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More photos of all the building/engineering outdoors, invented race cars and dinosaurs (from Field Station Dinosaurs, NJ) that we found at the World Science Festival ..
It looks like the girls from Sweet Fine Day were there too! Check out their post here.
Have a great weekend!

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rrrrrrroar! remember me from last year?

rrrrrrroar! remember me from last year?

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Zoe and her friend Mia catch up to Sid the Science Kid

Zoe and her friend Mia catch up to Sid the Science Kid

Look mom! I'm coloring within the lines!

Look mom! I’m coloring within the lines!

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Can you believe it’s already been a full year since we’ve last done this? I can’t.
Again it was a scorching hot day but SO worth braving the heat for checking out how to make ‘movie snow’ (in varying colors) and making another round of perfume at the scent lab. (Zoe named her cologne ‘Sprinkles’ and Ezra’s is titled ‘Spicy Love’.)

There were lots of TV science characters abound and Kareem Abdul Jabbar even spoke about the importance of utilizing one’s mind for good. He’s put out a new book about ‘The Lost History of African-American Inventors‘. When asked he replied that he loves writing as much – if not more than basketball. Go Kareem!

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various stages put on science shows for kids in Washington Square Park

various stages put on science shows for kids in Washington Square Park

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the finished products - move over J Lo! New scents in town

the finished products – move over J Lo! New scents in town

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Zoe loves the 'butterfly princess'

Zoe loves the ‘butterfly princess’

and I'd love to recreate this as a Halloween costume!

and I’d love to recreate this as a Halloween costume!

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We love Flushing Meadow Park – a park that may be on the verge of shrinking due to some controversial plans for tennis expansion.

It’s a quiet old place with the remnants of the World’s Fair looming just beyond where the more utilized US Open area is. The kids love to scoot around the globe. The Queens Museum of Art is nearby so we can duck in to warm our toes and check out the panorama of the city, and the vintage World’s Fair paraphernalia.

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And for the extended times we spent indoors this weekend – thawing toes – we had a few dolly tea parties and did this very cool trick with milk, dish soap and food coloring!

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We went back to the Liberty Science Center in NJ and found they happened to have an exhibit on solar power – Ezra’s favorite subject! Of course we couldn’t be there and not visit the I Explore area with it’s amazing ball machine, troth of rice where kids can dig, and Climbing Challenge whose bottom level is modeled after what lives under the street (rat exhibit included!)

But really the highlight was the Solar Race Car exhibit … if I could, I would purchase the whole thing and put it in Ezra’s room. It included solar panels that he could expose to light, to stop and start individual cars. It could easily keep him occupied for hours.

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While we were in Rochester, we made a visit to the Strong Museum of Play. We’ve been here before and we cannot quite conquer all of this massive, amazing museum for kids in one trip. Not only does the entrance house a whole carousel and diner – but then inside there’s an entire Wegman’s supermarket for kids to play in – along with tons of other areas to learn about vintage toys, gravity, books, the post office and mailing letters, a pirate ship and a stage to perform on while video taping your segment and putting music to it. The indoor railroad and train tables are always a hit. This time we finally got back to the Berenstain Bear section of the museum where we found a play restaurant with groups of kids pretending to wait tables, serve food and count out cash and change to customers. I still couldn’t get Zoe out of the princess dress-up area of Reading Adventure-land however:

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Ask any New Yorker with kids and they will probably cite this museum as their go-to option when the weather is dreary. It is the most popular kid museum in the city, and because it’s so huge you never really feel like tickets will sell out or that they will run out of space. Of course ever since it appeared in a 2006 movie (Night at the Museum) it’s become even more popular. I hear there are sleep-over nights for kids who want to mimic the movie – but for now Ezra and Zoe LOVE the Discovery Room. This quiet little zone allows the little ones to get off their feet after hiking through this massive building – and Ezra is bananas about playing ‘paleontologist’ while brushing away sand on the pretend fossils. The dinosaur bone puzzle is a treat and there’s an area with a display tree where kids can rummage through boxes and explore bugs and plant matter. Of course we always tend to favor the giant whale room and it’s displays of sea life, and the Hall of Biodiversity. Some day we will actually make it back upstairs to the dinosaur exhibit.


Hey Zoe is enjoying this too now!

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Yes I finally did it. I finally took Ezra to the Bodies Exhibit since no other kid’s anatomy exhibit satisfied him. He LOVED it. I couldn’t take photos because it was dark, it wasn’t allowed – and it felt a bit disrespectful to photograph actual dead bodies (yes, for real – and there’s enough controversy around that part of the show to begin with). But I did get a quiet shot of Ezra’s favorite part of the exhibit: the digestive system. A real one – splayed out in a case for him to examine for a long, long while. I wish I could say he seemed ready to be a future doctor but he hated the ‘blood’ room and is squeamish about any (even a pin prick) display of blood. He did totally ‘ace’ a brain game during the exhibit where he moved a ball with his mind. It’s fascinating what kind of interests unfold the more a child grows. I wonder what this all will lead to … if anything?

We did end up getting to somewhere warm and sunny during winter break – which is why I’ve not been tending to my blog until now. More photos from sunny Florida to come soon!

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We have a habit of going to science museums – I’m sure we will blog about Boston’s and some of Florida’s science museums in the months ahead. But the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey feels spacious and never crowded, and it’s full of things for kids of all ages to do. There’s even a toddler area in the bottom level with a ball maze that can entertain older siblings at the same time.
Ezra has been a bit obsessed with biology and all things ‘inside of the body’ so he loved the giant sneezing nose and the ‘veins’ and ‘intestine’ exhibit that kids can crawl through. We caught a bubble exhibit, a robot competition, and the kids even got to sport lab coats and work in a research center.
Does anyone know of a great biology exhibit for kids? We’d love to hear of more places where Ezra can learn about the body – particularly the digestive system.


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