Travel Progeny

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

23 February

A Thursday: Audubon Insectarium and the Louisiana Children’s Museum

My kids are Saint fans… or at least they are fans of the Who Dat song and ES of gold pom-poms. So how could we pass up the chance to spend a long week­end in NOLA where the Mardi Gras and Super­bowl cel­e­bra­tions con­verged?  Because we were dri­ving we headed down a bit early to avoid the bad weather. It’s about 10 hours from St. Louis to New Orleans.

Because of Mardi Gras lots of places were com­pletely closed and/or hours of oper­a­tion were ran­dom.  For Instance, after con­sult­ing the NOMA web­site on Sun­day we went to see the Dis­ney Princess exhibit only to get there to be informed that they had decided the night before to close early.  Nice.  The kids cried. Thanks NOMA.

Into the InsectariumIn the flight room In an effort to avoid the week­end chaos of Mardi Gras in the Quar­ter we  headed down to the Audubon Insec­tar­i­ums and then Louisiana Children’s  Museum on Thurs­day.  It was cold and rainy– a per­fect day for some indoor  activities. We have been to the Audubon Aquar­ium (right around the cor­ner)  but this was our first trip to the Audubon Insec­tar­ium and I was look­ing  for­ward to see­ing what was inside.  We got there in the early after­noon and  with the excep­tion of a school group there were not a whole lot of peo­ple  there. My first impres­sion:  It’s not that big.  You enter into a hall­way with lots of lit­tle plexi-glass bug homes.  Also, off this hall­way is an exhibit on what it’s like under­ground enlarged 100 times with  giant insects, and sound affects.  G and ES had a  good time under­ground.  Love Bug at the Audubon InsectariumThere was a painted VW  Bee­tle sans doors that the kids liked jump­ing in and  out of. Finally, we came to the cafe and a room  about Local bugs– not too inter­est­ing to my 3 and 5  year old.  Then there came the room about water  bugs.  At its cen­ter was a large cir­cu­lar tank where 2  young albino alli­ga­tors live– some­how creepier  than the green/brown ones. abkini gatorsNext was a room with  inter­ac­tive exhibits and  just off there was the kid’s favorite thing–the bug movie.  Although only  about  10 min­utes long we were all kept engaged with per­fectly timed mists  and smell and seats that moved  and poked. We all loved it.  From there we moved into the room with cases and cases of beau­ti­fully  mounted bugs.  I got more out of this room than the kids. I am still amazed by the sheer scope of the insect world so con­cisely dis­played.  Finally, there were the but­ter­flies.  After we saw them hatch­ing from their cocoons we got to  go into the free flight area.  Not many were fly­ing, but a few were sit­ting low enough so the kids could  see them.  G had to strug­gle not to touch.  It was almost too much for him to resist so he com­pro­mised  by shov­ing his hand in his pock­ets and blew on them instead. I saw he was loos­ing his inter­nal bat­tle  so we left only to be deposited into the gift shop.  That was it.  Maybe an hour and thirty min­utes max.  The kids had fun look­ing for the bugs in their houses but had it been any more crowded they would  have been too much for them and me.  Glad we went, but once was enough.Color-coded Butterfies

Hint: Street park­ing is hard to find but the Audubon val­i­dates for reduced  park­ing at cer­tain lots. The  Audubon web­site says which ones.  Also, if you plan on going to mul­ti­ple Audubon prop­er­ties they  offer a multi loca­tion  ticket.

After a quick lunch we headed to the Louisiana Children’s Museum.  We’ve been here a cou­ple of times.  Last year the kids Grand­fa­ther bought us a fam­ily pass.  It was a great gift!  It is rec­i­p­ro­cal to over 100  other Children’s Muse­ums all over the country.

puzzlesto the top of the LCM

The LCM is on sev­eral floors with a cen­ter court­yard.  The kids wanted to start at the top so we headed up to the 3rd floor– played on some mini Mis­sis­sippi River Boats, did some gro­cery shop­ping, hung out in Mr. Rogers Neigh­bor­hood, learned about our senses, did puz­zles and made bub­bles.  There is also a tod­dler area on the 3rd floor, but ES has always been to old to go so we’ve never ven­tured in.  There is also a craft area with dif­fer­ent sched­uled activ­i­ties but we never seem to time our vis­its correctly.

PulliesGrocery shopping at LCM The 2nd floor houses their offices so we end on  the much smaller 1st floor.  If you’re famil­iar with  Ruff  Ruff­man on PBS he has a lit­tle area here,    there is  a wooden train set and the option to play  occu­pa­tional dress-up. There is also a shadow    wall tucked into one of the cor­ners.  The kids like  it but they so do adults.  After we left there were 2  par­ents of a very lit­tle one who spent quite a while mak­ing shad­ows while their daugh­ter played with her grand­mother else­where.  We lifted our­selves with pul­leys, rode a bike down a video road trough balls and used dif­fer­ent tools to put balls in holes. The museum was clos­ing and so we were done.

It was along day.… but the kids had a blast.

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