Children’s Museums

Last Saturday we went to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum. Then on Tuesday we drove to Youngstown and went to what we call the Youngstown Children’s Museum but is apparently, officially, Oh Wow! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.

We went to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum with Mollie and Mollie’s Mom a/k/a Mara. I suckered Mara into going with us so I could blatantly use her for child care for Elena when I needed to feed Zoe.

We spent the first hour or so just looking around at the exhibits. The Children’s Museum had a special exhibit, TapeScape, which is basically a bunch of tunnels made out of tape that kids can crawl through. It was pretty neat. We actually had to wait for the exhibit to open – the museum opened at 10 but this room opened at 11, except that it didn’t. Fortunately Mara tracked down someone and dragged them by their ear to the room and forced them to open it. So, another reason to be glad she came!

Tapescape

Tapescape

Totscape

Totscape

After a healthy lunch of, you know, chicken fingers and fries and that sort of thing, the girls finished out the museum experience in the water room. They’ve recently redone the water room and it is much more user-friendly for smaller kids like these girls. They spent a good deal of time filling up buckets and moving water around and generally preparing themselves for life as factory workers.

Because I clearly used Mollie and Mara as tools to entertain my older child, I came away from the museum experience feeling like a skilled and adequate parent of two children. It also helped that Zoe slept the whole time.

Children's museums are tiring

Children’s museums are tiring

Oh, and also I stole most of the pictures above from Mara. Again, good thing she came! Thanks Mara!

Tuesday met Catherine and her boys in Youngstown, which is more or less halfway between Cleveland where she lives and Columbus where we live. The Youngstown museum is fairly new (opened in 2011) and it’s pretty small. I wouldn’t recommend just driving there (unfortunately they do not have reciprocity with Pittsburgh’s museum, so members of Pittsburgh still have to pay), but if you’re going that way anyway, or if you want to meet up with your friend from Cleveland or Pittsburgh, it’s definitely worth stopping. It’s very nice, the exhibits are interesting, it’s small and so easy to keep an eye on small people, and generally easy to have a nice time.

Lego wall

Lego wall

Blocks

Blocks

Group shot

Group shot

spinning

spinning

Elena was actually so tired on the trip home that she pitched forward and was basically folded in half, but sadly by the time I stopped the car and was able to take a picture she had sat back and looked more normal.

Tired trip home

Now that we’ve been to two different children’s museums in the space of three days we probably won’t go again until April.

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