Wednesday, June 19, 2013

an actual review: Curious George at Crown Center

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You might be wondering about my fitness journey. I'm wondering about it myself. Ultimately, I think it comes down to my only being able to be good at one thing at a time. The last 2 weeks I have been the Best Mom Ever, which goes hand in hand with the Slightly Chunky Mom. I am going to attempt to coordinate the world of Fun with the world of Fitness so I can be that Hot Mom at the spray park, but so far, no go. I'm still working out and videoing, just not as thoroughly or frequently. The vlogs will return, soon. 

I made a kinda-goal this summer, to find one inexpensive and fun thing to do every week. I have ulterior motives, in that I feel a lot less like punching a kid when we're out doing something fun. (Disclaimer: I have never punched a kid.) Last week I overdid the fun a little, maybe, with a movie date, a zoo debacle, fishing at a friend's house, and other things that I can't remember because it was so hot and loud for days and days. Most of these events are solo parented, as the MOG has entered the black hole of Teen Camp and will not be spotted again until August.

Today we went to the Curious George Exhibit at the Crown Center, and I'm gonna give you a straight-up review. (Disclaimer 2: I am not sponsored or paid by Crown Center. I'm also not above it. Crown Center, shoot me a text.)

The thing I was most concerned about was the parking and walking part, but the parking garage was easy to find and navigate, although I parked on a floor with stairs and had to fold up the stroller and hike a flight while keeping Tristan in bounds with the sound of my Stern Voice. My posse ranges from age 14 with a developmental age of 2, to 7, 6, and 2.5.  We strolled Crown Center for a while, taking pictures and window shopping. It's pretty wide open and easy to track a kid, even when they are running way ahead of the 2-lines-in-front-of-me boundary. We stopped in the Crayola Store and they drew for a while before we browsed the rest of the store. I was trying to do a really low-budget trip, so we didn't buy anything but there was a lot to look at and interesting displays.

The Curious George exhibit was on the 1st floor, in the back corner of the building, which is nice, because even a dedicated runner would have to evade a parent for several minutes to get near an exit door. The exhibit is in a relatively small space but it's packed with interesting stuff. All of my kids were captivated for the 1+hours we stayed. Tristan was most interested in the old telephone. He was using it as a command station and all the other kids at the exhibit would make way for him. I lost track of him multiple times but was able to spot him every time before I even got to the stomach dropping portion of finding a 2 year old in a public place.

There were several stations that played with light and shadows, projecting patterns on the wall, altering shadows and doing shadow puppets. There were also 2 stations where you could use wind to move things. The station where you could spin pinwheels using high-powered fans was R2's favorite. He was so excited to see the cause and effect. Toby spent a long time trying to build a windmill out of Tinkertoys but eventually gave up and found a station where you turned a dial to move giant blocks along a conveyor system. All 4 of my kids loved that one, and took turns without being prompted, just because there were several things you could do there. They also had benches with books, a grocery store with a cashier station, and countless little areas to explore. I think I could take them back and they would have just as much fun.

Once they were done, we found a happy spot by the windows to eat our lunch. Crown Center has tons of restaurants (and they smelled awesome) but the seating is set up for people to be able to eat pretty much anywhere, regardless of whether your food came from home or a restaurant. We ate our sandwiches and the candy we bought at the Candy Store (about $9 a pound, each of my kids chose a handful of candy and we got out for about $5). I had hoped to go to Fritz's for dessert, but it was getting too close to naptime and Tristan was starting his let's-get-mom-arrested act, so we strolled across the street to the Sno Cone stand instead and (I know it's so much sugar, that's why it's the best.summer.ever.) they got to pour in their own syrup, which was the apocalypse.

Curious George exhibit: Free
Parking: 3 hours free w/ validation
Candy Shop: $5ish
Sno Cones: $6 (we split 2)
Total cost: less than $15. Win. 

Next week: "Free" bowling! Stay tuned.

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