I'm finally continuing with our trip to western PA. On Tuesday, we planned to go to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, but the client Rodney was meeting was farther out than I realized, so I decided we'd just hang out nearby that day and go to the Children's Museum the next day. So Tuesday was a playground in the morning, and swimming at the hotel once we got back.
Wednesday we headed to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. It's always fun to see what Little Bit does and doesn't remember from places we've been going to all her life, but only once a year or so . . . she was very excited to see the huge glass bird sculpture in the lobby and, when I explained that it's too tall for me to effectively take a picture of her with it (it would be her standing by it's metal legs), she commandeered the camera and took her own pictures of "her bird".
One disappointment was that there were LOTS (and lots and lots and lots) of school groups there. I'm not sure why there were SO many there and NONE at Carnegie, maybe Monday is a non-field trip day? Or we just got lucky? Anyway . . . We did a pretty good job of going where the school groups weren't, and waiting it out until they all left for the day. THEN we went and spent more time in the areas that had been so crowded. While we were waiting, we discovered that most school groups never went to the 4th floor water area. Understandably . . . If I was a teacher I wouldn't want to have to deal with a whole class full of wet kids. So we spent quite a bit of time there. At first we tried to do the "don't get soaked" parts, the best of which was playing with SNOW! They make "snow" (pretty much use a shaved ice machine, I think) and put a pile of it on a table and have various molds and other "sand toy" type things to use so the kids can play with the snow. Little Bit went back to that table multiple times while we were there.
The big girls have pretty much outgrown this museum overall, and definitely didn't feel the need to play in the water and snow, BUT conveniently tucked away right next to the water play area was a little sunlit nook perfect for reading! They very happily hid away in this nook the whole time Little Bit played on that floor.
Once she was tired of the snow table she begged and pleaded to get really wet! If it had been one of the hot days we'd had earlier in the week, and/or if it was the last thing on our agenda that day (AND if we weren't going to be driving for a couple hours to the next hotel when we left the museum), I probably would have just let her get wet in her clothes, but given all those factors AND conveniently we did HAVE her swimsuit in the car because of being between hotels. And even better, through some twist of fate, hers was near the top. So I went out to the car and got her swimsuit and let her change into it. Then the water play began in earnest. She had sooo much fun (note to self, MUST bring swimsuit (or go in swimsuit and bring change of clothes) next time, she really did love it!) There was all kinds of ways to experiment with water and just have FUN with it. I kept my distance since I wasn't in MY swimsuit, but she had a blast. When I told her that the school groups had cleared out and we could now go enjoy the rest of the museum in peace, she was reluctant to leave :)
One of the things we knew we wanted to check out, but NOT while it was crowded, was the current exhibit in the changing exhibit area. It was tunnels and things to crawl through made out of packaging tape . . .MILES and MILES of packaging tape. Socks were required, and I wasn't sure I'd fit very well anyway, so I didn't go in, but asked Ashlyn to take some pictures while she was in there. They turned out great, and Little Bit had a blast! AND since we waited until there were no crowds, they could play in there as long as they wanted, instead of making one quick trip through like the kids had to do when it was crowded.
Little Bit also had fun with the gears in the Make Shop and actually spent quite awhile learning about electricity in the Make Shop. One of the employees sat down with her and explained how it worked and kept asking questions . . . "What would happen if we hooked this up?" It was the most focused I've seen her on something, and definitely worked better than if I'd been trying to help her :) It was fun to watch.
As we were leaving we had to pause for a picture next to the giraffe sculpture because . . . it's a GIRAFFE after all!!!