This past year, I have heard amazing things about the Discovery Science Center so I am very excited to be able to offer two family pack giveaways for their VIP Party to Celebrate Elmo’s Birthday. This is in conjunction with their upcoming exhibit – Sesame Street Presents: The Body. Here are more details regarding this special encore exhibition:

Sesame Street Presents: The Body offers an engaging, free-flowing learning experience set in the fun, familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The loveable Sesame Street Muppets anchor an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that allow children to explore the human body and how to keep it healthy. Each exhibit area has multiple activities to provide age appropriate and exciting learning opportunities for children at a variety of developmental levels. The exhibition emphasizes scientific investigation and developmental and curriculum-based learning goals for children ranging from two to eight years old. These learning goals tie into the National Science Education Standards, the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the Sesame Street Healthy Habits for Life Curriculum.

Each component of The Body exhibit is geared toward children’s natural excitement about learning,” added Anna Housley Juster, Director of Content, Sesame Workshop.

“We believe that children learn best through active participation and self-discovery. The exhibit features a wide range of opportunities for children to observe, investigate, experiment and talk about what they are learning with their parent or caregiver. Thinkwell has done a superb job of incorporating our content and characters with their design.”

The Body will be exhibited at the Discovery Science Center January 29, through May 1, 2011. In addition, children and adult caregivers can explore the exhibit prior to their visit online at: http://www.sesamestreetpresents.org.

And now the giveaway:

Sesame Street Presents: The Body Event & Giveaway

Sesame Street Presents: The Body is at Discovery Science Center January 29, 2011 through May 1, and to celebrate this new exhibit we’re celebrating the beloved Muppet, Elmo on his birthday, February 3 from 6PM-8PM! Join us for birthday cake, VIP access to the Sesame Street Presents: The Body exhibit and a special visit with Elmo. This is a private event, after-hours. Our friends at Sensitive Sweets are making Elmo’s birthday cake gluten-free, soy-free and allergy-free so all kids (and adults) can enjoy!

If you would like to be entered, please email me by midnight, January 12th at: naturaltravelingmomma@gmail.com – include your name and number of people in your party – maximum number is 4.

Mishy will draw the two names on Saturday morning.

To follow Discovery Science Center on Facebook and Twitter, here are the links.

http://www.facebook.com/discoverycube

http://twitter.com/discoverycube

Details:

Discovery Science Center

http://www.discoverycube.org/

UPDATE: And the winners of the giveaway are: Sabine’s family and Allyson’s family. Congratulations! (I have emailed you both separately. There were over 50 families that entered.)

L.A. County Fair

January 2, 2011

We visited the L.A. County Fair in the fall through an amazing program for homeschoolers which is affiliated with their education program. We were able to get free tickets, which includes free parking and early morning entry – 9AM. I didn’t know if I was going to convince Mishy to wake up early or how traffic was going to be – it’s about an hour drive away in Pomona, CA, but somehow we woke up early, drove all the way to Pomona with traffic going the other way and stopped in to have delicious Vietnamese food about 10 minutes away from the fair. (By the time we left the fair, the food booths were not opened yet.)

We only visited one section of the fair – Mishy was 2.5 years old and I felt we could pace ourselves. We stayed to visit all of the animals and missed the rides.

Here are our highlights.

Mishy milked a goat!

We learned about how cows are milked in commercial farms in California.

Getting up close to the cow milking demonstration and show

Watched a sheep getting sheered.

During

After

And saw a variety of farm animals.

Details:

L.A. County Fair:

http://www.lacountyfair.com/

Looking for frogs and fishes

We love the Skirball Cultural Center. It is conveniently located off the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, parking is free and there is plenty of it – with two huge lots. There is a plethora of year round activities and exhibitions – including the Hanukah Festival. (In the summer, they have an excellent family music concert series which many musicians clamour to be a part of.) The Skirball Cultural Center is our place of choice to celebrate the Jewish Holidays since it’s an incredibly inclusive organization.

The Hanukah Festival featured some extraordinary entertainment at a variety of locations throughout the center – including an amazing jazz ensemble right in the cafeteria which had Mishy mesmerized. She also had her first taste of potato latkas. She loved them and we were given much more than the standard portion because the woman who was plating them loved how Mishy was eating them in line. There were many activities to choose from – including doll making, candle making and having timed entry to Noah’s Ark. Noah’s Ark is a fantastic permanent exhibition at the Skirball Cultural Center. It occupies 8000 square feet or exploration, play and make believe. We are members of the Skirball Cultural Center and it has been one of our best investments.

Mishy with her newly made candles

Details:

Skirball Cultural Center

http://www.skirball.org/

Kidspace Museum

January 1, 2011

Last week, we spent a lot of time at Kidspace Museum in Pasadena. In the beginning of the week, we went for their annual snow days, and then it just happened we would pop in every chance we could when we were in the neighborhood. We were in the neighborhood of Pasadena to take in as much Pre-Rose Bowl Activities. When we decided to skip the preview of the floats, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the museum – where it was New Years Eve day. They dropped balloon at noon and had activities around the museum to make noisemakers, pom poms, and New Years Eve party hats.

We have gone to Kidspace Museum first as regular visitors, and then as part of a homeschooling group to make and learn about Chumash wall paintings, then on farm day to meet and pet the young farm animals, and then snow day, and finally Noonsday or New Years Eve Day. I find it amazing how your experience at Kidspace can transform based on the special day and activities associated with those special days. On some days, we explored the entire museum – they have a lot of water play, walls you can climb, art activities, and gem stones you may explore. On others, we stayed in one section of the museum. Yesterday, Mishy spent hours on a tricycle, going around and around on their track. She did venture off their track, until we were kindly informed that tricycles had to stay on the track.

Mishy did get me to go on a tricycle with her – the same size she was on – we don’t have pictures – and we had races. She won, not because I let her, but because she is fast on that tricycle. At home, we don’t have one for her – she has requested it be put on her wishlist. Luckily for her, she has a birthday coming up.

Mishy on a tricyle. She wants exactly the same one 🙂

Details:

Kidspace Museum

http://www.kidspacemuseum.org/

My daughter is mixed ethnicity. In the fall, there was a touring photographic exhibition by Kip Fulbeck, a photographer who previously had an exhibition entitled – The Hapa Project – protraits of adults with mixed ethnicities. We didn’t make it to that exhibit – that was when Mishy did not like going on too many adventures in the car. When Mixed: Portraits of Mulitracial Kids was at the Japanese American Museum in the Little Toyko district of  Los Angeles, I really wanted to make a day of visiting Little Tokyo and seeing some exhibitions. (On the same day, we visited both MOCAs and stopped at a farmer’s market by City Hall.)

Making herself comfortable inside the exhibition

Following the handprints of other children and adults who are mixed.

I really think Kip Fulbeck’s photos speak for themselves and urge anyone with mixed children or children in general, to get the paperback copy of Mixed Portraits of Multiracial Kids. Mishy has been looking through the pages of this book over and over again, fascinated by the faces. (In the book, Nutureshock, the authors state that speaking about race is crucial by the age of 6 years old. Otherwise, stereotypes could possibly remain imprinted.)

Details:

MIXED Protraits of Multiracial Kids by Kip Fulbeck, forward by Dr. Maya Soetoro-NG, Afterword by Cher

http://www.seaweedproductions.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Portraits-Multiracial-Kip-Fulbeck/dp/0811874087

http://www.janm.org/exhibits/mixed/

Mishy connecting with Pooh

The original animals

Inside New York City’s Public Library’s main branch lives the original animals, minus Roo, which were the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. They are housed in a small room inside the Central Children’s Room, which is on the second floor. (Roo was lost somewhere in Sussex, unfortunately.) It is wonderful to see the original and then the inspired versions which are painted on the walls in the small room. This is a must see for anyone touched by the stories of Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Eyeore and a surprise late addition to the family of animals I will not name 🙂 You just have to go and see it for yourself.

Details:

Central Children’s Room (2nd Floor)
Donell Library Center
The New York Public Library
20 West 53rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019
USA

Day Hours
Monday 12.00-18.00
Tuesday 10.00-18.00
Wednesday 12.00-18.00
Thursday 12.00-20.00
Friday 12.00-18.00
Saturday 12.00-17.00
Sunday 13.00-17.00

Closed Sundays May-September

No flash photography is allowed.

Huntington Library

March 28, 2010

Mishy swirling through the leaves.

Once a month, Huntington Library in Pasadena has free day. You need to get tickets on the first of the month prior starting at 9AM. They usually sell out by 9:03AM. I need to have two computers set up on their web page to get free day tickets and it is so worth the manoeuvering. What I love about Free Day is that it opens at 10:30AM. Otherwise, the Huntington Library opens at noon, which is much too late to venture to Pasadena for Mishy’s naps. We have been going to as many free days as possible. In the summer and fall, Mishy puts on her bathing suit and plays in the children’s garden which as some fun water features. Since it was in the beginning of March, we were all fully dressed. This free day was a special day because her Babba was able to join us.

Pointing to which tree she wants to touch

Looking at the leaves below.

Mishy enjoyed playing this game with her Babba. She takes her hat and his and throws it away. He runs after her and tries to grab the hats from her. She laughs and runs away with them. This time, she decided to return his hat to his head.

Returning the hat.

Here she is with them again. She has just dropped them on the ground and is taunting her Babba to come and get them.

Running through the open grass while playing her hat game.

Being part of the security team.

When we left, there was an abandoned security cart. Mishy decided to see if she would like to be a part of the team.

Waiting for dumplings!

Afterwards, we headed to this fabulous dumpling place in nearby Arcadia called, Din Tai Fung. When Mishy was six months old, Babba and me ate there, wanting to return when she too could have some fish dumplings. Their red bean dumplings are divine. So are their noodles and rice cakes. Everything is absolutely delicious on their menu.

Details:

Huntington Library

http://www.huntington.org/

Din Tai Fung

http://www.dintaifungusa.com/