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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Trip to Kalamazoo Valley Museum

As you know, I work at a library.  I am super blessed to work with Alicia.

In planning our summer reading program (Dream Big - Read theme, focusing on night and Brian Lies' artwork), Alicia and I talked about how cool it would be to tell the kids about the stars in the sky and how to find the different constellations - but pretty much impossible on a summer morning for our library kiddos. That's when Alicia found a link for the Kalamazoo Valley Museum's Planetarium.  They were showing a winter sky special.  We decided we would take our boys out of school for the afternoon and bring them to the museum ourselves.

Seven boys. Two country girls. 

We could do this.

I baked the boys, and Alicia's boys too, some chocolate chip cookies.
When I went to pick them up, S1 mentioned that Miss Alicia's cookies are better than his mama's.
He is now forever regretting that statement.
He's pretty sure his mama isn't making him cookies for a good long time.

But armed with chocolate chip cookies and lots of excitement, we headed to downtown Kalamazoo.

My boys can't recall ever being in downtown Kalamazoo.

It was a bit of shock to my country boys.

And when we DROVE INTO A BUILDING to park...they were shrieking.

Seriously, I could have just driven to the parking garage and it would have been a field trip.

 Because the parking garage was sooooo cool, we needed a photo.
 The planetarium was impressive.  At one point, S4 leaned over and said to me, "Mama, is it night time right now?"  We were the only ones in the planetarium which made it more memory making.  Will I be able to find the stars in the sky now? I believe I will still struggle.  But did I learn a lot?  I surely did!

Outside of the planetarium there was a tornado machine.  I so wished I had taken a picture of that because the boys were enthralled with the tornado.

We headed upstairs and came onto the how to produce Energy race track.  Really, this drew the boys in and we could hardly get them away.  They worked to build a car like the demo.  With an electric type engine, they could race the cars around the track.  
 Even my husband, when I told him about this, thought it was cool.
 The boys had all kinds of fun modifying their cars to race them.  Well, everyone had fun but S4 who you can see crying.  He wanted to make a car, he wanted to race a car and he really needed nap.  Fearing a breakdown, I suggested we go explore.
 Honestly, we didn't know anything about the museum and thought that the little section we were in might be it.  Oh, no!  The museum took a turn and suddenly we were engulfed in Kalamazoo history.
 The boys could not believe they got to pretend play these instruments at the Gibson Guitar section.
 The speakers played the music of the play wooden instruments and the boys acted as though they were the professionals playing.  S2 has always dreamed of playing the banjo.  I am not even joking.
 S1 looked mighty fine.
 This picture of S4 cracks me up.
 S3 was ready to write his own music.
 We wandered farther and came to the General Store.  S4 was more than slightly ecstatic that there was a checker board and didn't want to leave until he had successfully beaten his brother.
 But when we found this.......
 Everyone had to be a newscaster.  The weather was a lot of fun, the boys love watching the weather on Fox 17, as you know, and they just had so much fun playing with the weather map.

The desk?  I mean, how fun was this?!
 They were able to move the camera and pretend they were Mike Davis so to say they had a blast here would be an understatement.

The part of the museum they loved the most though, shocked Alicia and I a bit.

It was the diner.
 I don't know if it is because they don't have play kitchen sets or what, but the boys were enthralled with this diner set up.  I don't think we will be eating any food they make for awhile but, seriously, the boys had fun making up food and taking orders. 
 Even baby Callisto was in shock at their silliness.
 I mean, they were so animated it was hilarious to watch.
 You can see S2 laughing hysterically.  They all were but S2's face cracks me up.
 We had to move them away.  They were having waaaaaaaay too much fun.

There was another flight of stairs.  And at the top of the stairs was a mummy.
 To be honest, this sort of freaked S4 out a bit.  This was an ACTUAL dead person?

Yup.  Yup, it was.

But it is a dead person mummy with a TWITTER ACCOUNT!!!! Seriously. You can follow HERE.

And the boys did find this mummy to be amazingly cool.  

We headed off to the disease section and just as the boys were thinking this was going to be grossly enthralling, we heard the announcement that the museum was closing.  Where had all the time gone?

We hurried out of the building, soaked in some more glorious sunshine of the day, the boys wanted to know if New York looked as cool as downtown Kalamazoo (really, Alicia, we need to take the boys out more) and drove our suburban out of the building (aka parking garage) to head for home.

This was a small miracle.  I usually always get lost but I followed Alicia to the museum without a bit of problem and I drove home without even thinking I may be lost (Siri was there to help).  Easiest trip to and from.

We stopped at Plainwell Ice Cream for some of the world's greatest ice cream.
The boys (and their mama) arrived home exhausted but happy.

S1 emailed me.  "Sure had a lot of fun today.  Thanks."

I think that pretty much sums the whole day up.

As a mom, I was so thankful that all the exhibits were kid interactive.  The museum wanted to kids to be a part of the history, this makes it sink in even more for them.  Had we had more time, the "phones" you could pick up and listen to tell you the back story of the display would have been something the boys would have learned so much from.

When you are so used to saying, "Be careful! Don't touch that!" it was great to just let the boys explore.  THAT made the day fun.

Already the boys are wondering if we can go back again soon.  And yes, I think we shall descend upon the Kalamazoo Valley Museum again in the near future.

There is no cost to visit the museum
There is a three dollar charge for the 45 minute planetarium show


Monday - Thursday, Saturday 9am-5pmFriday 9am-9pmSunday and Holidays: 1-5pm (Closed Easter,
230 North Rose Street | Map + ParkingKalamazoo Michigan 49007800.772.3370 | 269.373.7990


Beth Dykstra-Herpst said...

Sounds like a great time! My girls loved it there and the GR chidrens museum too.. Heck, I think at 19 and 17 they would still play in the bubbles at GR Childrens! Have you taken them to the Air Zoo in Kazoo yet? I think it is free too.

Boy Crazy said...

Awesome field trip, lady! Slightly more educational than our most recent Krispy Kreme "field trip". lol Looks like a blast!