Monday, October 22, 2012

Albuquerque: Nuclear Museum and Botanic Gardens

Children standing on their favorite elements (Ky and Seb both wanted Gold). Who knew Daisy was such a fan of Dysprosium?

We found some fun things to do in Albuquerque. One of the days was Abe's birthday, so we let him choose the activity for the day. He chose the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (that's our boy!). Actually, that was his second choice, but the Sandia Peak Tram was closed for wind that morning. Anyway, the nuclear museum was fascinating. We watched an interesting movie about the Manhattan Project, and there were a bunch of cool exhibits showing how nuclear waste is disposed of, the history of nuclear energy, and so forth. Our favorite parts were the videos showing nuclear bomb tests in slow motion, and the outside area showing several different weapon casings and rockets or planes that carried them. We wished we could have visited the Trinity test site on this trip, but we missed it by one weekend! (It only opens twice a year.) One of the things I learned at the museum was that the word "thermonuclear" refers specifically to hydrogen bombs, as opposed to "regular" atom bombs. I'd always thought it was just a synonym for nuclear!

There was also a fun interactive kids' area in this museum, but the children fought so much about whose turn it was to do everything that we left that area in great haste! Had Sam and I been alone, I'm sure we could have played with the exhibits much longer. Children's areas are wasted on the young! :)

Albuquerque also has a lovely Botanic Garden. There are interesting desert plants as well as some tropical and Mediterranean areas.
I was very pleased to encounter a roadrunner. He stood still for awhile and posed for us.

These cacti are actually called Bunny Ears! Or it may have been Rabbit Ears. Cute!

There was a nice little farm area, with tomatoes and peppers growing, and a small orchard.

Loved this tangerine-colored rose

We couldn't tear ourselves away from this tiny model train environment---we especially liked the little mill and waterwheel, and the circus train that drove by full of animals!

The best part of all, though, was the Children's Garden area, with its dramatic dragon and castle entrance. When you went inside, there were all sorts of cool things to explore. Everything was large, to make you feel like a tiny bug. There were big logs to crawl and slide through, giant pinecones, huge carrots, a big pumpkin to walk around in, a rock maze, and an enormous buzzing bee. So fun! We stayed there till closing time . . . or, past closing time, actually. No one came to kick us out, so we felt free to stay. :)
A frog in the moat!


I hadn't expected Albuquerque to have such lovely Fall colors; I thought it was more desert-y. What a beautiful place!

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if Gin has been here? I wanna go. I'll make her go. FUN! What loveliness. I want to retire to an earth that's like this all over itself. And by the way, this is quintessential home schooling.

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