A million museums

We had so much fun going to a bunch of museums while we were in California! I'm posting about them here for Sam's benefit, since he was busy giving his workshop all day most of these days, meaning he didn't get to come with us! But somehow we managed to carry on without him. :) It was nice that Allison and her kids got to be with us at several of these places, so I didn't feel like I was managing everyone by myself—and the older children were mostly great helpers too.

This museum, called Pretend City, was so much fun for the little ones. There's a little grocery store, a restaurant, a theater, a bank, a police station, a library, and so forth, all with dress-ups and working parts and lots of toys. The little girls loved it. One of the "facilitators" in the grocery store told Daisy, "Wow, you're working so hard you should be a manager!" and after that, Daisy took her responsibilities even more seriously. She stayed there for the better part of an hour, checking people out and putting things away when people left them in their carts. "I'm the manager," I heard her telling everyone importantly.

I don't know how these hoodlums got in here. At least they're crossing at the crosswalk.
Abe having some dental work done
X-ray technician
Dr. Junie
Marigold loved dressing up and dancing on this little stage with the theater lights shining on her, but she was a little shy about it, too. I think she felt like it was a REAL stage and she wanted to make sure she didn't make any mistakes!
She had this sort of bashful look on her face most of the time
She also really liked being a chef in the Italian restaurant
I escorted these troublemakers into the jail every time I could, but they kept getting out.
Goldie in the little pretend house
Teddy stayed in the cars almost the ENTIRE TIME. He switched from car to car occasionally, but that was as far as he'd go. He's never been in this kind of car before (!) and he LOVED it!
Like Goldie, he looked a little bashful about doing such big, important things
Some people tried to wedge themselves into cars that were too small for them.

The little ones weren't the only ones having fun: later that day, the older kids got to go to this Car Museum. It displayed mostly Ferraris, Abe's favorite, so he was happy.
Daisy had to pick a favorite car too. :)
At this museum (but not an official part of it), there was a man driving a Lamborghini, and when he saw the boys looking at it with interest, he let them sit in it and pretend to drive! I couldn't believe he was so nice.
Another day and another children's museum: Kidspace in Pasadena. The stained-glass entryway was really pretty.
This museum had a large outdoor area with a lot of fun things to do. The ball tracks were a big hit, and Teddy spent a long time just rolling balls down this one section over and over and over.
The kids also really loved the trike-riding area. It seems funny that they loved it so much, because of course they ride their bikes and trikes all the time at home, but I guess when you are riding on "real roads" with traffic signs, it makes it even more fun. And they did love the double-seated trikes.
There was a photo booth where you could take photos and email them to someone, so you can bet I got about 2000 of these treasures in my email from my little darlings.
The inevitable Teddy time-out
Every time we visit Philip and Allison we try to go to the Orange Balloon, which is a big tethered helium balloon with a basket you can ride in, above a park. But every time, it ends up not going up because of high winds! And this time was no different. Someday we have hope that we'll actually get to ride in the balloon, but this time it was great because we bought an all-day pass to the carousel and then just rode it over and over for about two hours while we waited to see if the wind would die down. There was no one else there, so the kids took their pick of the animals, and had the time of their lives!
It seems like carousel pictures never turn out very well. They're usually blurry with movement and the light is always tricky because you're under a canopy. But there's something I love about them all the same. Kids riding on animals are just inherently cute, I guess?
Junie finds her destiny
Teddy was pretty apprehensive about the whole thing at first.
But he had plenty of time to learn to love it!
Since we were going to be in Carlsbad for the Flower Fields one day, we set up field trips at the Gem Institute and the Museum of Making Music while we were there. Both places take homeschool group tours, but you have to schedule them in advance. At the Gem Institute you have to go past the guard booth and show your ID, which makes you feel kind of important. The tower on the front of the building has this beautiful sparkling crystal in the top.
It's not a huge museum, and none of my pictures are very good, but we loved seeing all the beautiful minerals and gems! This crystal pendant was hanging in the front window, and what you can't tell from the picture is that it's HUGE—probably as tall as Daisy. There are beautiful colored inclusions in the quartz, and when the sun comes through, it makes rainbow patterns on the walls and floor.
They did have some things the kids were allowed to touch. Hooray!
There were some interesting works of art made from gemstones—carved pieces like these, and others.
One of my favorite things was this display of orchestral instruments, all carved from precious stones.
I loved this. It's called Ametrine, and it's only found in one area of the world, where the quartz minerals amethyst (the purple one) and citrine (the yellow one) occur naturally together. The sign said that at first, gemologists usually cut and faceted the stones with yellow on one side and purple on the other, but now they've found ways to cut them where the two colors join and blend, to give a more modern, free-form look. Aren't they all beautiful?
We always love malachite!
The display of opals was really beautiful. The museum had a birthstone exhibit of which these were part.
A rainbow of gemstones! I'll take one of each, please.

Our next stop, the Museum of Making Music, was great too. We had a whole tour and class, led by Mr. Bill (or Mr. Bob? or something like that) who was such a nice, friendly man. (He seemed greatly disappointed in us when none of the kids had heard of Elvis Presley, though.) First he had us sit in a drum circle and let the kids take turns conducting us. Adam LOVED that, as you can see.
So did Ben.
So did Daisy!
And at the end of the museum tour, there was a room with a whole bunch of different instruments the kids could try out! It was a little nerve-racking for Allison and me, keeping track of all ten of them and making sure no one dropped or broke anything, but the kids loved it!
Note Teddy in background, waving a zither or some such thing around


  1. It may have just been strategic photo taking, but none of the places looked too awfully crowded! Which makes all the difference on how well I can enjoy a place with our giant troop!

    1. Yes--it DOES make it so much better! We were going most of the time during school hours, which helped, and we avoided the field trip groups as much as possible! :)

  2. All of those nice cars and not a single #BethsHighKicks. What a disappointment. On a happier note, those museums look amazing!! My kids would love them!

    1. Hahaha. I could never execute a high kick with the skill and passion that Beth does! More's the pity. But yes, so many great museums. It looks like you have a fun one close by your new place too! I hope you'll discover lots more fun places in Colorado!


Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top