Open House was done and over. We had one more weekend of summer vacation before the school year began. In the past we’ve taken the boys to the local amusement park on the last weekend before school starts. It’s their last hurrah before going back to school. Unfortunately with this summer being as cold as it has been we weren’t sure we’d be making the trip this year (to clarify, it has been BEAUTIFUL this summer. At least 10 degrees cooler than usual, breezy, rainy from time to time. But while that’s great for playing outside, it’s not so good for the swimming pool at the amusement park, which is the boys favorite part of the day).
The day before we’d planned to go we finally decided that spending the day in a cold swimming pool was not the way we wanted to say goodbye to summer. Since the kids had been looking forward to it so much we let them have a say in where we went instead. Giving three kids the chance to make a decision is never quick or easy. They seem unable to come to a consensus.
Eventually we narrowed it down to two options. Either going to the Children’s Museum or the local skating rink. Kaylee wanted the museum, Cameron the skating rink, and Brendan wanted both. We finally decided to make everyone happy and actually do both activities. So on Friday morning we loaded the kids into the car and headed over to the skating rink.
Of the three kids, Brendan is the only one who can skate so we never actually go skating at the rink. We buy entrance into the giant jungle gym instead. for $6 per kid and $2 per adult the kids can run and climb for as long as they want. We usually stay a couple of hours so I feel like it’s a pretty good value. The last time we went to the skating rink I didn’t have Matt with me which made things interesting. I was hoping having him here this time would make things go much more smoothly.
In some ways it did. We were able to post one parent at the edge of the jungle gym giving the boys a stationary point of contact in case they needed anything, and allowing the other parent to follow Kaylee around unbidden by interruptions by the boys. Unfortunately, Kaylee decided that she didn’t want to do anything but whine, so Matt and I kept switching off duties so we wouldn’t be driven completely insane by her grumpiness.
Eventually I got her interested in playing in the ball pit, and soon the boys happened to come by and joined in the playing. After a few minutes we called Matt over from the entrance to play with us in the pit as well. We had a ball fight, buried each other in the balls, and overall had a great time together.
The next day we loaded the kids into the car again and headed toward the Children’s Museum. The kids love to go to the museum. There’s an exhibit upstairs that changes from season to season which gives them something new to see when they go plus all of the permanent exhibits they can go back to and play on over and over again.
Right now the upstairs exhibit is all about bugs. The kids and I had already been to the exhibit once earlier in the summer, but I was keen to get up there again because I didn’t get to see much of it the first time around. I didn’t have Matt with me and Kaylee was obsessed with one small part of the exhibit which prevented me from seeing the rest. The boys hadn’t seen much of the exhibit either because there are a few animatronic bugs that stand 6-8 feet tall at various places around the exhibit and the boys were both too afraid to walk past them.
But as a family we walked to the other end of the exhibit and saw a place you could build with honeycomb shaped blocks, see how a mosquito bites your skin, crawl through a kid sized ant farm, and then got back to Kaylee’s favorite section which was a pretend restaurant which served insects favorite foods. After that we headed back downstairs and spent another hour or more at the museum before packing the kids up and heading home for lunch.
By the end of the weekend Matt and I were all funned out, but at least we felt that the kids had had a lot of fun. All we had left to do was complete our last minute preparations for school on Monday morning and we’d be ready to face the new school year, and it’s many, many challenges.