Hands-On Museum

I was home this past weekend, and, in typical younger sibling fashion, the kids begged me to take them somewhere. So, on Saturday, six of us piled in the car and drove down to the Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor. I hadn't been there since we took a field trip in elementary school, and, as I am SUCH a child at heart, I've been meaning to go back for quite awhile. Days like this make me so glad that I have younger siblings, and that I get to be a kid again with them.

They took selfies in the car, because, you know, half an hour is a really long car ride when you're excited to just get somewhere.

I have to post this one in black and white too. Because black and white is timeless, and this is the type of picture that I can see people pulling up in 20 or 70 years; the candids that capture the fun-loving personalities way better than the annual posed portrait does.

This was the first stop when we walked in; "the water park," as Jay called it. These colored plastic balls were all around the room and this pool was in the middle, with water spouts pointing up and angled so that they would come down in the tub in the middle, above the pool. The water would then spiral around the pool like a hurricane before dropping back into the pool. The balls, when put on top of the water spouts, would go up to the top of the spout and stay there until someone or something knocked them off. They would then fall into the tub and spiral out with the water. (Did you follow that?) The boys, loving a challenge, would put the balls on the spout that went the highest, and then throw the other balls at it to try to knock it down. This, combined with them diving after balls, resulted in soaked shirts all around.

The pool also flowed into smaller pools, with a variety of contraptions.

This is Jay's "what does this thing do" face.

After the water park, we dropped off the wet sweatshirts and jackets in the coat room. The setup is kind of perfect, after the kids got wet, they built towers and were dry by the time we moved again.

The tornado is one of the things that I remember being so intrigued by in elementary school. Cami said that she never wants to see one get any bigger than that.

Google Earth was fun, especially for the older kids. Ty and Arik navigated the thing no problem, going to the Mackinac bridge, the portage lift bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and the Statue of Liberty. Cami had fun pointing out the horizon line, which she had just learned in art class that week.

They had a lot of fun exploring the "real life ambulance," even if they never did quite figure out how to work the siren.

The periscope that lets you spy on all the people upstairs. As with just about everything else, there was tugging on arms from the kids who wanted their turns.

The physical fitness area was fun. You could hear your heartbeat, see how long you could balance, test your reaction time, and I forget what all else. Cami and Jay were intrigued by the skeleton that let you see how your bones moved as you biked.

The next room had a floor piano, a rock climbing wall, and a bunch of other cool things.

At this point, I put my camera away and just had fun. There were so many cool things to play with, and I was starting to feel like I was missing out on the fun. I pulled it out again when Jay dragged us back down to the water park before we left.

Ty, the oldest that came with, is in 8th grade, and Jay, the youngest, will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, but even with the age range, I think we all had a blast. The museum has so many different things to try out, to play with, to test, and to explore; I don't think any of us got bored. We all had such a fun afternoon, and I'm sure we could have spent so much more time there than we did.

If ever you're downstate and looking for something to do with kids on a rainy day (or any day,) I highly recommend this place. And I'm sure the kids would all do the same!


Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Christine Pietila (Monday, 04 May 2015 10:41)

    Sigh. Makes me wish there had been room for me in the car.