Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Trip to the Museum!

Summertime provides a wonderful opportunity to do things with our grandchildren - go to parks, swim, hike, explore, camp (although I prefer "camping" at the local Hampton!) There are so many things to do together - many of which get us outside - which is an excellent thing.

However; sometimes it rains or is just too hot to enjoy the outside and it is just such times when a trip to your local museum is the perfect way to spend some great time together!

My local museum - the Grand Rapids Public Museum - sent me tickets for my family to visit, and today I'm happy to share with you what we discovered on our trip to the museum.

The first thing we did was visit the Roger B Chaffee Planetarium - the boys wanted to see the show on eclipses . . . since there will be a full eclipse in just a month and a half! Josiah said he really enjoyed the show and learned a lot about eclipses - they are more interesting than he thought!

Then we visited the special exhibit on "Creatures of Light" . . . the boys loved this! The museum describes this exhibit as; "In Creatures of Light, visitors move through a series of luminous environments, from the familiar mushrooms on land to the extreme in the deepest parts of the ocean, to explore the diversity of organisms which glow and how they do it. Visitors will discover the ways in which light is used to attract a mate, lure unsuspecting prey and defend against a predator, and learn how, where and why scientists study this amazing natural phenomenon.
Throughout the gallery, visitors will be able to deepen their experience by interacting with iPads, which offer engaging videos, animations, photographs and additional in-depth content about bio-luminescence and related phenomena designed exclusively for this exhibition. Additional interactive exhibits and videos offer visitors of all ages engaging opportunities to meet scientists whose work contributes to the exploration of bio-luminescence. A symphonic soundtrack, created for Creatures of Light by composer Tom Phillips, evokes the magical experience of bio-luminescence."

The boys thought this display was so cool - and loved being able to add the word, "bio-luminescence" to their vocabulary! 

A visit to the planetarium and the display on Creatures of Light would have provided for a fun and full day of activities, but there was more! We went to the Mindbenders Mansion exhibit, which is described as; "Visitors to this fun and quirky mansion are invited to join the Mindbender Society by gathering hidden clues and secret passwords scattered throughout the various thematic rooms of the house. The clues and passwords are revealed by solving select brainteasers and group challenges.
Master each of the 40 individual brainteasers and the five large-scale group activities. In order to solve these puzzles, visitors must identify patterns, think ahead, use logical reasoning, and look at the problems from different perspectives, setting aside preconceived ideas.
The essential scientific tasks of problem solving and critical thinking are at the heart of Mindbender Mansion. Explore the neuroscience principles at work in each challenge, and polish your communication, collaboration, leadership, and teamwork skills as you manipulate a tilt table, form patterns in rolling chairs, keep up with a conveyor belt, maneuver a flying machine, and more."

My oldest grandsons enjoyed this exhibit - he is eight, but my two younger grandsons - ages five and three - did not as there were not many games/puzzles they were able to try. If you have time and older grandchildren, this could be a great place to spend several hours on a rainy summer day, but if you have younger grandchildren and are running out of time for your visit, I'd pass on this one.

We planned to spend some time on our way out at the large game exhibits we saw on the first floor of the museum (chess, connect four, etc.), but when we got back to these exhibits, they were gone - apparently someone had booked the museum for their wedding reception and in the place of the exhibits were tables and chairs. My grandsons were greatly disappointed as they had been looking forward to playing the large games. If you plan a visit to the museum, I'd call ahead to see if this might happen to you and try to plan your visit for a time when you will be able to see and experience all the museum has to offer and not have it disrupted by the facilities being rented out for a special event. I think the museum would be a fun place for a special event, but if people are buying tickets to visit the museum, they should be able to see it all and not have part of it "put away" for someone who rented the facilities.

We wrapped up our visit with rides on the carousel for the grandsons - they loved this!

If you live in, near or are planning a visit to the Grand Rapids, MI, area - be sure to check out the Grand Rapids Public Museum - it is a great place to spend time with your family - you will have fun and learn a lot as well! If you do not live in this area - check the museum near you as they likely have similar exhibits!

No comments:

Post a Comment