Saturday, April 09, 2011

We Love Washington, DC, #15

One of my favorite things about Washington that I haven't already shared, yes, that's possible, is its size.  Washington, DC, is a small city and only has 620,000 residents.  Over a million people commute into the city everyday, but true Washingtonians are a very small demographic and we are proud to be among them.  Because its such a small city, but still a major world capital, you're only ever a short drive, metro ride, or walk from everywhere you want to be.

Last Saturday was cold and dreary so we headed out of the house for indoor activities in the heart of the city.  Over the course of the day we hit 3 (4 if you count the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center where we stopped for lunch) uniquely DC sights that were also very kid-friendly.

First stop was the "other" aquarium.  The National Aquarium is in the basement of the Commerce Department Building and with its black walls, floors and ceiling and the constant sound of burbling water, it definitely gives the impression of being in the depths of the ocean.

 We saw over 200 species of fish, alligator, turtle, shark, eel, shellfish, lizard and octopus.  Including this attractive fellow Caleb is posing with called a hellbender.

 The aquarium is divided in ocean and freshwater habitats from all over the world showcasing typical flora and fauna.  This was the tank representing Hawaii.  I looked for the state fish of Hawaii, the humuhumunukunukuapua'a
but, alas, they did not have one.

 Isaac was most interested in this tank housing 
professional Nemo and Dory lookalikes.

 Exactly 1 hour later, we had seen all there was to see and headed 
back up for air and to our next stop.

Just around the corner from the Commerce Building is the
This is a great museum.  There is so much to see and do and read and learn, one could spend days there and never see it all.  The woman at the information desk told us the "hands-on" science area was doing lots of fun activities that day, so we skipped the other exhibits and headed straight downstairs.

First, the boys learned about motion and waves and buoyancy.

 Then, they made "pictures" of their voices by speaking into the mouthpiece Caleb is holding.  I don't even want to think about the thousands and thousands of hands and mouths that have touched that thing.  Yuck!

Next, Isaac (with a little help from Daddy) built a circuit.

Then, they constructed a marble maze.

Next up, they played Simon...

with a robot.  It was pretty cool, actually.  The robot is designed to move his hands and/or eyes in whatever direction the orange ball is moved.   

 Its reflexes are pretty fast, too, as Caleb discovered by moving the 
ball very rapidly in a circle. 

Lastly, we learned about Carbon nanostructures, which are flat, but when linked together form 3D buckyballs -- or something like that.  So, they each made a paper buckyball, and then... 

 climbed inside the life size buckyball for a photo op.

 Did you know the National Museum of American History was this much fun?  After the Museum we stopped for lunch at the aforementioned 
food court.  Finally we went home for naps to rest up for our evening activity.

Friends of ours generously invited us to watch a Washington Capitals game with them that night at the Verizon Center.  The boys have never been to a hockey game before and after seeing their first from a luxury box stocked to the gills with delicious food, yummy sweets and endless drinks, we're not planning on taking them to another one any time soon.  It would be such a let down!

The last time I went to a Caps game, years ago, they were in a several season slump.  But, not this year.  Down 3 - 4 with less than a minute to go, they scored and sent the game into overtime.  Caleb, was ecstatic and convinced that his endless chanting of "Let's Go Caps" had been the difference between defeat and another shot at victory.  In overtime they scored the winning 
goal and the crowd literally went wild.

So, not an average DC day perhaps, but a great day to be sure.


Rain in My Head said...

oh my gosh what an amazing day!!!!! Go Caps!

Julie said...

The Museum of American History has always been my favorite. Do they still display Dorothy's Ruby Slippers and the Doll House? But, perhaps your boys aren't interested in that. :)

Mibi and Lee said...

Your kids get to do so many AWESOME things...good job MOM!!!!

robin marie said...

this is making me dc homesick! i loved my first caps game! and that "other" aquarium has its charm.

calibosmom said...

You guys do the coolest stuff. If you ever want to swap houses for a week, let me know. NH is beautiful!!!

e said...

1) that last picture at the end is such a cute, happy family photo!
2) I LOVE the museum of American history, I'm glad that the boys had such a great visit! I also hear that the National Building Museum (which is still on my to-visit list) has a big Lego exhibit right now that they might like!

All of your posts make me so excited to check out more awesome DC spots! :)

e said...

Apparently "Elizabeth" gets logged as "e" on blogspot...whoops. I am not trying to be creepy and mysterious, I swear!

Nomads By Nature said...

AWESOME DAY!!! Hope you didn't set the bar too high for your next outing ;). I'm jealous.

Unknown said...

I am always impressed how you get a family photo at each outing. I need to remember to had someone my camera the next time we're out as a family!


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