Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Looking for a cheap weekend?

Benefit #1,324 of homeschooling is the ability to take mini-vacations whenever you feel like it. Calendars be damned.

My mother in law took me and the kids (Pat had to work. Sucks to be the bread-winner...) to Indianapolis a few weeks ago to visit the Indianapolis Children's Museum. The place is freaking HUGE and we needed the full day to cover it...

Being greeted by Bumblebee in the entrance hall....
That is a CLOCK. A clock with blue liquid that flows and marks the time change and is SO FREAKING COOL. Evan and I specifically came back to watch the hour change from 1 to 2 so that we could watch the liquid swoosh out from the minutes back to the holding chamber. You have to see it to understand, but it was really neat and we had a long conversation about time, gears, pressure, etc. You have no idea how badly I would love to own a clock like this one.
The Dinosphere interested all of us, even Justin. He is my museum "reader." He'll read every. Single. Plaque. Every game, every interactive station. You name it: he wants to read it. So we spent a long time in the Dinosphere...

...which was fine with Evan and Corinne. They are actually digging for fossils! It's not sand, either. It's some compressed stone stuff that must be chipped away. Every person is actually contributing to the "discovery" of what's below. It's freaking awesome.Taking a break for a game of checkers with Grandma...

We stopped at every play kitchen/restaurant station they had (there were quite a few throughout the museum). This is my dessert from my son. Isn't he sweet?
Yeah. He thinks he's pretty hilarious.Learning about Ruby Bridges in the Power of Children exhibit...
It never fails. Give Justin a water table, and he's still all over it. We definitely spent a huge portion of our museum time at the extensive water table.Awww. Aren't we adorable? It's nice that he still likes to hug me. And lets me document it. Don't tell him that most boys grow out of this, ok?
And Corinne and I spent a HUGE chunk of time in the Barbie exhibit. :)

I know, I know. It doesn't sound "educational" to have a Barbie exhibit. But she created outfits on mannequins, posed in a "Fashion show" and even created sketches of new outfits.
A future in fashion design? Perhaps. All I know is that she is asking for more blank people to draw on and a mannequin for her room. This could get interesting...Pretending to search for buried treasure. She just loves any excuse to wear goggles.Participating in an Egypt presentation and choosing the correct thrones, etc. We really explored Egypt for a long time in both the ancient exhibit and also the second Egyptian exhibit on modern day Egypt. Evan even sent me an email from there! It was hilarious.One of these things is not like the others...
Is that not gorgeous? If for no other reason than to see the Chihuly glass sculpture, you must visit the Indy Children's Museum. This view is taken from below on the slowly rotating circular couch.
Grandma and the kids found every single item on the "search and find" board. We also made sure to do the interactive "blow your own glass" computer program. Very cool.
The sculpture from the staircases that surround it. STUNNING.
Absolutely stunning.
To top things off, my MIL found a great deal at the Caribbean Cove Waterpark resort. We stayed there for 2 nights, breakfast included both mornings, and got tickets to the museum included as well. It was SO CHEAP. Truth be told, the hotel is a little run-down. But the entryway is beautiful, the breakfast was delicious, and the room, while not beautiful, was clean enough.
The kids had fun in their small waterpark which has 3 larger slides, a good lazy river, a fun children's splash area, a basketball pool and 2 hot tubs. Plenty of stuff to occupy them for a few hours each night.
And honestly, if I told you how cheap our deal was, you would probably flip out.

This was a totally unsponsored weekend unless you count my mother-in-law as a sponsor because she treated us to the entire thing (thank you! Love you!). We truly, truly had a blast on our own (her own) dime and it was worth every single penny.
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