I love living so close to the coast of Massachusetts. Not only am I just minutes away from the beach, but another one of my favorite things about living where I do, is that there are so many lighthouses. Recently, Chris and I stopped to take a few pictures of the Scituate lighthouse, which is located at the entrance of Scituate Harbor.
Yesterday you read all about our adventures in bones and taxidemied animals and as promised, I am going to show you a few of the pictures I took the in the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
From their website:
Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery
This renovated gallery displays thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones in both rough and cut examples, including a 1,600-pound amethyst geode from Brazil. Exhibits highlight new research and offer a broad overview of the dynamic processes and events that formed our planet and that have shaped its continuing evolution. Visitors can touch rock and mineral specimens that date back to the beginning of our solar system. Uncover mysteries of our planet’s origins revealed in ancient meteorites and terrestrial rock containing some of the oldest minerals on Earth, zircon crystals that have survived intact for 4.3 billion years!
Here is the 1,600 pound amethyse geode:
Last weekend, Chris & I took the boys the The Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, THAT Harvard) because of a friends recommendation. I am so glad we listened because the museum was amazing and my boys LOVED it.
The museum was sort of split into two sections. One was filled with fossils & taxidermied animals. The other was the Earth & Planetary Sciences Gallery, which has thousands of rare minerals and sparkling gemstones on display. Today, I am going to show you the pictures I took of the fossil & animal galleries. Why? Because I took SO many pictures that I didn’t want to overwhelm you all in one post.
We got there right when the museum opened and walked right into the EVOLUTION exhibit as soon as we got there, so we spent a while examining the fossils on display!
EVOLUTION invites visitors to examine the fossil, anatomical, and genetic evidence that all life is connected through a shared evolutionary history. View animals and plants that sparked Darwin’s theory, dramatic displays of diversity within species, and computer simulations that demonstrate how natural selection acts.
See a model of the 375-million-year-old fossilized remains of Tiktaalik roseae (see image below)—a fossil fish dubbed the “missing link” between fish and land animals—discovered in 2004 by a team of scientists in northern Canada.
EVOLUTION offers a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing evolution research at Harvard, from exciting new discoveries about human origins, to surprising insights from new genetic and developmental studies on Darwin’s finches.
During the February vacation, we were looking for something to do with the kiddos and I ended up coming across a post on Facebook about an Owl Festival that was being held at the South Shore Natural Science Center in Norwell.
The way the building was set up, was that there was an EcoZone Museum to the left and then the Owl Festival was being held in a big function room on the other side. We decided to see what was in the EcoZone Museum first. Basically, it is a multidimensional, interactive exhibit area that focuses on the ecosystems of southeastern Massachusetts.
Earlier in the week, the boys & I met up with their cousin at Pump ‘n’ Jump, which is located inside the Silver City Galleria Mall in Taunton. It’s an indoor inflatable fun center with a whole bunch of……..you guessed it, inflatables. There are multiple inflatable bounce houses, obstacle courses, basketball hoops and giant slides!
Here are a few of the inflatables that are there:
**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets for snow tubing and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
My boys absolutely love playing in the snow and one of their favorite winter activities is snow tubing. When we had the chance to go snow tubing at Loon Mountain recently, we were all super excited. Usually, I just “supervise” while the kids go tubing, but this time – I actually went, too!
The Tubing center was marked and easy to find.
Inside, we signed waivers, were given lift passes to attach to our coats and grabbed some tubes.
We’ve had quite a bit of snow this winter one of the things the kids really enjoy doing when we have snow is to go sledding. While we were in Lincoln, NH recently, we drove past a nice looking hill and decided to stop and sled for a little while. I’m glad we stopped because the boys (all three of them) had so much fun.
**Masshole Mommy received four complimentary tickets to visit the Ice Castle and lodging at Loon Mountain in order to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
When I heard there was an ice castle up at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, NH this year, I have to admit that I was intrigued. An ice castle? How was that even possible? So I did what anyone else would do when they want more information about something – I Googled it. I found their website and here’s what it said:
Ice Castle Imagine the wonder of walking through the center of massive glacier-like solid pillars of ice, combined with tunnels, archways and caves. And all of it is built simply out of ice. Truly this will be an experience unlike any other on entire East Coast.
I knew that it was something I needed to check out and last weekend, my family took a drive up to see it for ourselves. If you’re familiar with Loon Mountain at all, the ice castle is set up over by the Adventure Center. If you’re unfamiliar, the Adventure Center is where you can zip line (year round), sign up for Snow Shoe tours and a rock wall is set up inside, but it’s only open seasonally. If you are heading up to see the ice castle and aren’t sure where to go once you get there, don’t worry – it’s very clearly marked.
We were staying at the Mountain Club on Loon, which is the resort at the base of the mountain, so we walked over to the ice castle and this is what we saw was we as we walked up to it.
My family are regulars at Roger Williams Zoo in Providence. We have had a membership there since my oldest was two years old (that’s seven years for those of you who are keeping track). Sometimes, depending on the day, there are docents (volunteers) around the zoo that help to teach guests about the animals there.
On our last visit, which was about two weeks ago, we ran into a docent over by the elephant exhibit that was holding something that looked quite interesting. Sure enough it was elephant poop.
The docent asked the gruesome twosome if they wanted to touch or hold it – don’t freak out, it was shellacked, so it was safe to touch. The boys weren’t sure about it at first:
My little man ran away and wanted no part of it at all, but my nine year old was a little bit braver. He was leery, but he touched it.
While we were in Plymouth (think Pilgrims) for lunch a few weeks ago, I dragged poor Chris along with me to snap some pictures of a few historical landmarks. Yesterday you saw my Mayflower pictures and today it’s the Plymouth Rock.
I live in a neighboring town and I absolutely love living so close to so much history. Sometimes I take it for granted that the first English settlers actually lived about fifteen minutes from where I live now. I’ve walked past the Plymouth Rock a million and a half times without giving it a second thought (or even a glance as I walked by). But not this day.
Nearly a million people each year come to see the Plymouth Rock and I think it’s safe to say that almost all of them are shocked to see how small it is.
There’s a reason for that.
Last weekend my nine year old was invited to play laser tag at Lazer Gate in Fall River, MA for a classmate’s birthday.
Fall River is one of those cities with way too many one way streets and with a detour on top of it, we had a super fun time trying to find the place (insert eye roll here). Finally Lance, my GPS, told me that I had arrived at the address I plugged in, but as I was sitting in front of this creepy, old factory – I had my doubts. Emphasis on the creepy and old in the last sentence.
Anywho – I drove around the back and was somewhat relieved to see the Lazer Gate sign.
While we were visiting with Chris’s sister and her family last week, they took us to the Fish Family Farm in Bolton, CT to feed some baby cows.
A couple of weekends ago, Chris & I took the boys to a Providence Bruins game. The P-Bruins are the AHL team for the Boston Bruins and they played the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins the day we went.
“The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League”
The P-Bruins play down in Rhode Island at the Dunkin Donuts Center (aka the dunk). Tickets are MUCH cheaper than tickets to a Boston Bruins game and frankly, it’s a lot more fun for the kids.
A couple of weeks ago, we took the boys up to Burlington, MA (about an hour north of where we live) to the Rainforest Cafe. Every year when we go to Disney World, we eat at the one at Downtown Disney, but since we have one relatively close by, we decided to take them there as a treat.
My boys LOVE the animatronic figures they have there, which include elephants, gorillas, jaguars and butterflies.
Here are a few of the pictures I took of them while we were there:
A couple of weekends ago, Chris & I took the gruesome twosome to a place called Einstein’s Workshop in Burlington, MA. Einstein’s Workshop is an amazing space for kids to explore the creative side of science, technology, engineering, and math.
In addition to numerous classes, Einstein’s Workshop features a drop-in indoor space for kids, where kids can build & play with LEGOs, K’nex, Zome, magnetic blocks, wooden, stone, and cardboard blocks, electronics kits, puzzles, board games, and computer games.
We walked in to a ginormous room filled with all kinds of things to build, but as soon as the kids came across the room with computers set up to play Minecraft, I couldn’t drag them away. You see, I don’t really let them play those kinds of games at home, so they went hog wild when they saw it.
While the boys were on Christmas vacation, we had a chance to visit CoCo Key indoor water park in Danvers, MA. At 65,000 square feet, CoCo Key is the largest indoor water park in New England!
Here are the main attractions at the park:
Parrot’s Perch Play Area
This interactive water-filled jungle gym can only be described as awesome! With shorter, open-topped slides, squirting water cannons, and a huge bucket that dumps hundreds of gallons of water every few minutes, this playground provides entertainment for children of all ages.
At the beginning of November, Chris and I brought the gruesome twosome to the Rhode Island Comic Con which was held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. Never been to a comic con before? It’s a huge event showcasing comic books, science fiction/fantasy and film/television, anime, video games, toys, and all sorts of other pop-culture related things. All of us love that kind of stuff, so it was kind of a no-brainer that we would end up there.
If you’re thinking that something like this event may not be appropriate for young kids, think again. On the first level of the building, there was an entire area dedicated to the little ones. There were magic shows, crafts, comic drawing classes, story telling and light saber training – which we skipped out on since we just did that in Disney World.
Here they are watching the magic show:
And my nine year old got chosen to help out with one of the tricks, which he was psyched about:
When my family was up in New Hampshire back in November, I booked us seats for a ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. The boys love train rides and the price was right, so I bought us tickets for a round trip ride through the mountains.
There are several different options including a dinner train ride, but I opted for a 55 minute ride on the Valley Train.
ON THE VALLEY TRAIN, you’ll enjoy an old-fashioned railroading experience as you journey on historic rail routes in vintage passenger cars (most from the 1920s) from our 1874 train station in North Conway Village to either Conway or Bartlett and back again. Children under 4 ride FREE in Coach on the Valley Trains, and well-behaved dogs are always welcomed at Conway Scenic Railroad!
The 11-mile, 55-minute roundtrip Conway excursion is ideal for visitors wanting a shorter train ride, especially those with young children. On this excursion, you’ll travel south past the Moat Mountain Range and parallel Route 16 before passing through farmlands and crossing Moat Brook, the Saco and Swift Rivers on the way to Conway. Here, you can watch the powerful locomotive “run around” the train in preparation of the return trip.
They have two departures on Saturdays and Sundays: 11:30 to Bartlett (1 3/4 hrs) and 1:30 to Conway (55 minutes). I paid $15.50 each for our ride, which I think was pretty reasonable for all that fun. My only complaint was the seating situation. Apparently back when these train cars were built, people were much shorter. I sat with my six year old and Chris sat with the nine year old and we were literally crammed into the seats like sardines. Seriously, this is how we had to sit for the entire hour: