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?