A few weeks ago I mentioned to Chris that I had come up with a “crazy idea” to take Lewis on an adventure. Since I don’t drive we generally are limited to going places that are within walking distance, or waiting for the weekends when Daddy can drive us places. We are lucky to live in a wonderful area with many things in walking distance including the library, post office, doctor’s office, co-op, Starbucks, and grocery store, as well as lovely neighborhoods that are perfect for going for walks. However, there are plenty of wonderful places to go that are not walk-able, and it can be hard to find time on the weekends to do all the things we would like to do.
I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be fun to take Lewis to a museum. There are a few in the area that are good for children, although I hadn’t been to any of them myself. I’ve recently heard the miSci museum in Schenectady mentioned by a few different people, and one day it occurred to me that the bus route that comes by our apartment also passes the museum, only a 10 or 15 minute ride away.
I took a quick look at bus times and the museum info, and filed the idea away for slightly warmer weather since I decided it wouldn’t be fun to have to wear our big winter boots, carry heavy coats and hats with us, etc. I also wanted to take our little umbrella stroller which wouldn’t have done so well on icy or snowy sidewalks. I didn’t plan a specific day, but I did think it should be sometime soon since the museum has a butterfly exhibit going on but only until April 19. This morning I announced to Chris that I thought today was the perfect day for our adventure! This was my first time taking Lewis on the bus (although I used to ride it daily myself to get to work) and I think Chris was more nervous about us going off than I was. He kept reminding me to make sure my phone was charged, call him if we “got lost”, etc.
Since I had never been to the museum before I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. We were given a map when we paid at the entrance, but ended up pretty much just wandering around and exploring. (Unfortunately this meant that we didn’t discover the little kids play area until we were almost ready to leave, but we still had a lot of fun with what we did explore.
There was a van full of seniors just arriving when we did, some of them in wheel chairs which Lewis found a bit interesting, and a couple of families there with young kids. The museum seemed to be the perfect level of busy without feeling crowded or overwhelming. We were able to explore pretty much whatever exhibit we wanted without any waiting, but there were also people there using everything very soon before or after us. I’m glad it wasn’t any busier since Lewis was comfortable walking around on his own most of the time, but if there were more people I would have needed to carry him a lot more. (We abandoned the stroller by the coat rack at the entrance.)
Since we spent most of our time exploring the area designed for adults/older kids a lot of it was up above Lewis’ head. Most things he was able to reach upwards to get at the buttons/knobs/etc. and many of the things also had stools by them that he could stand on to play and see what was going on.
Lewis was quite interested by the butterflies, but I didn’t get any good photos since I was holding him the whole time we looked at them. The were in a small room with glass on all sides so you could watch them from outside as well as go in to experience them. The room is full of flowers and Lewis was quite interested to see the plates of fruits that were set out for the butterflies to enjoy. None landed on us, which I think is good since he was very startled when one flew by close to his head. We also saw some teeny tiny little Monarch caterpillars which I think would have been more interesting to him if they were a bit bigger.
After wandering through much of the museum we finally made our way to the children’s play room. There were blocks, trains, books, music toys, a play kitchen, and of course the sand tables! We played with the sand and with the music a little bit, but the sand was his favorite and he kept going back to it. In a way I’m glad we didn’t find this room right away since I think we would have ended up spending our entire time here and missed out on the rest of the museum.
We were at the museum a bit over an hour which I think was just the right amount of time for today. We were up early this morning and I could tell Lewis was getting tired by the end of this, although he would happily have played with the sand a while longer. I don’t think we saw quite everywhere in the museum, but we had fun with what we explored. I had thought about going out to lunch somewhere, but we ended up coming home to eat and he very nearly fell asleep before we even had our lunch. We had a fun trip and will definitely plan on going back sometime, probably with Daddy along, although I think Lewis will be disappointed not to find the butterflies again!