D.C. love

This blog post is original to Toddler Planet and may not be reposted without permission. 

Some mornings I am so grateful that I live so near Washington, D.C.

For instance, this morning, our playgroup was cancelled due to a couple cases of the sniffles.  The sky was overcast, and the babies were restless.  I sat down by my three-year-old and said, “Mommy wants to do something fun with you today.  What would you like to do?” 

Widget said, “Ride in a rocketship, Mom!”

We can do that.

I bundled them into the car, with jackets and snacks, called a friend with two girls, and we all headed out to the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center for a fun morning with huge pictures of stars, planets, and galaxies; a model of the Hubble Telescope and the instruments inside, and the piece de resistance … an actual Gemini capsule.

They’ve added a preschool area with legos, helmets, models, and dress-up outfits, but everyone’s favorite is still the Gemini capsule, with all the flippable switches, and the outdoor rocket garden.

Is this the right button, Mom?

Even Little Bear climbed right in the capsule, leaned in towards the control panel, and wanted to play.  Atta boy, LB!  And atta girls for the two girls that came with us!  And of course for my little Widget, my dreamer and my doer, the little boy who wanted to ride in a rocket ship today more than anything.

This blog post is original to Toddler Planet and may not be reposted without permission. 


20 Responses to D.C. love

  1. Ally says:

    Wow. I love that this is close to your house. I know my children would have loved to do this today, too. Who can say no to a rocket! That is so cool.

  2. mo-wo says:

    My best friend told me today she is moving to DC for the next year. This helps me be a bit less sad.

    WhyMommy — the mommyblogger who keeps on giving.

  3. Oooh, we’ve never been there yet, but I think it sounds like something we’ll need to check out. I think my husband would like it as much as my kids!

  4. whymommy says:

    Mo-Wo, have her come visit the DC Metro Mom blogs … there are a lot of us there, and she will find tons to do with her kids. (Jessica at A Parent in Silver Spring posts tons of things to do every week!) It is a great place.

    Jessica — GSFC is a fun place. The visitor’s center is not terribly big, but it’s a nice place to spend an hour or so. More if you like to run around outside and look at rockets. (We do!)

  5. Kacy says:

    Wow a model of the Hubble Telescope what could be better than this, could it be that you are a MODEL mum.

  6. My Wee Three took one look at the photograph of Little Bear, and demanded to know what he was up to… Apparently, we’ve got a future astronaut in the family, too!

    Next time you go, can we come, too??!! Sounds like SUCH fun!

    Glad you had a good day.

    xo CGF

  7. kgirl says:

    sounds awesome. our rainy day activity today will be going to ikea. not quite as educational, but still fun.

  8. Char says:

    We went there many years ago when I was a teenager with my younger brothers. Brings back fond memories.

  9. mamma says:

    Sounds like a great time!!

  10. Becca says:

    I wish I knew you in real life… you are a FUN MOM. I also wish we had access to the Smithsonian where I live because with a scientist and an engineer as parents, I have a feeling it would come in very handy for our little one.

  11. Lisa says:

    We are so sad we were too sick to tag along. That’s o.k. I know our little ones will be ready to fly the rockets again soon! So glad LB is getting ready to fly too! 😉 Love the picture!

  12. Alison says:

    That is so cool! SEriously awesome! I wish we had tings like that so close!

  13. whymommy says:

    Aw, thanks! And, CGF, you can come down anytime! There are so many amazing things to do here. I’m thinking tomorrow we might go to the trolley museum or the aquarium… or maybe up to the Orchard for a hay ride!

  14. clifford says:

    Rock (moon?).

  15. Debbie Davis says:

    What a great rainy day!!! At my house we all just pile in bed and watch family videos hehe. My son just got back from DC and he said he had a wonderful time!!! I think your blog is wonderful and I would love to hear from you. I am new to the blogging scene 🙂

  16. Robin says:

    Wow – I didn’t even know there was a Visitor Center. Son is on spring break and we’re also watching one of his friends this week. Although they do not think they need a break from Playstation, I do and am looking for something to get them out of the house for a while. Do you think this would hold their attention for an hour or so? (they are 10 year old science geeks).

  17. whymommy says:

    Robin, Yes I do! In fact, at 10 I think it would be much more interesting than at 3. It’s really set up for older kids and adults. We just think it’s neat. There is also a small gift shop there with lots of great books and a few t-shirts and toys, so they’ll want to bring their allowance (OMG, did I just date myself? Do kids still get an allowance?).

    There’s also the College Park Aviation Museum if you’re nearby to that; it’s like $3/kid and a nice size to navigate, with about a dozen airplanes in the place and lots of history, as well as hands-on exhibits like a wind tunnel, water board, and a couple video demos. Oh, and a flight simulator for a small charge ($1/5 minutes?).

    Or the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian annex at Dulles … a real space shuttle and many, many planes just perfect for 10 year olds to examine. (Nothing to touch, though. A bummer for preschoolers.)

    Have they been to the Building Museum? Or the Library of Congress? The latter sounds funny, but it’s pretty amazing, I think, and a place that really gets short shrift around here. They’ll flip at the hall of science, decorated with the names of famous astronomers and other scientists, if they know their science history.

    Some days I think I’m a 10 year old boy at heart. Or a two year old. I’m still waiting to hear about the fire trucks that came to Stimey’s preschool yesterday….

  18. Robin says:

    Thanks! The Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian annex is like 10 minutes from our house – door-to-door. If it wasn’t for a direct road the way the bird flies and oh, Rt 28, we could easily ride our bikes there!

    And allowances – you don’t want to even know how much kids get these days. Some get 10 bucks a week!!! Although I have my crazy moments, I do not partake in this. Son has a list of chores he can do, and he gets 10 cents a chore. (putting clothes away, cleaning up his toys, taking out garbage, dusting, etc). It’s up to him to earn money and it’s been an interesting way to earn allowance so far.

  19. whymommy says:

    $10 a week? Jeepers. Now I really want to be 10 again….

  20. Robin says:

    Well, like I said, we don’t do that. We’re mean parents. 10 cents a chore is more in my budget – especially since Son doesn’t like to do them. He usually earns less than a dollar, but then again, he can’t complain much when he wants something and doesn’t have enough money for it.

    BTW – son and his friend absolutley loved the visitor center – thanks!!

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