Disclaimer: I am using the word “highlight” rather loosely here. Maybe I should say “Something else we did that wasn’t watching Basketball” but that doesn’t really tie in with the series I seem to be creating.
We knew there would be a void in our schedule Friday morning and back in December we realized how useful a National Membership to our own Creative Discovery Museum would be. We could have used it in both the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and the Boonshoft Museum when we were in Ohio at Christmas. In February I upped our Family Plus membership to a National Membership knowing we would use it in Atlanta (and probably in Ohio since I know we will be there again).
So, armed with our National Membership we all made our way to the Atlanta Children’s Museum. In our mind this was something just for Fuller. Having had experience with our own museum, I knew the adults would probably be bored, taking pictures, and waiting for Fuller to tire.
After walking into the museum I made this conclusion: All children’s museums are pretty much the same. The common elements we have seen the the four museums mentioned above are 1) water play, 2) fake food/ grocery shopping, 3) train table, 4) levers, pulleys, and plastic balls, 5) small house to climb on, and 6) benches for parents to sit on. Of course there may be a special exhibit at each museum (Atlanta’s was something about stuff made in Georgia, ours is about money), so that mixes it up a little bit. But really, they are all the same.
However, if I was going to rate the four museums we have been to in Fuller’s lifetime, I would put Atlanta’s at the bottom of the list. I was trying to figure out what put it at the bottom of the list and I think it is because the different areas of the museum are not very well defined. All the different activities seemed to be thrown in an empty space without much space between them, causing crowding in the really popular areas. (Moon sand was very popular, and an item I haven’t seen at any museum but Atlanta.) And even though the museum is rather large, about half of the space was taken up by empty tables for snack time/ lunch (bring your own or buy from the Chick-Fil-A kiosk stuck in the back).
I think I have to note we did go on a Friday, which is usually field trip day and a day I avoid going to our own museum. It was crowded because of that, but when you are visiting a city, you can’t really pick the day you go (Saturday probably would have been worse).
But in the end, the goal was something fun just for Fuller and it was accomplished. We eventually had to leave and Damon came up with this interesting parent hack: I put my cell phone on vibrate and LOUD ringing. We told Fuller it was a timer and put it in his pocket. Then we told him when the timer went off, it would be time to go. The “timer” was actually Grandma Linda calling my cell phone (about 10 minutes later) causing it to ring. I stuck close to Fuller to make sure the cell phone didn’t get lost and to make sure he heard it go off (which he did). It made leaving a lot easier.
I think if we went back to Atlanta and had to pick something to do as a family, we would probably go to the aquarium again or just do a picnic in Centennial Park near the playground.
[tags]Children’s Museums, Atlanta Children’s Museum, Creative Discovery Museum, parent hack[/tags]