A really good day = Austin Kid's Museum and Burgers

We didn't get out of the house much this week. Our fun new friends were out of town (we've been hanging out with them non-stop for the past two weeks since they moved here. Love it). And then it rained NON-stop for two days. Holy Moly. So today I decided we were walking away from the cabin fever and the computer. Downtown Austin was the perfect medicine!
7 months ago we bought an annual pass to the Austin Children's Museum and it has been well-worth it. It's the perfect outing for me and the kids. We drive for 35 minutes, spend a couple hours at the museum, get lunch somewhere, and then the kids get to watch a short movie on the way home since we usually hit traffic. We have the routine down pretty well.

As we drive to the parking garage, Lucy looks for the green building (and I try to see what's in the Design within Reach windows. Sometimes they have their furniture set-up outside and the kids think it's hilarious. Why is there a couch on the sidewalk mom??!)

So today, Lucy danced her way to the museum. Owen refused to be in the picture and wanted to stand in the shade. Smart kid.
The museum is great. Not as vast as Kidspace in Pasadena but still fabulous. The traveling exhibits change every few months and we've loved each of them.
Our first stop is always the Kitchen. And this day in particular was luxurious because no one was there! Only about 8 families at any given time. Very, very nice. Usually, the kids are fighting for space behind that counter:
First the kids went into the "store" to buy fake fruits and vegetables. Then they stood behind the restaurant counter and prepared 10 million things for me to eat.
Like this monstrosity. Reminds me of a Bill Cosby hoagie.
Next up....Lucy pretended she was Alice in Wonderland, carrying around her cat Dina. The last time we came to the museum there was a random cat stuffed animal in the little kids area. She got really attached to it and carried it all around the museum. So of course when we came back today she immediately requested, "mom, let's find my Dina cat!" I highly doubted it would be there, and it wasn't, but strangely enough there was another stuffed cat sitting in a different room. Random and weird.

Anyway, here she is reenacting the first scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice falls down the tunnel. Lucy went to the top of the slide, left Dina there with Owen,
and then "fell" down saying "goodbye Dina! Goodbye!" So silly and so funny. I love her imagination. She did this routine about 5 times.
After doing our normal stuff we checked out the current exhibit. It's all about games! There were tables set-up with normal board games for older kids to play. And then there were over-sized games everywhere.
I always get a kick out of these human-size Chess boards.
Largest Sudoku grid ever? (there's the Dina cat in Lucy's arms)
This one was my favorite. I've always loved Connect Four. I think my cousin Kam, my brother Eric, and I used to play it when we were kids for hours at a time.
The kids are too young to get the strategy aspect, so I just told them to fill it up and then we yanked the bottom out and watched them fall.
Life-size Jenga and min-bowling (I guess games that are typically large became smaller?)
And finally, have you ever seen such a cool train table??? The kids spend 30 minutes here every time we come (while I loaf around checking email on my iPhone. It's a nice tradeoff). Sometimes Lucy climbs into those middle holes to play.
After the train, we headed upstairs to the craft and engineering room. Owen has a thing for Ladybugs.
These two windows caught my eye last time we were here and I told myself to bring my camera the next time so I could capture their beauty!
They're covered in plastic bottle caps. How cool is that? They really look beautiful (kind of like the Beer House)
I guess I'll start saving my recycled bottle lids.
In this room there are all sorts of mechanical engineering lessons. Nothing intense, just simple stuff like these cool gears, some lego-ish type of building toys,
and this really cool pulley system . I showed Lucy how it worked a few times and then she wanted to do it all by herself, over and over and over again.
There's a vertical rope and an angled rope with a large clamp on it. You attach an animal with a parachute to the clamp and then use the pulley system to pull it up to the top.
When it gets there, the parachute falls off the clamp and the animal floats down. Simple fun.

And lastly there's a crazy fun craft/art room. It's usually filled with kids and looks a bit messy.
Man, if I wasn't watching kids, I'd totally be in there cutting and glueing away. Looks like creative mayhem.
And that was our trip to the museum! (after a quick stop at their store on the way out)
And then it was cheeseburgers and French fries from P. Terry's. I was looking back at my previous post about P. Terry's and oddly enough, the kids are wearing the same clothes. I guess they're our favorite"outing" outfits.
Thank you P. Terry's for the entertaining sandbox! My kids love it and I love my quiet yummy meal, while I watch them play.


Jenny said...

That looks a lot like the children's museum in Chattanooga, TN. We love it! Looks like the kids had a blast!

The WoodLand School said...

Wonderful photos of a wonderful day! Those huge games look like so much fun!

PS - I'm always impressed by how sharp and bright your indoor photos are (like the one with Lucy holding food). Wonder if you'd be so kind as to share some tips and/or settings ...

Saunja said...

That Children's Museum looks SO COOL. I can't believe that giant Connect Four!!! So awesome! We also really liked the pretty bottle-cap windows. Looks like a really fun day!

Jean said...

I LOVE awesome, super-creative museums like this!!! That train table is the king of all train tables.

Kam Belly Soup said...

dude that place is freakin sweet. owen is starting to look like a little suman.

dietcokegrrl said...

Oh...how I miss you guys!! *sigh*. That is an AWESOME museum--way better than Kidspace IMO.

Kids are looking older every time I see pics of them.

And definitely YAY for new friends to hang out with!! :)

Becky said...

what a fun-looking place. I think chess is a bit over my kids heads, but I like the concept of the over-sized board and pieces. Love the giant-sized connetct four game. Does Design Within Reach grumble that the museum practically ripped off it's sign!? Love that store though, we have some friends who used to work there and there house was so fantastic-looking.

Although I used to tease them, "um designed within who's reach?!" since the prices are a bit in my opinion.

Jodie said...

This place looks AWESOME! Love all the pics- your kids are adorable!

scott davidson said...

As an older art collector since my wife passed away, I must admit to being very partial to collecting nudes in art, as original paintings or as good prints, that I have displayed all over the house. (I like to see the surprised faces of my new visitors).
This one,
http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LHTDD, by Emile Munier, is hanging in one corner of my bedroom and was printed by wahooart.com, where I am a very good customer.

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