Fun at 4D

4d-polarWe had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. Grandma was up from Florida and we took part in a lot of fun things together. Seeing the Symphony of Lights in Columbia was very nice, as was getting Little Boy G’s first Roy Rogers at The Cheesecake Factory. One of the best things we did was go to the Polar Express 4-D Experience at Baltimore’s National Aquarium.

Talk about fun. Wow. I was simply hoping that it wouldn’t be lame. Instead, it was the most I’ve laughed in a long time. And the feature is only about 20 minutes long. TOO DARN FUNNY! Little Boy G had his ears plugged with his fingers the whole time (typical of him), but he was howling with laughter. Grandma and hubby were also laughing their hair off.

According to their website, “The Aquarium’s 4D Immersion Theater combines the visual drama of a 3D film with a variety of sensory effects, which are built into theater seats and the theater environment. Most films are transformed into 20-minute or less experiences and will virtually bring on-screen images to life with added effects such as: water mist, wind, a neck air blast, snow, bubbles, steam, leg ticklers, scents, enhanced floor lighting, and seat vibrations!”

These 4-D immersion shows are played in other areas, I’m sure. You’ll just have to do an Internet search for your area. At Baltimore’s Aquarium, they have several shows that play all year, so if you’re ever in the area, don’t miss it. The kids (and you) will love it.

Rennaissance Vegetable

Good morning, everyone. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! I myself made the mistake of teaching Little Boy G a knock knock joke:

  • Knock knock?
  • Who’s there?
  • Boo.
  • Boo hoo.
  • Why are you crying?

And he tells it to me every minute or so. He also exchanges other names after the “Who’s There?” question, like Sally, or whatever, but his punch line is always: “Why are you crying?”

Laugh. I guess he doesn’t quite get the gist of knock knock jokes. It is a riot, however, when he tells them.

What we did this weekend

We went to Maryland’s Rennaissance Festival or as LBG likes to call it, The Rennaissance Vegetable.

It was fun, but packed. I think that, because of the beautiful weather and the fact that it was totally rained out last weekend, everyone decided to go this past Saturday. The lines were all so long–we skipped riding the elephant and the pony because there were 25 people ahead of us for each ride. Ever wait in that long of a line with an antsy four year old before? Yeah, me too. So we didn’t.

So my question to you guys is this: 1.Do you have Rennaissance Festivals where you live? And if so, 2. Do people ever come dressed up as ninjas? Because they do at ours. What is up with that? It’s not a costume party, ya know. There were no ninjas during the Rennaisssance!

The County Fair

The fair on Saturday was a lot of fun. Little Boy G had his first Ferris Wheel ride with his Dad. He loved it. Then he insisted on some cotton candy, which we shared; our sticky fingers groping for yet another piece of spun sugar delight. Yes, I’m aware that I’m a diabetic. But I have a huge supply of insulin strapped to my waist. Not a problem.

 

G also got to ride a John Deere Tractor (mini version). Boys love that kind of stuff, don’t they?

G also convinced us to try for as many stuffed animals as we could at the game counters. Sheesh. I’m pathetic. Couldn’t throw a ball to save my life. Sure, the kids win a prize whether they win or not, but we ended up spending about $40 for four tiny stuffed animals, one of which was lost on the way out of the fair. 

The prices, staying on the topic of money, were outrageous. $4 each to ride on the Ferris Wheel. $4 for a soft serve ice cream cone. Had I known that the prices were that high, I would have gone to Disney World instead. Jimmy Crack Corn.

I had my candy apple (I know, I know, full of sugar). But it also had fruit in it, which is good for you.

And that’s all about our trip to the County Fair.

LegoLand–Who Knew?

Last year, my husband and Little Boy G and I visited the grand parents in California. We took a trip to LegoLand, which I read was a great place to take the kids. And my review? FANTASTIC. Go! Now!

I loved the park for many reasons, and not just because Volvos had parking all to themselves close to they entry. The entire layout of the park is amazing. You’ll see things that will make your jaw drop. The picture above is just one of many miniature Lego constructions in the Minland USA section. From their website: “Miniland USA presents famous landmarks built entirely from standard LEGO elements. Guests experience the wonders of  Washington D.C., New Orleans, New York City, FloridaSan Francisco and the Southern California coastline – in miniature – right down to the smallest detail. Also, don’t miss Las Vegas which features a variety of whimsical and animated models that replicate scenes found in the actual city. For a nominal fee, you can even navigate your own mini boat in the LEGOLAND Marina.”

Little Boy G LOVED it, but so did we. He even got to drive a little mini Volvo around a track with other kids (3-5 in age) at the Volvo Mini Driving school for little ones. A similar attraction, the Volvo Driving School is for older kids (6-13), and also looks like a lot of fun.

An abundance of Lego-themed rides kept our little one quite entertained.  The Flight Squadron was particularly fun, as was Fairy Tale Brook, where you get to ride on a boat through a little fairy land. Both rides require an adult.

If you ever find yourself in Southern California, you should consider visiting LegoLand. You won’t regret it. 

http://www.legoland.com/park/rides/ridesandattractions.htm

Water Country USA

water parkWater Country USA, in Williamsburg, VA is another great place to take the kids. Little Boy G had a great time and so did we. We were there on Saturday with our dear friends and their two sweet little kids of 2 and 5. This family’s last name is actually Little Boy G’s name, so we’ll call them The G’s. We took a choo-choo train from Baltimore to New Port News. Wouldn’t recommend it, however. Great trip, but we planned on 5.5 hours, and it took 9. There was also someone on the train who we believe was a pirate. He was sharing the cafe car with us. Argh. He was a trip.

Okay, at the park there are lots of great areas for little kids to play. You can go to a “beach-like” area, where we splurged and rented a cabana because it was so hot. Anyway, you go into the water and every ten or fifteen minutes a session of “waves” begins, which the kids and you can jump over. This was Little Boy G’s favorite part of the park, he claims (I think it was seeing all the pretty girls in bikinis).

Another area is a collection of slides…little ones and bigger ones so that all kids can participate. LBG was quite tentative at first, but then, when we put him on the babiest of slides, he actually liked it. After that, he then wanted more of that kinda fun, only bigger and faster and better, and rode down all the slides in the area.

If you like rafts, they have those too. A two seater tandem one that you take down a spirally descent. LBG loved it.

Finally, the lazy river, where you float for about fifteen minutes on your life vest down a spirally “river”. It’s not fast and furious, so I saw babies being held by their moms on this ride. Cool for everyone.

I actually had a great time until I got, um, sick. Heat exhaustion maybe? Anyway, we’re back at the cabana and I tell my husband to get me the big Target bag in the corner and quick. I start hurling. No idea why, mind you. I’m going round after round after round. I finally get the courage to look up, and there are the three kids, a 2, 4, and 5 year old, lined up, watching me. The littlest one is eating popcorn. I make eye contact with him. He smiles and nods. I start to feel better. And then we went back to their house in Chesapeake. Sweet sweet little kids.

It’s been two years since we had seen the G’s, and yet it seemed like old times (except for the getting sick part.)  Must do this more often.

Discovery Launch: A Great Place to take the Kids

Shuttle Launch

Last weekend we flew down to Florida to see the Space Shuttle Discovery
launch. While the launch is never a guarantee and always weather
dependent, if you can manage it, you should try to see it. It was really
spectacular and we were 12 miles away (!)

We rented a parking spot from a motel in Titusville for $15. We sat in
the lounge area for about four hours while waiting for the launch to
occur. Every few minutes, Little Boy G would say, “Did it launch yet?”
Did we miss it?” Each time I told him that, no, we’re not going to miss
it and that we actually flew to Florida JUST TO SEE THE LAUNCH. There
was no way we were going to miss it. The explanation was lost on him,
obviously, since he continued to ask the same question. Little sweety.

The hotel had a small strip of sand where we could stand to watch the
spectacle, along with several other people from all over the country and
all over the world. Twelve miles of water separated us and the shuttle.
The closest you can get, however, is only six miles, so it wasn’t THAT
bad.

Finally, at 5:03, it launched. We couldn’t hear it yet because it took
several moments for the sound to get to us. Finally, the noise arrived,
but it wasn’t all that loud. Little Boy G covered his ears, but he does
that for just about any “loud” noise, like a toilet flushing. During the
launch, Little Boy G, who was on his dad’s shoulders, was awestruck. He
couldn’t speak. The fire from the thrusters, the eventual lift off, the
huge plume of smoke, and the spiraled contrail painted on the crystal
blue sky was too much for the boy. I said, “You don’t like it, G?” but
he vigorously nodded his head that he did. In fact, he is still talking
about it.

If you can go with your kids sometime, you should. Next for us–a night
launch. They’re rare, so it might take a while. From what I hear, it’s
worth the wait!

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