The original plan was to go to Independence Square (I think that's what it's called) and see the Liberty Bell, the building where the Constitution was signed and check out the Constitution Center....but then the girls asked to go to the Franklin Institute and honestly, why not? So we looked for, and found, the most expensive parking in the entire city and walked the three blocks, past lots of other parking that was miraculously invisible when we were driving around. =) Our walk took us past the PA Horticultural Society - they are such show-offs! The plants in front of their building are HUGE...see below:
Check out the SPIKES on that dude...wow...
I love this building. I love that it has ALWAYS been the Franklin Institute for all its eighty years. This has mostly to do with where I grew up - the architecture there seems to be more about thrift and less about beauty...the buildings seem to be saying "that will be fine for now" and this one, like the others in the city, are clearly built to stand for centuries. I LOVE it.
So okay, enough of that. Just know that if we're visiting a great big old lovely building in Philadelphia I'm dorking out over the columns and arches and details.
We went to the real Spy Museum in DC when we lived in Quantico in 2011, so we didn't get the extra tickets for the special exhibit. We did, however, make a point of seeing every-single-thing in the entire four story museum and since that took about six hours, I think we had a successful visit.
The hands-on science shows are THE best. We went to the one about weather (in addition to the eye and heart dissections and the liquid nitrogen show right before we left). During the wind part of the demonstration, Carly got called on stage. The guy used this wind machine to show that moving air makes water evaporate which cools people (and land) down. Do you see Carly's hair sticking straight out?
IT DID NOT GO BACK DOWN.
Then he misted the kids and the front row with a water sprayer to show that water droplets increase the cooling effect. In my child's case, water droplets increased the insane-hair effect. Poor kid.
Little Miss post-hairbrush, with a 5.5 billion year old meteorite found in Arizona. Pretty amazing.
And then on the right, the big girls (their HAIR is SO BAD if it is not contained! Drives me crazy!) during the liquid nitrogen show. They learned SO much and we had a wonderful time.
At the turtles-and-frogs fountain across from the FI on our way to the Academy of Natural Science by way of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Both old, lovely stone buildings I loved. =) I don't know how I managed to keep this photo with only Carly because there were at least ten people wading around in there. It was a hot afternoon, but that seemed a little gross to me so I didn't let the girls in.
Final stop for the day! This museum participates in the Blue Star Museums program which was cool. My phone died right after I took this photo, but we got to go into the butterfly habitat, the kids room, into the dinosaur digging area, we got to talk to some REAL paleontologists cleaning of a dinosaur jaw (oh so so so so cool) and saw lots of dinosaur skeletons. This place is great! The kids room at the very top was small but very interactive, with hollow logs for crawling, lots of different pelts to touch, lots of shells to sort...etc etc. Well thought out - we loved it! We'll try to get back there one more time before the summer is out.
Oops - out of order! The Free Library is right next door to the A.N.S. and Bree wanted to go in. You don't say no if your kid asks to go to a library! So we went in and were there five minutes because my overtired chickens were overly loud and since everything was marble and stone, their sillies were echoing all over the place. =)
It was a GREAT day! I love adventures and can't wait for next week so we can go somewhere else! =)