Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day Trip to the Strong Museum

Yesterday, Devin and I packed up and drove to Rochester to visit the Strong Museum. It was founded by a woman based on her beliefs that children learn through play and hands on activities. It was a wonderful experience. The place was huge. My only beef...It was right in freakin downtown Rochester. I'd never been there so had no idea what to expect. It wasn't that bad really. My nervousness gets the better of me sometimes when I'm driving in larger places. I was just a little shaky :). I hate driving to big cities, and some of you may even laugh if you had only seen how "big" Rochester is...not! It's not very big, but it's a city with big downtown buildings. Nevermind, I'm rambling about BS!

So, yeah, spur of the moment. I was sitting in my my chair about noon and I had a thought to look up the Strong Museum, see where it is, how much it cost. And it just hit me. We were going. By a quarter to one we were out the door on on our way! My husband thinks I'm nuts when I do things like this. It's only been since last summer. I was always too chicken shit to drive far. But somehting has changed in me, and even though I get nervous, I don't mind it. And Devin is 10 now. He is much more into these things and provides conversation (when he's not arguing with me!), and alot of times my mom is being toted along. Not this time though :)

There were a lot of different exhibits. I think one of my favorites was the Reading Adventureland! A lot of neat things in there for kids to explore. When we first got there, Devin felt a little out of place. It seemed most of the kids were younger than him and it was pretty busy. Neither of us do well in busy settings. But later, after we ate and explored a few other things we went back and there mere much less people there.

I had to take of picture of that little sign! Hope + Heroes = Happiness! It was above the castle doors. I thought it was cute :).

Inside the Reading Adventureland, we also got to make our very own wands! HAHA! It had been so long since Devin and I crafted together. We also made these little story scenes that we traced. We pieced them together with different templates. Devin titled his 'Harry Potter and the Knight of Middle Earth' and mine is 'Gandolf the Gray meets the Last Unicorn'! LOL

And then when we were done wand making and picture story writing, I noticed these--

It's the Sorting Hat, and Harry's Nimbus 2000! And the other one is Gandolf's Staff and Sarumon's Staff! I was quite excited over that. Of course, they were only replicas, but still...

During the summer months, they have an atrium of butterflies. It was very neat to walk in and have butterflies flying all around you! And there were some of the most beautiful I have ever seen! And it seemed the more colorful the less they were to land to take a photo! You can kinda see the blue ones there flying in the first photo. Their wings almost looked like they were glowing the blue was so vivid. Very neat!

Oh and there's a retro arcade! All those really old arcade games from the 80's, like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Frogger, Q-Bert and all those one outerspace shooting ones like Asteroids, there were tons of them. I think they said like 100 or something. Devin had fun playing some of those. Technology really has come a long way! And to think we thought those were cool when we were kids!! They totally SUCK! I tried Q-Bert and damn if I couldn't get past the FIRST level! Same with Frogger!

Upstairs there's this really neat Toy Hall of Fame. So many really cool toys of yesterday mixed with toys of today. And throughout this whole place there are tons of little hands on things for the little ones to play with and explore. A very neat museum. I would liked to have taken Devin sooner, but we still had a super fine time. He wasn't too old or anything, but there did seem to be more younger kids than kids his age.

When we got back into town, he wanted to go to Pizza Hut. We didn't eat until after 8! I don't know about you all, but we don't ever eat that late. We had Subway there around 4, but he was hungry again, so we stopped. You see it's like I said in my list of Favorite things...I love eating out :). Who am I to argue! It was just weird to have my son out eating so late!

That about wraps up my day yesterday. Oh, I did even have a few moments to sit and read a few pages while Devin played in the Retro Arcade!


Amanda McIntyre said...

It sounds like an absolutely wonderful day, Amy! What a great place to foster the imagination of kids from 1-92 (as the song goes;)

I particularly love the wands!! The faery Court at RT in Columbus next April has some grand ideas using wands!

I commend you for stepping outside your comfort zone! You never stop learning and especially about those hidden gifts you have inside!

All of us need to do stuff like this now and again!

Fun to read about your day!

Amanda M

Amy C said...

Hey Amanda, it was a fun day and Devin is still feeling the effects. He pulled out his large construction paper and we made a wizard hat to go with his wand :). Now I have to dig out my paper punches so he can add some shapes to it! You know, I don't think he would have appreciated the museum nearly as much had I taken him when he was a toddler or even 5 or six. I think he got much more out if it going at ten since he has more knowledge of different games and the technology part of the evolution of video gaming.

azteclady said...

What a wonderful way to spend a day with your son!

And boy, do I hear you about the driving in larger places! As I've moved around I've had to do it, but it's never fun--and yeah, a little shaky is how I am too!

Amy C said...

Hey Azteclady!
Whew! I'm not the only one who gets nervous driving in cities. The radio gets turned off and Devin has to zip it! He knows. I may be nervous but I'm not afraid to drive to them anymore, providing I have my google maps printed!

Anna said...

Looks like a lot of fun. I would have got excited of the Harry Potter/LOTR display too. :)

Lea said...


What an awesome place!! It looks absolutely fabulous. What a fantasy land and learning experience for children and adults alike.

I would love to go there!

Thank you so much for sharing.


Amy C said...

hey Anna, that exhibit with the HP and LOTRs stuff was right behind us where we made our wands and I didn't even see it until we were done!

Hi Lea!
Come down here and cross the border, I'll take you :D! We'll make it a date!!

Mary G said...

Hi Amy
I miss that age. That was an amazing day you had. What a handsome boy he is. I've lived in, or in the suburbs of, Toronto all of my life & I've never driven downtown. Too many one way streets & the parking is ridiculous so you did great!!

Danni said...

That looks like so much fun! Thank you for commenting on my page you have a beautiful page as well. :) Happy reading!

Lori said...

What a fun day you had together! Those are the types of places that make kids love to learn, without even realizing they're doing it. Plus, just a great way to spend mommy-son time.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

Strong Museum looks like a fun place to hang out with the kids. Those spur of the moment ideas are usually the best.

I get a bit nervous about the driving in the busy bigger cities too. So I absolutely understand how you feel.

I want my own magic wand too! Love the names you and Devin came up with.

Blodeuedd said...

What a fun day :D
And ohhhhh Gandalf's staff, now that is cool

Amy C said...

Hi Mary! You've never dirven in downtown Toronto? It's a breeze! Oh yeah, I did it last summer with my mom. Nothin to it! Okay, I was being totally sarcastic :D. Dude, me and my mom did go to Toronto last summer to go see Sherilyn Kenyon and oh man, you are not kidding about all the one way streets! And then the pedestrians cross the road at will! It was nots. When we left I couldn't figure out how to get back on the QEW. I stopped and asked for directions twice, and one was a cab driver and he couldn't even give them right. I went in circles a few times. It was crazy and I swore I would never do that again. But hey, I met Sherilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love!

Hey, Danni! Thank you for the comment about my blog and for stopping by!

I agree, Donna. I love the spur of the moment ones. It usually ends up being either my mom and me or me and Devin or the three of us. My husband doesn't do spur of the moment. He has to plan! But that's okay ;).

Hey Blodeuedd, I would love Gandolf's staff in my library room! That would be just too cool!

Armenia said...

What a fabulous museum. We have a Childrens museum in Austin but nothing that compares to Strong Museum. Looks like you had a wonderful time and thanks for sharing your pics.

Amy C said...

Hey Armenia!
If I had known that the museum was as big as it is, I would have taken Devin there last year or the year before. But I was also getting used to the idea of traveling too. I think that was the biggest thing holding me back!

Thank so much for your comment and stopping by!

Christine said...

What a super cool museum! I'm so glad you both had so much fun. :)

I can't believe how grown up Devin looks all of a sudden! He's grown his hair longer and I see he's got curls! ;)

We eat dinner around 7 pm, so eating out at 8 pm after a long day out and about is commonplace for us.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Amy!

What a great way to spend the day! I wish there was something like that around here.

Devin sure is getting big, looks like he's grown a foot!

Dottie :)

Erotic Horizon said...

Glad you are enjoying this time with your son - they grown up so fast...

But it looks as if you had a fun day....