Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cheap hands off fun at Nanaimo Museum

The Caboodle kids are fairly untamed and I don't often take them out in public. I was kind of stuck today, though, because Caboodle 3 and Daddy fell asleep for a nap and I didn't want the other two to wake him up. Luckily, after a lengthy church picnic (free lunch I didn't cook - score!), a friend with similar child entertaining needs invited us to come to the library with her. So I packed up some snacks and away we went downtown.

The library sucked about an hour of time. Caboodle 1 spent most of her time on the computer while Caboodle 2 kept bringing me some pretty cool non-fiction books to look at. We ended up with a tornado book and a race car book before Caboodle 2 started begging for the museum. How can you deny a kid who is literally begging you for a educational, cultural experience? You can't.

An eager teacher.

I love the Nanaimo Museum. It's small enough to not be overwhelming, and for my kids at least there was plenty to keep their attention. It's never been busy when we've been there, so it's not as embarrassing when my kids get obnoxiously loud. We did a scavenger hunt, blew the mine whistle, and listened to some miner stories before winding up in the old fashioned school room.

The museum gives kids adventure backpacks that contain, to an adult, pretty boring stuff. There's a bag of blocks, a puzzle, binoculars, and a magnifying glass. We spent a whole other hour in the museum, if not more. They even have costumes for some pretty rad cosplay. The adults mostly kicked back and watched as the Caboodle kids and their friend played school and displayed some surprisingly good penmanship for ages 6 and 5.

Two diligent students.

It's a cheap date, too. Just $2 for adults, 75 cents for kids 6+, and free for kids under 5. The excursion would have cost us just $2.75, except I found some nifty building kits in the gift shop for $6.25 each.

I managed to skip out on Caboodle 1's alphabet lesson and check out the museum's current exhibit - Art Deco fashions from the 20s and 30s. Yummy Downton Abbey-esque dresses for women with small breasts, no stomach, and no hips. Pretty interesting silhouette considering the times immediately before and after the period where breasts and child-bearing hips were fashionable. Nonetheless, I love period fashion so I was able to suspend disbelief and imagine myself in the dresses. The lack of a mirror definitely helped.

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