Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Navy Pier & Chicago Children's Museum

We started out the day, May 19th, with jumping. Well, actually flippping. The kids have a little routine down where they climb onto one couch, run across it, stand on the end table, jump and then do a flip. Alexa is actually quite good.

With all that energy oozing out of the kids, I was glad we went with Steve downtown that day. I knew his conference was downtown, but for some reason I assumed it was at McCormick Place. Turns out it was at Navy Pier. So,we hitched a ride, since the parking was paid for through Steve's work, and we went to the Chicago Children's Museum in the morning while Steve was at his conference. That was free, too, since we have a membership.

The kids didn't really want to stay at one thing that day. We've been there three times before, but I'd never been there by myself with the kids. Since our stop to the bathroom before going into the museum hadn't gone so well, (Jared wouldn't stop kicking the stall next to us, and both kids were looking underneath the stall at the person inside), I was not feeling too good about how well they, particularly Jared, would stay near me. Thank God, the morning was pretty sucessful. Just two crying sessions and two times of trying to run away. Not great, but I can live with it. For now, anyways.

So, like I said, they did a lot of flitting from one thing to the next (I think they were overwhelmed by the sheer size of the place), so be forewarned, there's a lot of pictures!

The first stop is always the firestation since it's closest to the enterance. Jared loves, loves, loves dressing up in any type of costume, so this was perfect for him.

I wish I would have taken another picture of Jared near the top of this rope tunnel, but I have great video coverage. The ladder goes up two stories. The first time Jared climbed this with Steve he was 21 months old. This was the first year he climbed on his own. Alexa didn't want to climb, which was no surprise.

Somehow they found this bench funny and facinating.

The museum puts up new exhibits about four times a year, so we headed towards the new exhibit, Dinosaur Exibition. It really was well done. The kids could put on vests if they wanted, and take large brushes to use to brush off their newly dug-up dinosaur bones buried beneath the rubber chips. They also had a few full-sized, small dinosaur skeletons.

This was a cute interactive exhibit. You get your picture taken, and then it's placed on the insect's head on the screen. Then you pick up the stuffed insect in front of you and fly him across the screen. The screen had images of Navy Pier so it looks like the insects are flying all around Navy Pier.

More dressing up...

....and game playing. I loved this large chess set. I really think Jared will love this game in a few years. They also had a large...

...bowling ball set. This went over big until Jared came over and kicked over Alexa's pins after she had spent forever setting them up. AGGGGHHHH!

So we went over to the large tic-tac-toe game, where, thankfully, there was much better cooperation.

They also liked the large hopscotch game.

We spent quite some time in the art room, finger painting. They like the different items there to run through the paint like the velcro hair curler and the combs. They basically just globbed on a bunch of paint at the end, and had a blast squishing their fingers in its gooiness.

We then visited the water room where Jared was glued to the levers and pullys.

Alexa loved playing bus driver....

...and working the car wash, while Jared...


...worked on changing the tires on the car.

By this time I was getting tired, and really welcomed Steve's call to meet him for lunch. We ate at Charlie's Ale House.

Jared really wanted to go on the Ferris Wheel, but Alexa wasn't having any of that. I'm afraid she inherited my fear of heights. So, us girls went on a fun caurosel ride, and the boys had a wonderful view of downtown Chicago fromn the top of the Ferris wheel.

After our rides, we took a walk along the pier, mainly looking at hundreds of school kids boarding boats for, I assume, 8th grade parties. At one of the boats, they were passing out cookies. One of the workers must have head Jared say he wanted a cookie, because he ran after us and offered us a cookie, too. Along the way, we stopped by the fun mirrors. I was surprised at how much the kids got a kick out of them.

On the drive home, the kids fell asleep in the car, and woke up to ice cream sundaes at home. Steve' job can be very stressful, and we really hate it when he travels, but days like today do make up somewhat for those rough days.

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