Thursday, February 1, 2007

Maine State Museum Field Trip

This week I spent 2-1/2 days at my sister's. My BIL was having surgery & they needed me to babysit their son & two dogs. The joy of homeschooling meant that I was free to do this. This did mean I had four boys instead of my usual three. We were also away from home which always brings added challenges.

I decided while we were to take them on a field trip to the Maine State Museum. We were fairly close, it was inexpensive (we actually ended up getting in free since we were homeschoolers), I could count it as a school day & it would get the boys out of the house & hopefully minimize the arguing over the trains. :-) We actually had a great time. I was very impressed with the displays & all the boys seemed to really enjoy it. We were one of two families there that day so we had the place to ourselves which was also very nice.

Unfortunately the museum is located directly next to the state house. Parking was horrid. I drove around the lots for a bit but saw no space I thought I could squeeze my full-sized truck in to. We ended up parking about a half mile away on the top of a parking garage (free parking too!). The boys, of course, LOVED this part. They were great on the walk over & back.

Funny J thing: While we were walking back we passed a woman outside having a cigarette. We were probably 10 feet away when J starts yelling at her, "You can't do that!" No matter how much I tried to hush him, he was determined to express his opinion. I'm really not sure why he felt this way. We don't smoke here & no one close to us (that he sees regularly) does either. She took it well. I told her he was "a bit bossy" & she thought he was "cute." My embarrassing moment of the day.... my very opinionated 3 year old!!!

I think my favorite display in the museum was the working water mill! As you descended the levels you could see the wheels turning & it was working a "mill" above it - turning the saws. They really did a wonderful job capturing the working past of the state. Sound effects were added at certain spots - we passed a seamstresses "work room" & they had sewing machine sounds.

This was one of my other favorite displays at the museum. This is the actual deed to the State of Maine! I thought this was awesome & wanted to linger. Unfortunately, the boys didn't think it as cool & were all heading towards the bones & guns displays. I was able to at least get a shot off.

Throughout the museum they had "touch" stations where the children could touch things relating to the display. I think the hands down favorite was the Model-T Ford horn! They all had a turn tooting that. Well, so did I! :-)

N is touching the wool outside the "woolen mill."
He has his other hand on the "T" because train starts with T! :-)

They did have a display called "12,000 Years in Maine." We walked through & I just reminded my oldest (I don't think the other three really understood) how we didn't believe it was that long. It was neat to see all the bones & other artifacts they had including these petroglyphs.

I was very pleased with how this photo came out. These were actually found in the town we lived in & my FIL told me that one of my hubby's great-aunts knows where there are more so that may be something we try to do this summer.

The three youngest really loved the big green steam engine that was right at the front as you arrived. I thought it was pretty neat as well. B says he "loved it" the Back to Nature display. They had all sorts of stuffed animals (not the kind you sleep with!) in different displays. They captured all the best parts of Maine - moose, deer, raccoons, seals, all sorts of birds, & more.

I'd have to say that this has been one of my favorite field trips we've taken & I'm definitely planning on making the trip more often. If you ever stop over in the state capital, you have to go check it out.

1 comment:

  1. FUN! I love doing those hands on type museums. I try to fit one into every vacation.


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