Monday was a rainy day, so we decided to do a couple of shorter, indoor field trips. First we headed to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. My parents have a membership that's about to expire, and all 3 girls love it, so we wanted to visit one more time before the membership expires.
By far, the favorite thing at this museum for all 3 girls, is the caboose that you can go inside. They love "playing house" in there, pretending to cook on the small cookstove, etc.
Little Bit is finally big enough to climb up to the upper seats all by herself, so she had great fun climbing up and down over and over and over.
The big girls, my dad, and I enjoyed a steam engine tour that explained how steam engines worked, while Little Bit and Mama played in the toddler area, which would have been more fun if someone hadn't walked off with all but one of the trains at the Thomas Train train table. Oh well, Little Bit's pretty good at creating her own entertainment LOL.
After we left the railroad museum, we head to Brookside Gardens and their annual "Wings of Fancy" live butterfly display. We've visited this display most years since the twins were a couple months old (somewhere I have pictures of mom and I sitting on a bench holding 2 sleeping babies). This year we hit the PERFECT weather! It was warm enough that the butterflies were super active, but overcast, which made it not so unbearably hot for us warm-blooded types.
Little Bit was napping when we got there, so I stayed in the car with her while Mama & Papa took the big girls in. When Little Bit woke up and we went on in, we discovered this gorgeous blue butterfly had landed on MiniMe, so I managed to snap a picture before it flew off. What's cool is that we've wanted a picture of this particular type of butterfly with it's wings open for YEARS, but never managed to get one. The butterfly is a boring brown when it's wings are closed, so it's fun to finally have a picture of that brilliant blue!
Sassy wanted in the WORST way for a butterfly to land on HER, but for some reason, MiniMe was the butterfly magnet this year.
Finally, dad found a hurt butterfly that he was able to carefully pick up and put on her shoulder, so we at least got a picture of her with a butterfly LOL.
Little Bit was SOOOO excited to see all the butterflies flying around when we went in. She actually tried (for about 2 seconds) to sit still so a butterfly would land on her, needless to say, it didn't work LOL.
Little Bit was interested in the "touch table" where they have some of the dead butterflies for the kids to touch and look at with a magnifying glass and such.
So Monday was a busy, but fun day for all of us.
Our plan was to just stay home on Tuesday and recuperate from all the running around. But then when we looked at weather reports, we decided that it made more sense to go to Harpers Ferry on Tuesday morning, and stay home on Wednesday.
So, Tuesday we headed over to Harpers Ferry. John Brown's raid isn't something we've ever really learned about, but usually the Junior Ranger programs are designed such that they do a good job of "teaching" about the events surrounding a site all on their own. Unfortunately, that's not the case with the Harpers Ferry one.
One thing we REALLY liked about the Harpers Ferry Junior Ranger program is that, instead of being age-specific, it allows everyone to earn up to THREE badges, depending how much they're willing to do. If you do all of one color's activities in the book, you get the Apprenticeship badge, if you add the next color, you get Journeyman, and if you finish off the entire book, you get Master. More badges is always a good thing.
Things I wasn't so fond of: (1) a growing trend seems to be to require the children to do ALL of the activities in the book. This really frustrates me because it means that we have to
So anyway, the girls had a good time, and earned two badges, so I guess the day was a success. And we're getting ready to learn about the Civil War on our own, and Harpers Ferry is pretty close to my parents' house so we can go back. So the plan is to learn about the raid, and THEN go back to Harpers Ferry and finish up the 3rd badge, and make sure we actually learn about the history of Harpers Ferry even if the Junior Ranger doesn't "teach" us.
It will work out fine for us, but if you don't live in the area and only have one shot at visiting Harpers Ferry I would highly recommend either skipping the Junior Ranger altogether, or make sure the children know the basic history of the town before you go and then plan to just earn the Apprentice level badge and spend the rest of your time actually visiting the museum and such that we never even got inside. (and if it were me, unless you WANT to see the canal, I'd argue pretty strongly for NOT wasting the time to do that requirement if you have limited time, but I tend to be abit argumentative at times).
And that was our week of field trips. We were exhausted (and, in fact, when the weather ended up looking better on Wednesday and Dad asked about going to Mount Vernon (which had originally been one of our planned trips, but we abandoned it because of the rain), Sassy said no, PLEASE, let's just STAY HOME! LOL. Proof that even my extroverted, super energetic kids can hit a limit on how much "fun" they can handle LOL.