After New York we headed south for a week in DC. We began Sunday morning at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum (http://www.mnh.si.edu/). I expected the girl's to enjoy it, but we were suprised how much Jackson enjoyed it as well. We had a great time and only wish this museum was closer to us to take advantage of more frequently!
It just so happened some of our good friends from Kentucky were in DC as well so we met them at the museum. The girl's loved having Nina to explore with!
Reagan and Nina were interested in the Egyptian exhibit and the mummies since they had both been studying the subject throughout the fall in Story of the World.
We saw a trantula feeding which is always interesting. As you can probably tell from her face, Missy K wasn't quite sure about posing with the spider even though it was in a container.
The kids had a great time playing in the "Discovery Room"
Jackson was completely enamoured with the magnifying glass and rocks
Ready to watch the IMAX film "Born to Be Wild" which documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the people who rescue and raise them. This was a great documentary!
So glad we were able to spend our day at the museum with good friends. A college friend of mine, Kalina Kwok, also joined us, but somehow I didn't manage to get any good pictures with her. I'll be sure to do that the next time we're in DC. We sure appreciated her driving down from Baltimore to hang out with us for the day!
We also visited the Bureau of Printing and Engraving (http://www.moneyfactory.gov/) during our visit. I had especially wanted to do this since we were studying money last fall in Math. Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures inside due to security but I did snap this one outside with the girls.
We spent one day at the National Building Museum (http://nbm.org/) . This is one of the neatest museums in DC. It was recommended to me by a highschool friend shortly before we moved away from DC and I knew from our previous visit that it should be on the top of the list for this trip. And I was right, the kids had a fabulous time especially in the Play Work Build exhibit.
Play Work Build began with different building toys of the last several decades including a large table of Tinker Toys the kids could play with. Next came this enormous light table with all different shapes and sizes of foam blocks you could put together.
The next section was a larger version of the same blue blocks.
In this section they also had blue balls so the kids could make tracks and roll the balls on them. It was fun watching them discover what did or didn't work and how long they could make there track(s) and still keep the balls rolling.
In the final section the blue blocks were gigantic!!! You can see from this picture it was a challenge for Reagan to even move the block.
Kennedy lounging on their creation :)
In this same area there was a giant wall that would identify your shape, build you in blocks and then explode apart. As you can imagine the kids had a fabulous time with this!
Next we headed to the Building Zone exhibit
Reagan is obviously a mailman, but I'm not quite sure what kind of an astronaut Kennedy is...
Such a fun day at the National Building Museum!
After Tim finished his training on Friday he met us at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (http://airandspace.si.edu/). We started out in the Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age exhibit where I use to volunteer.
Next we went to check out some information on Amelia Earhart since I thought it would be good for the girls to hear about a female explorer/pioneer. Here Reagan is trying to line up a plane for the trip across the Pacific Ocean. After you think you have it lined up correctly you push a button which shoots a laser to show you how close you were to being on course. It's amazing how difficult it is to correctly direct the plane even on this small surface! It's a wonder anyone made it anywhere, let alone across oceans, in the early days of aviation!
Jackson touching the moon
We spent a good portion of our visit in the How Things Fly exhibit. There are so many great activities for the kids to do and explore how the many aspects of flight work and effect each other.
They had a demonstration while we were there and since there were so few children the girls enjoyed getting to help with several experiments.
Missy K flying a plane! :)
This had to be the most precious moment of the day and probably the trip. Even random strangers were commenting on it as they passed by. You can walk through the Skylab Orbital Workshop in the Space Race exhibit (it is huge and pretty impressive). We were already downstairs with the stroller and getting ready to leave when the girls decided they wanted to go thru Skylab. Tim took the girls back up stairs to go thru it while Jackson and I stayed downstairs with the stroller. I naturally took a picture of them at the level you enter which is what intially drew Jackson's attention to Skylab. He stood looking up at it completely mesmorized. He had enjoyed our time at the museum, but Skylab literally stopped him in his tracks. It was as if he didn't know how to react and so he just stood frozen to the spot trying to take it all in. I wish I could have gotten the entire Skylab in the picture, but even so you can see how tiny he looks staring up at it in the first picture. It was priceless watching him try and absorb the sight. One of the best things about kids is definitely getting to see things thru their eyes and experience things like this with them for the first time.
I don't miss DC traffic but I do miss these incredible museums!