Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A healthy dose of Theater and Science

We can't wait until all of the spring/summer activities start up - winter time is just hard on toddlers and maybe harder on parents of toddlers. We love getting outside and while it has warmed up a little, the most we can do is go to the playground, assuming it isn't soaked from a rainstorm. Aedan and I love getting out of the house and we try to have an outing everyday and just when I feel like I am running out of ideas, it starts to warm up.

One of our winter activities has been a few short trips to the Orpheum Children's Science Museum. I was reading the history of the building on their site and thought it pretty interesting: "The New Orpheum Theatre opened on October 19, 1914 as both a vaudeville theater and a "moving picture" house. All the great stars of the Orpheum Theatre Circuit played Champaign, and it was considered to be the finest theater in downstate Illinois. The Orpheum is a one-third scale model of the opera hall at Versailles and one of the earliest designs of the prestigious architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp of Chicago." All said and done, it is pretty small and it has only been in the last 10 years or so since it has been open as a museum. Construction is still underway but in the meantime, Aedan really enjoys it. They have a few animals/critters there, they have a sandbox that he loves, a river simulation, a castle for kids to learn about medival machinery and such.

One thing I love is the murals there (I've always wanted to paint a mural, I think it'd be fun). Here is Aedan looking at some fish in this little corner of the building. There are river and woodland critter puppets in the boat for play.

They also have a model river boat there with a simulated ride where little skippers can try their hand at the wheel.

Last year, before they closed it for the winter, Aedan had a blast digging for dinosaurs in their outside sand pit. I can't wait until he can play in that again. As for now it is free for him to go but as he will turn 2 fairly soon and I have to pay for myself each time I go, I decided to break down and buy a membership. It doesn't compare to many other museums we've been to but there is something to be said for small old-fashioned places trying to stay alive and providing good educational entertainment for the little ones.


  1. Yall are welcome to come for a visit anytime!! We have a guest room, we are an hour from Atlanta (and all of their wonderful musemus), and 3 hours from the warm sugary sanded beaches of Florida.

  2. Awesome! I especially need a trip to the beach right now. Sounds like you are in a good place!


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