During the Free After Three season which ran from last October to last Thursday, I’ve made it a point to try and take David and Joseph to the Anchorage Museum as much as possible, however, with different family events such as Cub Scouts, (which happens to be on Thursday nights as well) we haven’t gone as much as we would have liked. Lately, David has had quite a lot of homework on Thursdays, and since visiting the Museum is a privilege, homework and his commitment to Cub Scouts come first. Since last Thursday was the last time the Anchorage Museum would be free, I thought we should do our best to visit again before they reinstated normal admission.
Going to the museum is really more for the kids than it is for me. Although I could literally spend days in awe of the Native artifacts on display in the Alaska Gallery, or imagine myself in any one of Sydney Laurence’s paintings in the Art of the North exhibit, I really need some time to do that alone.
Instead, I let the kids explore the Imaginarium Discovery Center. There, the kids can literally jump around and watch a video of their own jump in slow motion, watch sand dunes form, create hot lava volcanoes, blow “ginormous” bubbles, play with centrifugal force, study aquatic life, and experiment with tons of other exhibits designed to teach kids about science in a fun way.
There’s also an infant and toddler area, where the smaller children can play on and crawl through a “mountain” and a “pirate ship.” They can also play with an Alaska Railroad wooden train set, puzzles, and other types of games that allow children to build and explore their own imaginations.
We spent two hours at the museum. By the time our two hours were up, I was pretty beat. Isabella was already napping, and I badly needed to nap myself. By about 5:15pm, my wife, Jorie met us at the Museum and was able to help me out. She provided welcome relief by taking the boys over to some exhibits, while I held Isabella asleep in my arms.
Our plan was to visit the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit when Mommy was through with work, but quite frankly, I wasn’t feeling up to it, and it was going to be difficult to bring the kids back down to a level of excitement that was manageable, which entailed lots of me telling them to, “Calm down.”
I still have a “To Do” list for the Anchorage Museum which inclueds attending the Guided Star Show. It’s a 45 minute presentation on astronomy in the planetarium. The cost is $10 for adults and $8 for children. Museum Members receive a $2 discount.
I also still really want to take the kids to the “Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age” exhibit which runs through October 9th, 2011. The cost for this exhibit is $24 for adults, $21 senior/student/military, $17 ages 3 to 12 and free ages 2 and younger. Tickets for museum members are $10 member adult, $8 member child. (Remember, prices for exhibits and presentations are in addition to regular admission prices to the Museum.)
If you go to the museum, you could literally make a day of it. They have lockers for your stuff which is especially handy for all your baby gear. After perusing the paintings downstairs, you could grab some lunch at Muse Café then head upstairs to view my favorite, the Alaska Gallery. When you’re ready to head out, be prepared to either accept or deny requests from your little ones for cuddly wooly mammoth stuffed animals for sale at the gift shop! But, before you leave don’t forget to make a wish at the fountain in the court yard. The boys love to toss pennies in the fountain. I’ll bet their wishes were to return soon.
Whatever you do, just have fun! It’s one of our favorite places in Anchorage!