Monday, April 12, 2010

Cantigny Park and Gardens

The day before Easter we went to Cantigny Park for the first time. It was a really great experience. For just five dollars a car, you get access to the park's 500 acres, which includes two World War I and onward war museums, 22 individual gardens, a playground and golf course. They also sponsor music, nature, arts and crafts and other related programs for the public.

The big draw for us was the tanks. The park has about thirteen different tanks dating back to World War I. People are allowed to climb all over the tanks. Jared was scrambling to get up on the tanks right away, but Alexa was much more hesitant. I was able to snap one picture, though, before she wanted off.

I wish I would have taken many more pictures, but I got too caught up in playing.  We had a great time playing hide-and-seek behind the huge oak and maple trees. Then we headed over to the 38,000 square foot First Division Museum. The museum tells the story of the First Division from the Revolutionary War through Desert Storm through interactive galleries.

Steve and I would have loved to stay here much longer than we did. We do try to take the kids to a lot of museums, and I would guess they have gone to more museums in their short lifetime than many adults, but they still have a very short attention span for anything that does not captivate their interest. They appreciated a few things: the simulated bunkers where the soldiers slept, a captain giving orders to his men, and watching a few minutes of war footage. Other than that they really moved too fast to really appreciate anything, but I know each year we do things like this, they will get new and different things out of the experience.

After the museum, we went to the playground. I had a killer headache, so I sat under a tree and watched Jared play with another boy in the playground. Near the park was a ring of tree stumps. Alexa love jumping from stump to stump with Steve.

It was so interesting watching Jared interact with this boy, who was probably about five. Once Jared saw this boy's pretend gun, Jared was his immediate friend. Jared has his toy stick gun, and they instantly came up with a game of hide-out and shooting. At one point I heard the boy ask Jared if he was in preschool. Jared says, "Oh, no, no,no."  They boy looks at him for awhile and says, "You must be in preschool, though." Even little kids have this school mentality ingrained in their thinking. Why can't the question just be, How old are you?  Well, the kids aren't even four yet (just 17 days to go!), so I have years and years left of experiencing this frustration.

Anyways, it was a great, great time with the entire family. I highly recommend visiting Cantigny Park.

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