Monday, December 13, 2010
More Creative Play.
c. David Grim (taken 12/12/10)
Apparently the Children's Museum does indeed merit return trips, sometimes even in close succession. With my Dad in from out of town to see my son, I had to figure out something cool for him to see along with the opportunity to spend time with his grandson. Now I'm certain that he doesn't need the bells-and-whistles to make such a trip worthwhile, but at the same time I had never had a reason to take him to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum before. As a photographer I knew he'd enjoy the visual stimuli throughout the building.
To tell you the truth I was also kind of itching to go back. The regular readers of this blog (whatever few might exist) likely remember my somewhat recent account of my initial trip to the museum during RAD days. I took advantage of the offer of free admission, and braved the significant crowds. Despite the fact that we had to get a bit aggressive with the jostling masses in order to get the most out of our visit, E. and I both had a lot of fun checking out the attractions. I was curious to see what favorites he would return to, and what he'd pass by without a second thought.
Surprisingly my son didn't spend a lot of time with the stuff he had previously explored. My Dad and I were happy to let him lead the way through. It was refreshingly empty, and thus E. could freely explore whatever caught his immediate fancy. He's not quite three years old yet, so he doesn't have to deliberate in order to make these decisions. And fortunately the design of the museum allows spontaneous negotiation with its features. This time through he only made me go down one tunnel slide. It was dark inside and I feared I wouldn't make it around all of the bends with my son in my lap and my winter jacket adding another thick layer. Believe me- most things you can sit on, ride in, or slide down are not made for people of my height.
E. also enjoyed one of the rotating exhibits. There is an entire room dedicated to examining the marvels of air that wasn't there this past October. I got to make him a little parachute out of a coffee filter, a tongue depressor and four twisty ties. They had a wind tunnel gizmo that allowed the kids to "test" the viability of their handmade fliers. Sweet. E. loved to feed it through the slot at the bottom and catch it as it floated back down. His grandfather has much photo documentation to prove this. Personally though, my favorite was the Whirlwind Room. That's mostly because goggles were required to enter the thing, and E. was almost unbearably cute in them.
Now I know that the Children's Museum is NOT a once a year proposition. It is the best year-round playground in the city. It's a bit of a shame that they don't have any evening hours. After all, working parents would like to have the chance to take their kids out during the week too. But I suppose there are very real pragmatic reasons for not extending the times of operation. Anyway, monthly visits alone would more than justify the purchase of a membership. It costs $21 for one adult and one child to go once. The math makes it a no-brainer even if you are relegated to weekends.