fernbank for free

on 13 may 2008
the fernbank museum of natural history
offered complementary admission to the community
and you know i was there.

fernbank museum of natural history

my only dilemma was that
the imagine it children’s museum free 2nd tuesdays
was on the same day.
(i think that was planned.)
since the children’s museum
offers a free day every month
instead of once a year,
AND considering it would have cost $41
for just me to take my two girls
($15 + $13 + $13)
to fernbank any other day,
i opted to check out fernbank instead.

i admit, i’m spoiled by the free museum admissions
we’d enjoy at the museums that surround the mall in D.C.
after being able to visit the smithsonian national museum of natural history
and then coming to fernbank and seeing just the
argentinosaurus and the giganotosaurus in the Great Hall
(as well as a few other flying reptiles)
i was like, “that’s it?”
i didn’t feel the jaw-dropping awe
like when i first entered the national museum of natural history.
that aside, it was an o.k. visit.

for our visit that day
i decided to focus on the giants of the mesozoic
and a couple of other kid-friendly exhibits:
sensing nature and the children’s discovery rooms.
we also took an enjoyable pit stop by the reflections of culture exhibit.

they were all pretty enjoyable as far as museum exhibits go.
the best part of the sensing nature exhibit
was making bubbles with big wire rings.
i think this exhibit is for the middle or elementary age child
who doesn’t mind reading instructions to find out how to do everything.
other than the bubbles, few stations within the exhibit seemed intuitive.
this exhibit would be best experienced if children are allowed to
take their time, read, and play around.
i found that my children quickly moved from station to station,
fiddling with the object trying to see if they could figure out how it would work,
and then moved on if no explanation was easily understood and immediately forthcoming.
trying to manage all three of them by myself,
i don’t think i was much help
decoding the paragraphs of instructions.

after a picnic lunch on the terrace
and bathroom break,
we concluded our visit with macGillivray freeman’s “dolphins” IMAX movie.
the IMAX theatre experience
— not as steep and scary as the other one i’ve been in —
did not disappoint.

there were other exhibits that i’d be interested in seeing,
but, truthfully, none worth the $41 just to get in the place
or the additional $11-13 for an, admittedly optional, IMAX movie.


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