The museum glows with color and fun areas. It's not huge, but it has lots of open space. The outside space struck me when we went the first time. I'm used to museums in the north that have to be mostly internal. Here, weather isn't an issue, and so half of the property is area for outside exploration and three nice playgrounds. And that's after we've had fun outside of the entrance.
|See-sawing in front of the museum on our first visit|
|A Rodo Padilla sculpture doubles as a turning-toy|
We haven't explored much in the entry building yet because both on our first visit and today we were immediately drawn outside to the central court which has a fountain and is surrounded by flowering trees.
Today the kids wanted to explore the exhibits in the back building first, so we headed into a large open room that is filled with all sorts of interactive science displays. What was fun this time was that I could read a lot more of the descriptions--apparently I am learning some Spanish!
|Discovering the effect of sonic wave frequencies on water|
|A full-size pin board|
|Using geometric shapes to create pictures|
|Air balls and Bernoulli's Principle|
I love coming to places like this while most kids are in school. We had the run of the place except for a few school tours. The kids could explore and experiment with a number of activities without my concern that they were hogging it from someone else.
Once we'd had our fill of the big room we headed out to the side of the building with the three playgrounds. These are geared to different age-levels, but once again, since there really weren't many people the kids could go where they wished. They spent a good hour pretending they were visiting each other's houses or restaurants, etc. Magic was involved. I'm sure there were bad guys. When they start playing like this, I love to step back and let them go. They certainly don't need me. It's wonderful, too, to see all three of them engaged. So often when Clare and Ev get playing, Jon is excluded. I understand why--he's only five and he's a boy so his play is different than the girls. But it makes me sad, and so I treasure these times when all three are a part of the game.
|Consulting in the shade|
|Jon's house (today)|
The day was beautiful, and the views were lovely. The museum rests on the verge of a hill that dives down into a valley. Across the valley are high rises and houses, but the valley is a flood plain and full of greenery. Cars and trucks trundle past on the road out front, but they are removed from us. We can hardly even smell their exhaust.
We'll have to go again. It's worth the visit. And after all, I've promised the kids that next time we'll take the train ride....