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Things To Do On Cold Winter Days: Go to the Museum

JD and I had a low-key weekend. We usually spend Saturdays with my brother and his daughter, but we were on our own this time. I have to say, it was awesome to take JD on a special date—just the two of us. I told JD we were going on an adventure when I strapped him into his car seat. “A venture!?” he said. “Yep, with dinosaurs, sand just like at the beach, fire trucks, trains—all sorts of super cool stuff,” I said. Read Things To Do On Cold Winter Days: Make A Gingerbread House

He asked, “Are we there yet,” 20 times on the half-hour drive. This made me smile. Having your kid ask this question while driving somewhere is just part of parenthood.

I took JD to the NJ Children’s Museum when he was just under two. He had fun, but I knew he’d have a blast when he was a little older. Well, I was right. He’s at the perfect age to enjoy and explore this hands-on museum.

It was really crowded and there was a line to pay the admission fee. I got a little anxious. I always get anxious in big crowds when I’m alone with JD because he’s very fast and doesn’t always want to hold hands. I got down to his level and explained we needed to wait in line before we could play and that he had to be a very good boy, or we couldn’t go inside and see the trains and cars and kitchen and… “Dino-Wars” (dinosaurs), he said finishing my sentence. “Yes, exactly,” I said. “We need to hold hands for now.”

Soon we were through the main entrance and JD was plopped in a giant indoor sandbox. And he stayed in this sandbox for twenty, happy minutes. I sat in a chair just outside the box and watched him play. It was a truly relaxing moment.

He played by himself, then with other kids—completely content and engaged. It wasn’t until I told him about the trains and BIG fire truck in the next room, that he agreed to put his sneakers back on and take a look.

We have a train table at our house and tons of little, wooden trains, but for some reason, playing with this one was more fun. He pushed trains on the tracks and made “beep beep, toot toot,” noises for ten whole minutes before he climbed aboard a fire truck to explore.

Next we hit up the space station where JD played a game of “Aliens Attack” with another three-year-old.

Last week I blogged about gender and toys and how JD is getting a play kitchen from Santa this year. I told you he loves to play kitchen. I wasn’t kidding! First he shopped in the market, then cooked food in the café area. It was such a cute setup. I sat at the bar and JD handed me a menu and asked what I wanted. In one sitting I ate spaghetti and meatballs, a taco, iced cookies and 30 cups of coffee.

We went fishing with a magnetic rod that hooked to rubber fish and explored the dinosaur cave. JD loved the dark cave and especially writing with chalk on the walls. Next, we dusted for fossils and JD was amazed every time his brush work revealed a boney plate. He thought this big kaleidoscope was the coolest! "It's like driving a rainbow car, Mommy!"

He was so well-behaved and polite. It was the best date I’ve been on in a long time! And, I know it's one I'll remember always! Hope JD does, too. We had a great day! Just the two of us.

Do you take your kids on special dates? Please share!

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