Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Magic House

The hardest thing to do when you are a parent is to get some free time to do the things that you put on the back burner.  With all the work I've been doing on the retaining wall I've been neglecting the backlog of things I wanted to post.  One item sitting in the queue was a trip the family took to the Magic House.

Back in the middle of October the Magic House was having an anniversary party and to celebrate admission was free with donation.  The Magic House is an attraction that has been in existence since I was a kid.  Back then it was just a house with fun learning things for kids to learn.  Now, 25 years later the Magic House is really more like the Magic Mansion.  There is stuff everywhere for kids to look, touch, smell, and hear.

The first exhibit we visited was the Curious George play area.  This traveling exhibit had all sorts of Curious George themed items for kids to play with.  Alyce's two favorites were the slide coming out of a rocket and a conveyor belt with black foam bricks.  Alyce was a big fan of the blocks; putting them in place and even taking a few turns at the crank that brought them up to the lift for their zig zag journey back to earth.  Now would be a good time to mention how busy the Magic House was.  Since admission was free there was a line out the door just to get in.  Inside at times it was shoulder to shoulder.  Because quarters were so tight it was hard for me to stay within arms reach of Alyce.  In this hectic situation I had my first parental scare.  Alyce went behind an exhibit and to follow her I had to go around said exhibit with my eyes being off of her for maybe 10 seconds.  When I got to the other side Alyce was nowhere in sight.  I did that parental 360 degree look, couldn't see Alyce's bobbing head anywhere, got the racing heartbeat, and panic was eating at the edges.  I quickly got back to Mom telling her I lost Alyce and to guard the exit to the room.  About that time I turn around and Alyce is at the top getting ready to go down without a care in the world.  I waved her over to me, gave her a big, and told her to go back to playing.  Oh to be a child where the world is a simple and safe place.

After the Curious George exhibit we found another neat exhibit, a gigantic water table.  This table had all sorts of floating toys and ways to block off sections of water so you could make your own custom river.  Alyce was a big fan of the provided smocks for keeping the kids dry.  Alyce moved from station to station playing with water jets, floating toys, and other fun stuff.

We didn't stay at the Magic House much longer after that.  The place was crowded past capacity so much that you couldn't push a stroller from one room to the next.  Standing shoulder to shoulder in a human traffic jam was very stressful as well.  Alyce didn't seem to mind.  I see us going back this winter when it is too cold to be out in a park or at the zoo and hopefully with less people.

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