This year we finally did it! We finally made it out of the house for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day. Every year we have grand plans to visit some of the area attractions made free in honor of him. Yet every year, because of no transportation, illness, or very bad weather, we fall short of our expectations and continue our regular schedule, mostly unaltered. Honey was able to get the day off from his job this year and although we had originally planned to make the trip much earlier in the day, Chad had to spend most of the morning at the auto mechanic getting the catalytic converter fixed on our minivan.
Our morning looked like this:
7am Chad takes our minivan in
8am I awake and take a half hour to totally open my eyes and get up. From here I fix grits for breakfast and tell Roly and Alvin at least three times to stop playing with the legos and get upstairs to make toast for everyone. I also go upstairs to wake up Giant so he can take the dog outside for her morning bathroom break. After getting cleaned and dressed I end up fussing at Alvin to get clean for the umpteenth time while also pressing the youngest two’s clothing. (What is up with boys and not wanting to take a bath?)
And Princess starts fussing because she wants to get off the toilet, but she doesn’t want to get off the toilet. The many conundrums of a three year old, go figure.
11am Chad comes home finally! But Alvin is still not clean, this puts us another hour behind waiting for him.
After careful consideration of our options we decided to go to the Great Lakes Science Center. Some may not consider the science center a way to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, but here are some reasons we chose the science center:
1. Our family loves science
2. By studying science we’re studying a subject that some would prefer we wouldn’t (or even believe we couldn’t).
We braved the Ohio winter cold of 12° F plus the brutal wind chill off of Lake Erie made it feel like -7° F. Brr! Next time we may pay a little extra to park in the attached parking garage. By the time we got to the science center there were already a ton of people there, but entry was extremely easy and well thought through. While there we learned about engineering an earthquake proof building and discovered how hard that could be. We also enjoyed learning about space, liquid nitrogen and water (different boiling points), bubbles and dry ice (density). We even created our own unique art using a harmonograph. We would have experienced the Omnimax movie Robots, since my oldest boys are into robotics , but at $20 per adult and $17per child it would have been a bit expensive for a family of six. Can you imagine spending $88 just to see video? Me neither!
Towards the end of the day, we were able to catch The Great Big Science Show, which consisted of two experiments. The first, Mentos and Coca Cola, which progressed from a small explosion to an extremely large explosion utilizing seven mentos, a two liter of Coca Cola, and a quick release valve of some sort. The explosion must have been around fifteen feet high. The reason given for the mentos and Coca Cola explosion was the mentos has small divots of empty space spread throughout, which you can see through a microscope the carbon dioxide within the pop starts to compete with each other to fit inside the divots which creates the explosion. The second experiment showed how liquid nitrogen in a plastic bin and a small amount of boiling water could create a huge dense cloud that completely blocked our view of the stage and left ice crystals all around the bin and on the presenter. It was quite exciting!
All in all, our kiddos had a lot of fun and didn’t want to leave but it was closing time. Princess was completely tuckered out and resorted to screaming at every whim she fancied. I’m not sure if Chad was ready to go but I know I was! I love science but I hate crowds because I feel like I must be on high alert all of the time to protect my children. This experience was enough to justify, in my mind, a paid membership so we can avoid the crowds and enjoy the experiments more, but I am willing to try again next year and hopefully go much earlier!