After a cozy night, all four of us packed into a king-sized bed, we woke up at 7:15, had breakfast at the hotel and packed up for our last museum stop: the Columbus Centre of Science and Industry. Five minutes from our hotel, we arrived there right at opening time…and didn’t leave until almost 6 hours later. Here’s what we did:
We marked the map with places we’ve lived, places we’ve visited and places we want to go.
Even though we got into the museum for free, I forked over $20 so we could do “Adventure“. And quite the adventure it was! Leila bravely faced her fears as we made our way through the “ancient ruins” to find the animal icons that would help us gain access to talking statues, who in turn would give us pieces of code, all with the goal of unlocking the treasure in the Observatory of Knowledge.
It was very cool! And not easy. I was impressed when both Zahra and Noah managed to find clues that I had missed. Each time we collected three animal icons, we made one of the statues come to life. We danced while they sang us their song and gave us a piece of code. After four statues, we had four pieces of code and gained access to the Observatory of Knowledge. There, we learned what the treasure was: perseverance, inspiration, reason and questions. Awesome.
After that, we breezed through the energy section, both because there were tons of kids in it and because it was mostly a repeat of what we had seen in the Buffalo museum. The next exhibit was about Legos. We oohed and aahed over the Lego masterpieces and built some of our own.
Done with Legos, we continued down the hall of this massive museum to the water section—or should I say, Poseidon’s realm? Between this and Adventure, we felt like we were time traveling around the world. The same science museum water exhibits (waves, water cyclones, erosion, moving water through pipes), all with a lot of crazy decor, lighting and music.
And when we left that area, another “extra fee” area greeted us, but hey—it’s vacation—so yes, I did pay again so we could go on the motion simulator and see what it would be like to be in an airplane and then sucked into a tornado. Great. I paid money to live my greatest fear and then walk out slightly nauseous. Kids loved it.
We walked up to the second floor and took a seat at the Gadgets Café. This is a really cool spot. You choose an experiment from the menu, flag down a waiter, and he or she delivers all the materials you need for the experiment in a little box. When you’re done, you flag down your waiter who whisks those materials away and brings you another, if you so choose. We did one baking soda/vinegar art experiment and one electricity experiment before Leila lost it (ill-fitting goggles set her over the edge).
Past the brain exhibit and the dancing robots, we wandered into a “Progress” exhibit where we explored a town through the ages. Then we headed to a human body exhibit that had this hilarious sign on the wall (considering that the only things in there were body casts with breasts or butt showing and a keyboard that played the sounds of bodily functions).
The kids and I found a glass-fronted room where there were two (presumably) Ohio State University med students. Inside, a life-like dummy lay on a bed. On the glass was written with marker: workshops at 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. Knock to sign up! We knocked and signed up for the 2:00, for which we only had to wait ten minutes. The hundred of kids filing through this exhibit, banging on touchscreens and running haphazardly from one thing to another, were apparently not interested. We were the only ones.
The kids donned lab coats and stethoscopes, and the med student led them through an amazing exercise to diagnose the patient—who talked! They had to ask Bob how he was feeling, note his symptoms, take his vital signs and compare them to the norm, decide on a treatment (which turned out to not fix the problem, so they moved on to Plan B). They gave Bob medication, hooked up an IV, and took his pulse. They pinched his toes (he said, ouch!) and listened to his heart. They learned about bacterial infections versus viral infections. It was such a great learning experience—I couldn’t believe no one else had signed up!
Even after nearly 6 hours, we had only touched about half of the museum, but our brains were fried and it was time to go. We climbed into the car, ready for our last 2-hour jaunt. This time, our destination was my sister’s house (in Independence, KY), and it felt good to roll into the driveway, love on the cousins, eat a real dinner and go to sleep. Good night!