A-Mazing Trip to Museum of Science

Last week was my son’s school vacation, and like many families in Massachusetts, we scrambled to find cheap and enjoyable things to do.  Playdates were very high on our list, and we managed to squeeze in three, including a sleepover.  My son has been bugging me for months to go to the Museum of Science in Boston, and since our membership is about to expire (tomorrow!) and we still had not used our free IMAX theater passes from this year (or last year), I figured a visit to the museum was a must for vacation week.

We watched two films at the IMAX: one on Mummies of Ancient Eqypt and another on the Colorado River and Grand Canyon.  Both were very well done.  The Grand Canyon one, though, actually brought tears to my eyes.  The message of the critical state of our planet’s fresh water supply and the damaged world we are leaving to our children was so poignant.  Though, not at all overdone, I thought — you know how sometimes it’s all doom and gloom?  This was more subtle, plus hopeful at the end.

We also saw a planetarium show about the questions that scientists can’t answer and how the latest discoveries have only added more questions to the list:  are there other living organisms in the universe, what is dark matter, etc.  Fascinating and hard to wrap the ole head around!

After that presentation, my son was ready for some hands-on activities, so we headed to the children’s discovery area.  It’s clearly deigned for younger children, but he didn’t care.  We had been sitting outside that exhibit earlier eating our lunch, and he had spied an angled blower that was holding up a beach ball.  As soon as we were free of the shows, he made a bee-line there to investigate.  From that, he moved to the magnet maze wall shown here:

Each piece of pipe has a magnet bolted to its back, so the pieces can be arranged on the big metal wall however one chooses.  Kids can create mazes that balls fall through, ending up (ideally) in a bin below.  This activity was good for over twenty minutes.  After a while, I jumped in as well ’cause it was fun!

We meandered around to other exhibits and ended the visit with a lightning show in the weather exhibit.  LOUD!  When our son was younger, he hated loud noises.  We tried to attend this show back then, but he had to be led out after the first bolt.  He’s certainly grown up since then.  “No problem, Mom,” he answered when I asked if he were sure that he wanted to attend this show. He tossed me a look like, duh, I’m not a baby!

As we drove home in the dark (we had been at the museum for almost eight hours!), we talked about the mysteries of the universe. Maybe you’ll grow up to be one of the scientists who solves these mysteries…

From the back seat came the sound of his small, quiet voice, “Yeh.  I might just do that.”

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2 Responses

  1. That sounds awesome. I love those IMAX movies and that magnet wall looks neat. That science museum sounds similar to the one I went to in Pittsburgh. We loved it.

  2. Yeh, I’m sure that Boston’s museum is similar to others around the country/world. we certainly enjoy being there.

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