Friday, April 15, 2011

More Memphis . . .

Saturday morning found us up and at 'em for a fun-filled trip to the Children's Museum of Memphis. We arrived promptly at 9 a.m. (when it opened), enjoyed free on-site parking, and paid our $30 (total) to get in.

Clay immediately noticed the big FedEx plane to the right of the museum entrance, so our first stop was a stint as pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit. We explored the Mississippi river exhibit, then spent some time checking out groceries at the mini-Kroger before heading into educational exhibits about dentistry, auto mechanics, and more!

Clay loved the fire truck and police car, and we spent a good while on the "stage" where you can be in your own music video. (He loved seeing himself on TV!) He also really loved the construction area, where you can climb through a "house" in construction, connect different bits of PVC pipe together, and practice drawing blueprints. Then, it was off to build structures with wood slats and see how far your paper airplanes would fly in another exhibit.

We finished up in the Wizard of Oz section, where we practiced putting the stuffed scarecrow back together and tried on wild Ozian hats. A trip to the museum store for a puzzle and a little yellow car rounded out the visit, and we were back in Southaven for lunch and a nap a short while later.

One we'd had a rest, we decided to explore the Memphis Botanic Garden. I'd heard good things about the "Your Big Back Yard" exhibit, which sounded perfect for little man.

They've basically created a giant bird house (complete with a HUGE bluebird and a suspension bridge that leads to a fun slide) in one section of the garden. It's flanked by a GIANT nest for kids to play in, a little woodsy "theatre" where they can put on shows, and an interactive maze and spiderweb crawl.

Past all of that, kids can tunnel through the ground like worms and play in one of several playhouses designed and constructed by local artists. (Clay loved the house of twigs. We got inside and pretended we were two little pigs. Daddy was the wolf and, of course, we DID NOT let him in!) The houses are fanciful and imaginative. One contains all sorts of "found" instruments, like a xylophone made out of old wrenches. Another has a cool little loft space the kids can climb up into, with a tiny, high window they can peep out of. Just lots of fun and creativity.

Once we finished enjoying that part of the garden, we checked out the rest of it - roses, a beautiful water garden, and some fun swings. We finished up shortly before they closed, then headed out for dinner.

The next morning, it was back home! 9I didn't get to go to a SINGLE outlet mall. Sniff.) I can recommend a family trip to Memphis without reservation. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit!

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