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    « The Saturday Post: Historical misconceptions edition | Main | Cooking, codes, and ending child hunger »

    Friday field trip: Children's Museum of Phoenix

    On the final day of my recent stay with Bubby and Baby Mac, we went to the Children's Museum of Phoenix. The museum is located less than 10 minutes from the airport, so it was a great way to end the visit—and gave us a spot to play in case my flight was delayed.

    The Children's Museum of Phoenix is three floors of fun and one of Bubby's favorite places to play. It was Baby Mac's first time there, and he found plenty of fun himself.

    We started on the top floor, with the plan to work our way down. The "Noodle Forest" is the highlight there and something Bubby couldn't wait to show Gramma. Right outside the forest is a paint-with-water activity that proved Baby Mac to be a passionate artist.

    It was just the beginning of my last few delight-filled hours with my grandsons:


    Other exhibits on the third floor include a shopping market, ice cream cart, a "Texture Cafe" for making meals with various materials, a "Grand Ballroom" where you can see the chain reaction from beginning to end, make-believe pickle and pencil cars, and much, much more. It's easy to see why the third floor is Bubby's floor of choice.

    The second floor features a "Building Big" room for making forts of all shapes and sizes, a trike wash, and an art studio with ongoing projects (Bubby made a pretty butterfly and helped paint a purple rocket).

    On the first (atrium) floor, the main attraction is the Schuff-Perini Climber, a climbing gym like you've never seen before. It's visible from all floors, and I climbed with Bubby all the way to the a dress and thankful it was a rather slow day so Gramma could take her time. The first floor also has a Whoosh! machine of connected tubes where kids can feed nylon scarves through and watch them fly—one of Baby Mac's favorite exhibits, along with the many "Baby Zone" play areas throughout the museum.

    The atrium wall is lined with a stunning display of CDs hanging from top to bottom. A museum worker told me children from around the area, including a school for homeless children, wrote wishes on the CDs to be hung on the wall at the museum's opening about four years ago. She said the wishes are touching and sometimes heartbreaking to read, everything from "I want an iPod" to "I want my daddy to come home."

    Our visit to the museum was exhilerating—and exhausting. Bubby and Baby Mac were sound asleep in their car seats by the time we made it to the airport, just minutes after leaving the museum. When Megan dropped me off at the departure curb, I opened Bubby's door to give him a farewell kiss; with eyes still closed, he mumbled, "I love you...send me mail." Totally zonked-out Baby Mac got a kiss, Megan got a hug, and Gramma headed for home.

    The Children's Museum of Phoenix was a great way to end my visit to the desert. We just might have to make pre-flight visits there a farewell tradition.

    Interested in taking a similar field trip? Find details here:

    Children's Museum of Phoenix • 215 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034 • (602) 253-0501

    (If you want to see the full pictures from our visit or see them more slowly, feel free to take a look in my Brag Book.)

    Today's question:

    If you were asked to write a wish on a CD like those in the stunning display at the Children's Museum of Phoenix, what would today's wish be?

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    Reader Comments (11)

    Glad you had a great time! For those in the Chicago area I would highly recommend the DuPage Children's Museum, although I don't think it's quite as elaborate as the Phoenix museum you visited.

    I couldn't stick to just one wish on my CD, it would have to be at least 100. So instead I'm just writing thanks for this glorious day.

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    What wonderful pictures! I had a hard time getting the post read because I kept looking at all those cute smiles! As for my wish-- my number one wish --world peace. Sounds corny I know but I'm a child of the 60s and I just keep hoping...

    Happy Friday!

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    Did you sleep all the way home on your plane ride after what looks like such an exhausting play time?
    Those are really cute pictures of the boys; I love the ones that shows the tea-winkie flip-flops on Baby Mac's tea-winkie feet! I didn't know flip-flops came that tiny.
    I'd wish for just a glimpse of Jerry in Heaven, to know he's well and happy; he's been gone eighteen years this month.

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    We love our Children's Museum! It has some activities that look similar to the one that you visited, like a giant climbing gym. We don't have the scarf tubes. My grandkids would love that.

    My wish is that the U.S. economy would recover. That makes me sound like a cold fish, but I really worry about what kind of future our grandchildren are going to have, whether they will be able to find meaningful work and have families and a good standard of living.

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Adcox

    Lovely photos Lisa, so pleased the boys had a great time. Te Papa, is a hands on museum in Wellington, Lucy absolutely loves going there & exploring all the different levels and things that they have put on display for children & adults. There is a house where you can enter and feel what an earthquake is like, kids can go outside & dig for dinosaur bones, there is a reading room for kids, often birthday parties are held there, just to name a few. Hard to believe entry is free so no one is left out, however if there are special exhibitions then that usually costs. If anyone does come to Wellington, New Zealand I highly recommend going it is totally amazing.

    My only wish is that my daughter will be safe & that I don't get the knock on the door from the police with dreadful news, unfortunately I think that one day this will happen.

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    I adore these kids. I want to cuddle them. The pictures are fabulous. Thanks so much for starting my day off with them. :-) Loving it!

    Happy Mother's Day to you, Lisa!

    May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVidya

    This looks so cool! Great photos and cute grandkids too!

    Visiting from SITS Sharefest :)

    May 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbarefootmedstudent

    What a great slideshow of your pictures =) Definitely great way to show them.

    May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

    This sounds and looks like such a fun and special time! We are big fans of Children's Museums! Thanks for sharing! (Stopping by from SITS)

    May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

    Coming over from the SITS girl sharfest. Wow this looks like an amazing place! I am looking forward to the children's museum being completed in 2013 here in Washington's about time!!

    May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMindi

    Sounds like a blast! I know where we will going the next time we visit Phoenix. Happy Mother's Day!

    May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiberty
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