This weekend was our "field trip" experience for January, where I planned for us to kill two birds with one stone. I met up with an amazing group of Minnesota educators and we took the kids on a great family trip (minus the baby this time).
We started at The Melting Pot in Minneapolis where the kids enjoyed their (and my) first fondue experience. They sat with @keehner87 while I sat with my Minnesota EduVoxer group. Since my word for 2015 was experiences, this was a great way to kick off the year. The Melting Pot actually had a fairy themed event going on for kids with crowns, a parade, and special certificates for the kids to enjoy during the day. It was great!
While I was busy networking and stayed behind, @keehner87 took the kids on the train from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America - this is a GREAT, CHEAP way to travel! It was about $5 for all three of them, total, and since the kids had never been on a real train (other than the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride), it was another fun "first" - A asked if we can please go back to take me on the train.
At the mall @keehner87 and the kids visited the life size Barbie car, the Lego store, and then Marbles: The Brain Store. They literally spent over an hour in the store playing with and looking at all the different toys and gifts they had in the store. They tried the catapult, the Osmo games, the Spheros, some math games, a marble run, magnets, and so many more I can't even list them all. We found great items at all prices, and even @keehner87 walked away saying he could have easily spent hundreds of dollars in there for not just our kids, but for his classroom. If you haven't been, or haven't checked out their site, I highly recommend it. What an awesome store with FUN learning experiences for kids AND adults. We will for sure be doing some upcoming birthday shopping there.
Once I joined them, we headed over to the CSI Experience. A few years ago @keehner87 and I had done this at the MGM in Las Vegas, and I decided it would be a great first field trip - something you can't do just anywhere, with an opportunity to learn a little about forensic science. We studied the crime scene, analyzed DNA, compared tire treads, and solved the crime (a drug overdose). For a younger audience this might be a little graphic, but we had a conversation with the kids ahead of time about how it was all just props and make believe so that people could learn about being a CSI. We also chose one of the less graphic of the three scenarios they offered.
What did we do after that? Oh yeah, we spent another half an hour in The Brain Store so they could show me all of their favorite discoveries. Fun day overall, but this store was by far the highlight for them.