet Coke and Mentos guys, if you didn't know) because our kids love Diet Coke and Mentos experiments. Unfortunately, we waited in the hot asphalt parking lot as they talked and talked for at least 5 minutes and there was still no demonstration happening. I looked at the program and realized they'd been scheduled for a 45 minute presentation, which we were only 15 minutes into. So Kevin and I made the call to head inside instead of wait. I wish we could have seen their whole show, but some things just aren't doable with young kids who have been trapped in a car for several hours.

We tried to wander through a couple of galleries, but it was so busy that we couldn't stay long in each one. We tried the areas for younger children, but the noise of so many people followed us everywhere. It might have been a complete bust. Lucky for us, the day was saved by some pyrotechnics and a captivating staff demonstration. This guy was great - he lit dollar bills on fire, he launched two liter soda bottles 30 feet in the air, he had a crowd of over a hundred in the palm of his hand. Once he was through, the kids were ready to enjoy themselves for the last hour or so of our visit.

Also of note here was an important addition to our family. We had told Stellan and Rachelle they each had $25 to spend on whatever they wanted (excluding candy) at museum gift shops for the duration of the trip. So when Rachelle came running over with a sparkly pink and green stuffed sea turtle, I crossed my fingers that the price tag would read under $25. Luckily, it was only $18 (Stellan was very into the math of this whole spending money thing and could itemize every purchase made by both kids in full detail), so we let her blow the bulk of her cash only 3 days into the trip. Rachelle instantly named her turtle Annie and will now never parted from her sweet turtle.

In the end, I'd give Science City one and half thumbs up. That might have been different on a different less crowded day, so perhaps we'll have to come back and try again sometime.

1 comment:

D said...

I love maker faire but the one we went to wasn't super crowded. It was outdoors under tents with lots of room to spread out. And it was local so our kids were well rested. :) I do recommend you check for a local maker faire because they are an awesome meeting of all things science and creative. They are very hands on with lots of free activities (at least the one here is).

I'm loving your astc pass museum reviews. We have one too and love it!